Congratulations to Shaun on 15 Years of Service with Iowa Select Farms

posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022

Shaun outside his farm.
“I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” said Shaun Lukes, a finishing manager for Iowa Select Farms. “I grew up on a pig farm, and this is my way of life.”

Congratulations to Shaun, who is celebrating 15 years with Iowa Select Farms.
While Shaun is celebrating the 15-year milestone, he has a much longer history with Iowa Select Farms. During high school, Shaun began working on a New Modern Concepts construction crew in July of 1995 and stuck around to help with the barn’s initial loading. After all, he did have previous pig experience.

Returning to school kept him from working full-time for Iowa Select Farms. After graduation, he jumped in at Pogge and Engstrom finishers. Shaun then transferred to Sow 8, a brand-new farm, and eventually worked his way to the breeding department head position.

Shaun returned to the finishing side and now runs the Engstrom finisher while helping out at the smaller Kraft finisher.

“Engstrom requires much more work than Kraft because of how many more pigs I have to look after, but when it comes to good animal care, the size of the farm doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s satisfying to get a rougher group of pigs in and grow them to healthy animals. It makes it all worth it.”

Looking back, Shaun recalls many changes he’s seen over the years, which is no surprise considering he has worked at over a dozen different farms.

“There have been many improvements in the infrastructure of the barns that make them better,” he says. “Everything from the size of the fans at the ends of the barns, the tandem feed bins outside of the farm, to the complexity of the control panel. The only thing that has stayed consistent is our pigs!”

It’s clear Shaun loves his job and caring for the animals, but it’s the people that have made it for him.

“I feel very blessed to have worked with a wide variety of people who I have learned so much from,” he said. “Technicians, maintenance, the environmental crew, managers, supervisors, senior supervisors and everyone in between have all shaped me into the manager I am today.”

Outside the farm, Shaun enjoys spending time woodworking, being outdoors mowing his lawn, catching a new movie and, of course, being with his family. His girlfriend, Taryn, is a kindergarten teacher at Eagle Grove Elementary School. Together, they have a large family and share two foster daughters, Katie, who lives in Des Moines, and Lora, who recently moved back to Ames. Taryn has a daughter, Tiffanie, and two sons, Tate and Aiden. Shaun says he looks forward to getting the family together at the Iowa Select Farms Adventureland Family Day each year.

Shaun, we are so lucky to have you!