Congratulations to the Team at Rout Sow 2 for Being in the Top Spot of SelectPride Q3

posted on Thursday, November 7, 2019


“It all comes down to teamwork, organization, and follow-through on processes,” said sow supervisor, Chris Nydegger. “If a farm can consistently execute, they are going to succeed. This farm goes above and beyond in those areas and it paid off.”

Congratulations to the team at Rout Sow 2 for finally snagging the first place SelectPride spot. Although they’ve been ranked in the top five every quarter this year, the farm hasn’t been first place since Q4 of 2018. After a struggle with PRRS in early 2018, the farm’s come a long way towards reaching their production goals.

We celebrated their win last week in true Iowa fashion—with Casey’s pizza and fried chicken.

“I can’t say enough about my crew,” said farm manager, Roberta Weide. “I’ve got a team that I can rely on to get the job done every single day. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, but we’re not stopping now. We’re focusing on what we can do to end the year even stronger.”

In addition to Bert, the team at Sow 2 consists of breeding department head Jane Story, farrowing department head, Becky Schwab, assistant breeding department head, Hunter Carmichael, assistant farrowing department head, Sarah Schlachter, newborn pig specialists, Heather Day and Ashley Murra, heat check/AI specialist, Jeff Cormaney, breed lead, Juan Luis Ochoa Duran and animal caretakers Keara Day, Gabe Story, Vironica Mitchell, Courtlandt and George Van Arsdale.

Unlike many farms, turnover isn’t an issue at Sow 2. Courtlandt is the farm’s newest employee and has been there for two years. The secret?

“We are a quirky group, that’s for sure,” laughed Sarah. “But we’re really just a big family. And ironically enough, many of us actually are related, we just don’t let it impact our work. We work hard, but we have fun. Everyone’s got each other’s backs, which I think is why we rarely lose anyone.”

Together, the farm team has a combined 71 years of experience with pig care, 40 of those years coming directly from Bert and Becky.

“We all bust our butts every day, some of us quite literally,” joked Becky, who recently had a fall that left her backside black and blue. “We don’t have morning meetings because everyone knows what’s expected of them. Sure, if we need to talk about something important, we do, otherwise, we get straight to work.”

Recent farm highlights include a 13-week PCP average of 97% and farrow rate of 91%. Additionally, the farm has consistently weaned more than 30,000 pigs per quarter—4000 pigs above their quarterly target.

With fourth-quarter in full swing, the farm’s focus is continuous improvement and minimizing sow death loss.

“We want to end the year as first overall, but know it’s going to take some work because the competition is tight,” said Jane. “Right now, we’re being as proactive as possible, figuring out where our nonproductive days are coming from and getting ahead of the problem. Being consistent and timely on sow treatments is also something we’re working towards. We try to do things the same way every single day.”

Congratulations on your big win, Sow 2. We can’t wait to see what the rest of this quarter has in store!