Craig and Nancy: The Dream Team

posted on Monday, May 17, 2021

Craig and Nancy
“We love the company we get to work for and caring for pigs,” shared Craig. “It’s never a day at work when you truly enjoy what you do.

Congratulations to Craig and Nancy for their outstanding commitment to pig and people care and earning the Select Care Excellence Award for Q4 of 2020!

After spending the day with Craig, it’s apparent why he and his wife, Nancy, are so appreciated by their coworkers. Great people, with good intentions and caring temperaments, they strive each day to put their pigs and people first.

“Craig and Nancy are just two of the nicest, most sincere, wholesome people you’ll ever meet,” shares Cassandra, the director of production well-being at Iowa Select Farms. “They are so approachable, and both have the heart of a teacher. They truly care about the people they interact with, both inside and outside of work.”

In 1997, Craig and Nancy joined the Iowa Select Farms family by managing between nine and eleven farms, all while still working with Craig’s dad. Craig grew up on a diversified farm, caring for dairy cows and pigs, as well as getting out and working the field. Nancy, however, did not grow up on a farm. She fell in love with farming when she met Craig.

They have four wonderful children and nine grandchildren that keep their lives busy and exciting. One of their sons is a manager for Iowa Select Farms as well.

Nancy currently manages four farms near their hometowns of Parkersburg and Aplington.

Craig became a finishing supervisor in 2008 and was in that role until 2013 when he went back to managing. He stayed there for a few years until moving into a new role as a production well-being specialist. He traveled the state of Iowa, developing and teaching new site managers and farms and working on improvements in their pig and people care.

He mainly works with finishers across the state, still teaching new managers and supervisors, and ensuring farms are at the highest standard for training, site assessments and animal well-being.

Craig shares why he sees such an importance in quality training for new managers and supervisors, “You can’t throw all of our information at them at once. We start in the shallow end and make our way deeper.” He will typically spend a minimum of four weeks with new managers, “I start with basic pig care to emphasize the importance of healthy pigs, and then I teach them day to day work.”

We visited two farms with Craig to see his work in action. Starting at Carson Finisher Farm with new manager Justin, Craig walks the barns with him and shares insight into top notch pig care. Using his eyes, ears, and hands to confirm healthy pigs, we moved on to the next farm.

Craig chuckles as we make our way, taking a wrong turn or two. “I try to avoid using my phone’s maps at all costs,” as he pulls out a real map to find the next farm. Joining supervisor Shane at Hatch Finisher, Craig again walks the barns with Shane to ensure he is comfortable in his supervising role and providing helpful tips to being successful.

Craig’s ability to teach his coworkers and make them confident in their work is only one reason he and Nancy are being recognized with the Select Care Excellence Award. “Craig does an excellent job of checking in on his team of supervisors and managers,” said finishing supervisor Maria, who was one of many that nominated Craig and Nancy. “I always feel comfortable reaching out with questions, even if they seem small, to make sure I am on the right path for pig care.” She also shares his attention to people care, “Craig will drive past you and give you a call just to check in on how things are going on and off the farm, he really knows his team.”

Nancy shared some insight into the culture at Iowa Select Farms, “Nobody is above anyone. We all came from the roots up!” She smiles saying, “The best supervisors are the ones who wear the dirtiest coveralls.”

Craig and Nancy have stayed at Iowa Select Farms because they truly feel like it is a big family. Enjoying the variation that each day brings, they love the challenge of farming and pigs, but mostly they love working with people.

Congratulations to Craig and Nancy once again for their well-deserved Select Care Excellence Award in the final quarter of 2020. Keep up the fantastic work!