David Mayer Celebrates 20 Years with Iowa Select Farms
When looking back at his 20 years with Iowa Select Farms, David Mayer can recall pretty much all of the changes and technology adoptions made in the sow farms, down to the technical specifics on the numerous ventilation controllers used in the early days.
Now the breeding department head at Jamestown Sow Farm, he’s been lucky enough to be in specific roles and specific farms that were on the leading edge of driving significant improvements in herd health, biosecurity, breeding and reproduction, ventilation and overall animal care.
“I was a member of one of the first breeding departments to start practicing PCAI—post cervical artificial insemination, then again one of the first teams to adopt to open pen gestation—nearly three years before it was widely adopted throughout the system.
“From adopting bench entry and UV chambers to transitioning to composting, he’s said most of the changes have been positive with “only a few head scratches,” he laughs.
David says it’s not the experience that is rewarding; it’s sharing that knowledge and helping others do things easier and better. He says he feels good when he sees a friend or co-worker move into different roles, with several moving on to manage their own departments, and become farm managers and even supervisors. “So many people here have helped me along the way, and I enjoy giving back to others in that spirit.
David also says he appreciates what the company does for its employees. “They recognize when farms aren’t fully staffed with “short staffing pay,” and give out random meat bundles, which is always appreciated,” he said.
“We also have fun at work because if you can’t do that, then work is just work,” said David.
David says he enjoys spending time with his wife, Melissa—the farrowing department head at Sow 33—and their five children and two grandchildren.