Davis #1 Recognized as Most Improved GDU 2 Consecutive Quarters
Congratulations to Travis and his team at Davis #1 G018 for being named our Most Improved Gilt Developer Unit for two consecutive quarters!
"One of the many things that has made Travis such a successful manager is that he is 100% hands on and involved in every process on the farm," said GDU Director, Jeremiah. "He is organized, detail-oriented and truly wants to see his farm succeed. Travis always puts others needs in front of his own."
As hard as it may be to believe given his recent success, prior to joining the Iowa Select Farms team in 2017, Travis had no experience working with livestock. His first position with the company was as an entry-level animal caretaker and after about 1.5 years working between Davis #2 and Davis #2, he transferred to Stamps to work as manager.
"Travis got thrown into the fire quick but he didn't miss a beat," continued Jeremiah. "At Stamps he proved that he had the ability to lead people, along with the capacity to take on a bigger farm with more moving pieces, including filtration. He continues to exceed our expectations."
For Travis, becoming manager at Davis #1, a larger and filtered farm, had been his goal since shortly after starting with the company three years ago. He credits much of his success and confidence as a farm manager to Jeremiah and GDU Supervisor, Randy.
"Managing Davis #1 has pretty much been one of my main goals since day one," said Travis. "But I wanted to do more than just manage. I wanted to improve production and our team more than ever before and I can't thank Jeremiah, Randy and my amazing team enough for all they've done to guide and mentor me. I couldn't have done it without everyone's help."
Travis' team is made up of Jaime, Kyle and Chad. Responsibilities vary, but include choring, farm upkeep, heat checking, breeding and managing the daily operations of the filtered farm. The majority of the gilts they breed go to Sow 18, Ponderosa farms and occasionally, Sow 31.
"The pigs are the easy part, it's leading and managing a team that required a lot of learning," he joked. "But it's one of my favorite parts of the job now. I've never had a responsibility like this before, leading others, but my team is so great and fun to work with."
In addition to working alongside his team, Travis loves the variety of work on his farm.
"For the first time in my life, I have a job that I genuinely enjoy going to work every day," he said. "Creating a good work environment, being able to laugh and have fun while doing our job well is important to me. I also love working with the pigs, which is an ever-changing and moving job where no two days are the same."
Now, with two Most Improved awards under their belt, Travis and his team have their sights set on the top. "Right now we are focusing on continuous improvement," he said. "We're working to get better as a team and one-on-one with employees, which will help the farm succeed. We want to become one, if not the, best GDUs in the system."
Luckily for Travis, he knows it may take some time to get there.
"If there's one piece of advice I could give a new manager, or even to myself a few years ago, it's that things take time and nothing is going to change overnight," he said. "Have patience, give yourself grace and know that your hard work will pay off in the end."
Congratulations to Travis, Jaime, Kyle and Chad on being our Most Improved GDU. Keep up the great work!