“The opportunities for growth have just never stopped,” said Shawn Chaplin, a production technical trainer at Iowa Select Farms. “Our culture is to engage employees and promote from within, and I suppose I’m an example of that. I’ve loved growing my career with this company.”
When Shawn started his career as an entry-level animal caretaker in 1996 he never imagined he’d still be with Iowa Select Farms 22 years later. Over the years he’s assumed new roles including department head, sow farm manager, dual sow farm manager and now production technical trainer, a newly developed role that allows Shawn to work closely with sow farm employees and focus on mastering important production competencies.
“There’s been a lot of good memories over the years,” Shawn said. “But I’m a competitive person, so winning Select Pride three times is definitely on the list. I’m also really thankful for the friendships that I have developed over the years.”
And speaking of Select Pride, some of Shawn’s most recent successes were at Kielsmeier, Sow 12.
“Helping put that farm back on the map was awesome,” said Shawn. “We changed the culture completely and ultimately got them into the Select Pride Top 10. We had a great bunch and I loved working with that team to develop them into the leaders they are for the company today.”
In addition to changing roles over the years, a lot of other things that have changed for Shawn have been technologies on-farm. “From a chain disk feeding system in farrowing to implementing cool cells and now having filtered sow farms and GDUs, the technology has really improved herd health over the years,” he said. “It’s also made it a lot easier on the animal caretakers, which I appreciate.”
After 22 years Shawn is grateful. Not just for a great career, but for the people who have helped him along the way.
“There have been many people throughout my career that helped get me to where I am today,” said Shawn. “Many of them are still with the company today and I’m grateful for the potential they saw in me. It’s really meant a lot to me and my family.”