Employee Spotlight: Doug Bates
If there is one word to describe the story of Iowa Select Farms, for Doug Bates it would be perseverance. “We keep pushing ourselves to get better, to keep improving. We never stand still.”
Having a culture that keeps collectively pushing the company forward stems from the character of our people. Employees like Doug, who for 17 years stayed focused on his goals, overcame setbacks and never lost his way.
“I remember applying for various farm manager positions five or six times before I was actually selected for the job,” recalled Doug. “I didn’t let it get me down, I kept working to get better. I will never forget the day Allen Whiley asked me to manage Sow 115. I can’t thank him enough for the opportunity.”
Since then, Doug has led not one, but nine farms—Sow 115, Sow 113, Sow 117, Clarke Sow Farm, Parker Sow Farm, Jernquist Sow Farm, Ochylski Sow Farm, Sow 118 and Last Chance Sow Farm. While his time at each of those farms has their own special memories, some of his fondest are from his time as a manager at Parker (Sow 16).
“I will never forget the year,” recalled Doug. “It was quarter two of 2015 and we were ranked number one in Select Pride. We actually continued on a spree of four out of five quarters in the number one spot and 11 quarters in the top three or above. I was so proud of my team for working hard and loved that all of our patience, diligence and hard work was paying off.”
A great memory for Doug was being given the responsibility of getting Sow 32—the farm he’s currently managing—up and running. “I literally watched this farm be built from the ground up,” said Doug. “Once it was done, we hosted an open house for the community. Opening the barn doors, in a sense, was completely unchartered territory for me but I think our team really shined. We were able to speak with neighbors about the new technology in our barn and explain safety, people and animal care. It really opened a lot of people’s eyes.”