Eric Pryor Recognized as Q4 SelectPride Partner Award Winner
Congratulations to Eric Pryor for being recognized as the Q4 SelectPride Partner Award winner.
Eric has been a truck driver with Iowa Select Farms for 22 years. Recently, Eric was nominated for his attention to safety, biosecurity and animal care, and a whole host of other attributes that led to him receiving this very distinct honor.
“This really caught me off guard, I was surprised to get this,” said Eric, who says all of the drivers come in and get the job done, and it’s that simple. But there is something special about Eric. He also takes the time to help others out.
Bob Wallace, a driver of 16 years, said he remembers when he started it was Eric who took the time to help him get his bearings. “The easy thing to tell a new driver is to “figure out how to read your maps,” said Bob. “But Eric’s been in those shoes before and will stop to show someone how to actually use them, and there’s the difference.”
Ashley Silvey, HR specialist, said when it comes to placing a new driver on the team, having someone there she knows she can count on to be helpful, friendly and offer advice is a great way to welcome a new person to any team.
Ron Rush, Director of Transportation, says he’s proud of Eric. “He takes pride in what he does—he’s reliable, dependable and helps to make people and processes better. He takes ownership and does his job well, day in and day out.”
Ron says he sees these characteristics throughout his whole transportation group. “We’re a production company, but we need our dispatch, drivers, washers and mechanics all working together to move the pigs safety, with care, and within the biosecurity rules. This whole team does a heck of a job.”
But nothing comes easy in the transportation world, especially when it comes to livestock farming. Looking back at the early weeks of February—single digit temperatures and wind chills at minus 20 degrees—a reflection of a good day is when “everything cranked,” in reference to the 120 semi and weaned trucks the drivers count on to pull 1,400 loads of weaned pigs, gilts, feeders, culls and market loads a week.
Clint Hoversten, Inner-Sanctum Transportation Supervisor, said he’s probably one of the ones who has worked with Eric the longest. “Eric and I have both seen lot of years here and a lot of growth and change. He might not believe it, but he’s contributed a lot to help build this transportation team to what it is today.”
“This is a team that gets their work done, and gets it done right," said Noel Williams, Chief Operating Officer. “They don’t hear this enough, but the farms appreciate them for what they bring to the business every day—we all do.”
Allen Whiley, director of finishing, agrees the transportation team deserves a lot of credit. “Our drivers are always on time if not early, always prepared and never shy about speaking up.” Allen says they also need to be recognized for the effort that happens before they even back up to a chute.
“Weaned pig load out happens at 6:00 or 7:00 a.m. at the sow farms, which means a lot of the drivers are on the road by 3:00 a.m. to get to their trucks and make it to their farms early,” said Allen. Market load drivers run loads from finishers to the packer through the night, and feeder pigs and gilts are moving throughout the whole day, too.
“There are trucks running 24/7, and it takes a lot of people all working together to make it happen. I can’t say enough the reliability and dependability the whole transportation team has,” says Allen. “They get up and get after it, consistently, every day.”
Jeff DeWeese, production well-being specialist, said the drivers take on a lot of responsibility, and their dedication and patience really shines through during the winter months. “We’re moving a lot of animals every day, and when it’s cold the animals don’t want to leave the barn, said Jeff. “They make alternations to their trailers and take their time loading; they do a great job.”
Eric says over his 22 years his love for driving hasn’t changed. “It’s driving the equipment and getting things to where they need to be.” He said the growth of Iowa Select Farms has been good to see—we’re a stable company and it feels good to see the things we do for our communities.”
Eric’s favorite thing about driving? “I think we can all agree on at least one thing—summer,” he laughs.
Congratulations, Eric! We’re so lucky to have you.