f you take care of them, they'll take care of you

posted on Saturday, June 11, 2016

“I’m pretty laid back, I don’t micro-manage my team as to when and where something gets done as long as we are taking care of the animals,” said Mikey, the Sow 28 manager located near Mount Ayr, Iowa.

For those of you who know Mikey, he’s an easy-going, friendly guy. He never takes anything to seriously, and is always ready to give someone a hard time about something. He’s also currently down a department head and his farm has been hit with PRRS, which impacts any farm’s ability to hit their targets.

But don’t be fooled by his calm and friendly demeanor, Mikey and his Sow 28 crew not only won the Wilke Flow in quarter one—a subdivision of Select Pride that organizes farms according to their gilt source – but Sow 28 is also tied with Sow 118 for the most #1 titles in the history of Select Pride and has 14 top ten wins. While Mikey was not at the helm of Sow 28 for all of those successes, he has a proven track record of strong leadership and performance throughout his 22 years with Iowa Select Farms.

Mikey began his career with Iowa Select Farms 22 years ago as a technician at Sow 2. From there he managed farrowing and breeding departments before taking the manager position at Sow 17 near Diagonal before moving over to Sow 28 in 2011. Another movement to Sow 21 near Thayer in 2012 and back to Sow 28 in late 2013 (right after helping the Sow 21 crew land the Q1 2013 #1 Select Pride spot) rounds out his path with the company so far.

“Mikey is quietly competitive,” said Don, senior sow supervisor for the region. “He knows his numbers and where he stands versus the targets and involves his staff in trying to improve those production numbers. His first strength is that he is steady and consistent with his approach, and a close second is his ability to infuse a passion for pig care amongst his team.”

Mikey is quick to pass along the farm’s success to having a great staff that knows what they are doing and care about each other, the farm and the animals. “I have very strong individuals in both breeding and farrowing leadership roles, and very dedicated technicians that all contribute to the success of the farm,” said Mikey.

Mikey is referring to Brandon, the breeding department head who relocated to Sow 28 from Sow 10, paired with Theresa, the breed lead of 15+ years. And Yolanda, who Mikey is developing from a farrowing lead to the farrowing department head program via the Production Leadership Program. You’ll get to know them, along with others, through their own ‪#‎billionpounds‬ stories to follow.

“Mikey is building a great staff at Sow 28 that has passion for what they are doing,” said Don. “There is a mix of experience from 6 months to 15+ years, and he has a knack for bringing them all together.”

“I prefer to be out in the barns working with the team, and I love working with the animals,” said Mikey. “My hope is that I am able to pass this along to my team. You get back what you put into your animals and people. I believe if you take care of them, they’ll take care of you.” #billionpounds