From Junior Finishing Supervisor to Finishing Supervisor

posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

“When I started two years ago as a Junior Finishing Supervisor, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into,” recalled Josh Simon, who started with Iowa Select shortly after finishing his studies at Iowa State University. “I had a little bit of hog experience, but had spent most of my time working with cattle. I knew there would be a pretty big learning curve, but I was looking forward to something that was going to challenge me.”

Since joining the Iowa Select Farms team two years ago as Junior Finishing Supervisor, Josh has come a long way.

“Heck, Josh wasn’t even in the Junior Finishing role for more than three or four months before being promoted,” chuckled Allen Whiley, Director of Grow-Finish Production. “He absolutely flourished in the role and continues to do well. He holds himself accountable and takes responsibility for his farms and managers. I can recall a few times where he’s slept in his truck at a farm experiencing power outages to ensure everything goes smooth over night. He’s extremely dedicated to the job and we’re lucky to have him on the team.”

In his current role as a Finishing Supervisor, Josh works hand-in-hand with veterinarians, other supervisors and senior supervisors to follow “fill” plans to maximize wean and feeder pig potential. He also works closely with contract growers and their farms to support herd health and evaluate any issues or concerns that come up.

“Josh has been awesome to work with,” said Scott Neubauer, who contracts two farms with Iowa Select as a way to supplement his family’s farming operation. “He is prompt and always there to help when I need it. It’s nice to have an extra set of eyes on things and to get a second opinion.”

Since starting two years ago, Josh has gone from overseeing six finishing farms to nearly 22. But the number of farms that he helps manage isn’t the only thing that’s increased.

“I have really noticed the improvement in my communication and decision-making skills,” said Josh. “There are a lot of situations in this job where you have to make quick decisions, but need to be sure you’re making a good call. I’ve learned those skills from my co-workers and supervisors, and definitely credit their guidance to helping me get to where I am today.”

And just like managing a farm, nearly everything at Iowa Select Farms is done as a team. In fact, it’s one of the things that Josh enjoys most about his job.

“It’s rewarding seeing the results from the work we put into a tough group of pigs,” he said. “From managers, supervisors, vets and production staff – it takes all of us working together to provide the best care for these pigs, which allows me to send the maximum number of pigs that I can to market. I’m proud that I get to play a part in helping the company reach our goals.”