GDU Supervisor, Randy, Celebrates 25 Years with Iowa Select Farms
posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Congratulations to Randy for celebrating 25 years with Iowa Select Farms!
For the past quarter decade, Randy has been a prominent member on our production team. Like many employees, he started as an entry-level technician and with lots of hard work and dedication, worked his way up to production supervisor.
“You gotta’ be patient and you gotta’ put in the work,” said Randy. “When you’re at a company for 25 years, it’s because you dedicate yourself to your job and the values of the company. You follow through with those values and live them out in your life every single day.”
A native of Ellston, Iowa, Randy jokes that he was practically born in a pig barn. He grew up farming and applied for a job with the company as he was looking for some supplemental income. His first job was as an animal caretaker at Jernquist Sow 15. Within a year, he was promoted to breeding department head.
After six years, he ultimately made the decision to rent out his ground and join Iowa Select Farms full-time as manager of Ochylski Sow 17. He hasn’t looked back since.
Since 2006, Randy has worked as a sow farm and multiplication supervisor. Currently, he supports 12 GDUs in the southern Iowa region. For him, the job is a lot like coaching his kids in sports. “You’re there to push, encourage and challenge your crew,” he said. “Seeing them be successful and get results is what it’s all about for me. My teams work hard, care about doing their jobs well and stay competitive. They make me really proud.”
As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of changes over the years. For Randy, the majority of those changes revolve around technology. “Pig farms are pretty advanced and impressive these days,” he chuckled. “We’ve got computers in every single farm now, which really helps with communication capabilities. How we care for the animals continues to get better every single year. It’s always been a top priority, but now we go even further with biosecurity and how we build and filter our farms.”
Just like the technology on pig farms, Randy’s hobbies outside of work continue to evolve over the years. Prior to kids, it was a lot of hunting and fishing but then it changed into chasing the kids around, coaching sports on the weekends and throughout the year. Today, it’s mostly what his wife, Stephanie, tells him, but don’t let him fool you—he loves it. Together, the pair re-purpose and up-cycle primitives and unique treasures.
Family is also a big part of Randy’s life. If you’ve seen him at Adventureland or the Iowa State Fair, he’s always surrounded by a slew of cute kiddos in Iowa Select Farms’ t-shirts. Between son Tyler (Maggie), daughters Chelsey (Eddie) and Madison (fiancé Logan), Randy and Steph have four grandkids—Adley Mae, Eastyn, Daxtyn and Collyns. Iowa Select Farms is an extended family for them, as well.
“When I tell people that I’ve worked here for 25 years they usually say, ‘whoa! That’s a really long time!’ and that’s because it is,” he laughed. “But my job has been ever-changing but always rewarding. I appreciate how the company cares about their employees and giving back to our communities.”
In addition to appreciate the company giving back, Randy appreciates the friendships he’s made over the years. “When you work alongside the same people for several years, you build strong, long-lasting relationships,” he said. “Some days, you spend more time with your coworkers than you do your own family, but the fond memories we make and the hard work we accomplish is what motivates me to show up for another day and do the best job I possibly can.”
Congratulations on 25 years, Randy! We are so lucky to have you on our team.
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Ashley Dyer Heads Hooper Sow Farm Farrowing Department
As the farrowing department head, Ashley and her team of Selene, Vivian, Dolly, David, Zory, Hugo, Alonzo and Yulissa—to name a few—will receive the gestating sows within a day or two of farrowing, make them comfortable, monitor health and feed intake, and then assist with birthing.