If you don't have fun at your job, then you have the wrong job

posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“If you don’t have fun at your job, then you have the wrong job,” said Carl Owen, manager of Three Fires Nursery, a GDU grow-out for Iowa Select Farms. And Carl says he’s been with Iowa Select Farms nine years because he has a lot of fun—he likes the people, he likes the work he does and feels good about his role in our billion pound journey.

Carl oversees an important piece of the gilt development system. He’s part of one of three multiplication flows which sends selective female weaned piglets to Nursery 15. After those pigs are 40-60 pounds, Carl and his team take over the responsibility of their care until they are around 280-300 pounds and ready for a GDU—typically Hulls, Conway or Brooks.

Also referred to as multiplication grow-out, Carl and the entire GDU team are caring for our future sows. Grow-out teams work to provide them with good care and help select for soundness of their legs and structure, underline and overall health.

Biosecurity is critical as a PRRS break at a farm like Carl’s means those animals can’t progress through the gilt system and will become a market hog, potentially leaving a gap in gilt replacements.
In Q3 Carl and his team at Three Fires G542 finished in the 4th place in the multiplication grow-out ranking, and he repeatedly earned spots in the SelectPride ranking every quarter.

“It makes me feel like I am doing my job, said Carl, who was a man a few words with it come to the recognition. But Tysen Abell, his supervisor was quick to step in explain what makes Carl a great manager.

“He’s incredibly dependable and reliable,” said Tysen. “Whenever I have a task for Carl, the answer I always hear is, ‘Don’t you worry about me, we will have it done,’ and then he follows up by reminding me, ‘have we ever not had it done?’”

“Our vets, production well-being staff and supervisor team all enjoy working with Carl and visiting his farm,” said Tysen. “There really hasn’t been a time when he hasn’t stopped to remind us—with his infamous sense of humor— ‘We’re doing just fine here at Three Fires. If I have problem or need anything you’ll be the very first to know.’”

Tysen said the biggest attribute about Carl is the level of care he has for his animals. “He’s an excellent stockman and has a lifetime of experience in swine production.” Prior to joining Iowa Select Farms Carl was a finishing supervisor for Premium Standard Farms in Missouri, though in talking to him he’ll never really let on how much he really knows.

“It’s pretty simple,” said Carl. “We send the GDUs good animals to breed, then the sow farms have good pigs to send to the finisher, then from the finishers they will help us feed people. It feels good to be a part of that.” #billionpounds