I'll help wherever I'm needed
posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016
I’ll help wherever I’m needed,” said Brandon, the breeding department head at Sow 28 located near Mount Ayr. Helping others is a big part of the Iowa Select Farms culture—covering workloads and pitching in to train and develop others, even if it’s not your farm.
And Brandon is one of the best examples. In 2012 Brandon started as a breeding technician at Sow 15, then moved to Sow 17 and was promoted to breed lead, then back to Sow 15 to take the breeding department head position. At the time the farm manager, Doug, was managing two sites and Louis, the farrowing manager (and now manager of Sow 15!) helped out with data entry and paperwork on the farm while Brandon led his breeding department and also covered a portion of farrowing for Louis. “We all stepped up and helped each other out, and learned a lot doing it,” said Brandon.
Fast forward to later that year, Brandon had heard about some breeding departments on our north central Iowa farms who were new and needed technical training. “I told my manager that I wanted to volunteer to help them,” an opportunity that would relocate him and his young family to Hardin county. “They needed someone to train some newer breeding department heads at Sow 117 and Sow 10, and I said ‘yes.’ It was a good experience, and I was glad to be able to help and give back to the company.”
After teaching and training on practices like heat checking, post-cervical artificial insemination, pregnancy checking, body condition scoring and overall how to manage a breeding department, Brandon moved back to Mount Ayr and joined the Sow 28 team as Breeding Department Head.
“Brandon has done a good job coming in and taking over as breeding department head,” said Mikey, the farm manager of Sow 28. “With him on this team I know everything on the breeding side is in good hands, and he’s been a great addition to this farm, we’re lucky to have him.”
“I’ve worked at other place before this, and never have I been with a company that cares so much about their people,” said Brandon. “Everything they do for us is so appreciated, and it feels good to be able to give back when they need help.”
Brandon’s family also oversees a cow-calf operation near Mount Ayr and now he’s able help out with chores after work. “Pigs or cows, I really enjoy working with animals, I always have,” said Brandon. Both Mikey and Gus, who managers Sow 10, said Brandon would make a good manager someday and have encouraged him to join the Production Leadership Program. “I really enjoy working directly with the animals, plus I don’t care for the paperwork and computer aspect of the responsibilities,” admits Brandon. “But if they need me again and it helps the company, I just might be up for it.” #billionpounds
Subscribe to our newsletter:
Get fresh articles delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe
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.