Father-Daughter Duo Sees On-Farm Success

posted on Monday, August 31, 2020

At Iowa Select Farms, we talk about our close-knit family culture a lot, but for many employees, that family culture hits close to home—really close. Take, for example, Josh and Alee. A father-daughter duo that work together on multiplication nursery farms in southern Iowa.


Since joining the Iowa Select Farms team as a part-time employee two years ago, Alee has gone from doing farm visits alongside her dad to running a farm (practically) on her own. That farm happens to be Priest M046 and recently placed first in the multiplication nursery SelectPride rankings. The farm’s success is a point of pride for both Alee and Josh, but for different reasons.

“It’s always fun to be able to work with your kids,” said Josh, who has been at Iowa Select Farms for more than ten years. “It’s cool to see your daughter enjoy a job that you love equally as much, and not only does she like it—she’s really good at it, too.”

Alee recalls very well the day she applied at Iowa Select Farms. “Dad really needed help, so off to work I went,” she laughed. “I had a good idea of the job going into it, which has probably helped. I understood the basics of animal care like keeping a watchful eye on them, comfortable, fed and watered.”

But what Alee might not tell you is that she’s a real go-getter. In fact, during one of her first days of work a feed motor went out at the farm. The employees said they were going to call Josh or maintenance to come fix it, but Alee didn’t see a need for that, so she decided to learn to fix it herself. “Dad said, ‘well, I guess there goes my job security,” she laughed.

“Alee is always willing to learn new things and jump right in,” said Tysen, multiplication supervisor. “I have actually stood back just to see how thorough she is and was very surprised with her attention to detail. She is very task oriented, making sure thing are done to the best of her ability. I think that, coupled with her willingness to learn, is what put Priest back at the top.”

A sophomore at Northwest Missouri State, Alee plans to use her degree in biology to pursue a career in genetic research, but until then, she is making the most of her time at Iowa Select Farms.

“I really love the work and watching the pigs grow,” she said. “It’s fun getting a new turn of pigs and seeing them through.”

When Josh looks back on how far Alee has come in two years, the growth has been tremendous.

“She started out just going farm to farm with me, basically as an extra fill-in,” he recalled. “Once she learned the role and responsibilities, she took things head on and has taken a lot of initiative to make Priest her own, while still going to school full-time.”

As far as the future is concerned, no one is quite sure, so for right now, Josh is just enjoying this unique time with Alee. He thinks his other daughter, Jaci, might even join in on the fun, too. Alee’s advice for working alongside a parent?

“Sometimes you just have to trust them and what they’re going to say, even though in your head you might be thinking, ‘Oh, Dad, you don’t know’,” she joked. “It’s very likely they have a lot of experience and will know what to do better than you will. Working alongside your parent can be challenging, but it can also be really fun.”

Congrats to Alee, Josh and animal caretaker, Daniel, for your Q2 first place win at Priest and continued success at Damewood and Sammons. Keep up the great work!