Jeff Cormaney Celebrates 25 Years With Iowa Select Farms
Congratulations to Jeff Cormaney for celebrating 25 years with Iowa Select Farms!
Although he didn’t grow up in agriculture, Jeff has never felt more at home than when he’s on a pig farm.
“I’ve always been drawn to pigs, even though I wasn’t raised on a farm,” said the Webster City native. “I took Ellsworth Community College having a swine management program so close to home as a sign and haven’t looked back since.”
After graduating from ECC, Jeff joined the Iowa Select Farms team as an intern at Sows 13 and 14. He then went over to Sow 6 where he worked as a breeding and farrowing department head for four years. He stayed on the sows side with a move to Sow 2, where he worked for sixteen years. He went to Sows 3 for four years, but now is back at Sow 2 where he works as a breeding lead.
“Working in the breeding department is my absolute favorite,” he said. “Between the challenges of getting animals to come into heat, properly breeding them and then getting them to stay pregnant consistently, there’s a lot that goes into our day-to-day routines. A farm isn’t going to hit their targets or bonuses if they don’t have a strong breeding department.”
Jeff’s success as a breed lead is perhaps most evident by Sow 2’s recent success—the farm placed first in nearly every quarter of 2019 SelectPride rankings and even took home the first-place overall award. It was a big year for the farm, to say the least.
“We have a really, really good team,” said Jeff about his coworkers. “Our management is really strong—Bert, Jane and Becky are awesome—and keeps our team together. To be a successful farm you’ve got to have a good culture and morale, which I think we do.”
According to Jeff, he’s learned that putting the right person in the right job is also a big key to a sow farm’s, or any farm for that matter, success.
“You might have someone who does better at the culture of another farm or enjoys a certain department,” he said. “That’s why it’s so important to get to know your team, their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. Successful farms know where their people are going to succeed.”
In addition to learning about successful farm management, Jeff has learned a lot about production over the years. Many of the biggest changes over the years happened right in front of his eyes.
“We used to hand crank each feed line, which was time consuming and took a lot of strength, now it's a flip of a switch," he recalled. “All breeding used to be done with live boars, which meant we had roughly 100 on each farm. They’d do three days on, two days off. We weren’t near as efficient back then.”
Outside of work, Jeff enjoys attending car shows and looking at classics, although his favorite car is still the truck he got in high school—a ’72 Chevy. He also enjoys spending time with his friends, many of whom he’s met through work.
“Part of what makes Iowa Select Farms so great is our awesome leadership and the people we’ve got on our farms,” said Jeff. “I expected the company to grow, but never to this magnitude. How many people can say they’ve worked somewhere for twenty-five years? Those of us that have been along for the entire ride, there’s a lot of pride in that.”
Congrats on 25 years, Jeff!