Jones Sow Farm Named Most Improved
“The top priority each day for all 14 of us on this farm is taking care of our pigs,” said Larry, manager of Jones sow farm. “We treat them like they’re our own, and I expect my whole team to provide a level of care that is second to none.”
Congratulations to Larry and the rest of the Jones sow farm team on their Q3 2021 Most Improved SelectPride award.
“The recognition is a testament to my team’s hard work and dedication to daily pig care,” said Larry. “I’m a proud manager, that’s for sure, and we’re going to keep it up.”
Jones sow farm sits in a region referred to as the “Ponderosa,” an area in southern Iowa with several sow farms, many of which Larry has worked at in his 21 years with Iowa Select Farms.
“Our farm has been consistently in the bottom of the SelectPride rankings for years,” shared Larry. “We’ve been battling herd health, and it has been challenging to achieve where we’re at now—completely healthy. That’s worth celebrating.”
The team introduced new practices and kept their focus on animal care. They emphasized biosecurity and cross-training employees to improve performance and team bonding. Through this, they improved their born alive rate and overall livability. They were producing healthier wean pigs than ever before.
“This farm has certainly had its fair share of health challenges over the last year,” said T’Lee, the farm’s veterinarian. “Even during the tough times, this group always seems to find a way to dig deeper and rise above their challenges. Larry can always find the silver lining, which impacts the team’s overall attitude.”
Larry speaks highly of his team, sharing that many are natural leaders, which shines through in their daily pig care.
“I am fortunate to have Deborah as my farrowing department head and several other strong leaders within the breeding department,” said Larry. “The whole team has stepped up to make a difference.”
“Larry and Deb’s commitment to this farm is undeniable,” added T’Lee. “They can often be found at the farm after hours, ensuring all animals are cared for correctly.”
“We have been together for over a year now, staying fully staffed with minimal changes to the team,” said Deborah. “The teamwork and communication that has been built out of this year is amazing. We are an easy-going group but in the best way.”
Aside from the people and laid-back culture of the farm, what he enjoys most about his job is the positive impact he makes every day, specifically in the farrowing barns.
“Farrowing is where I started my career in the swine industry, and it’s where it all begins with a pig’s life,” Larry said. “I prioritize newborn piglet care and work closely with Carlos and Nancy, our newborn specialists, to ensure we provide the best care possible from the minute they’re born. It’s a gratifying job.”
“Larry is a great boss, and we’re lucky to have him leading us towards the top of the SelectPride rankings,” said Esmerelda, a breeding lead. “He has great experience in pig care that he shares with us every day.”
“I enjoy being in the barns, working right alongside my team, teaching them all that I can,” said Larry. “It takes time, but it builds a strong team, which is most important.”