Laura Celebrates 25 Years with Iowa Select Farms
Congratulations to Laura for celebrating 25 years with Iowa Select Farms!
Although she started her career at Miller Sow 13 as an animal caretaker and also worked as manager of Nurseries 3 and 7, Laura is most commonly recognized for her tenure on the gene transfer center (GTC) team. For the past 22 years, she has been an AI lab specialist and/or manager at B001, Hefner B004 and Cheers B005.
A native of South Dakota, Laura studied and obtained her Bachelor Degrees in both animal science production and agricultural education, with a minor in farm and ranch management from South Dakota State University. She loved spending time with children and thought she would enjoy being an educator, but after falling into a pig elective and then swine research for 2.5 years, she decided to follow her passion of working with animals.
In her current role at Cheers, Laura is responsible for the day-to-day lab operations, including order taking and filling, problem solving, daily collection strategies, training new employees, accurate record keeping, general maintenance, repair and upkeep of lab equipment, choreographing lab activities and much more—so you can see why she’s so grateful for an incredible team.
“The sense of family that prevails at “the stud” is definitely the best part of my job,” said Laura. “My coworkers are amazing and we all take great pride in what we do. We strive for the best because we know it has a profound impact on the company and our production.”
Last year, Laura helped cut the ribbon on Cheers, Iowa Select Farms’ newest GTC. Since then, she’s spent a lot of time reflecting on the changes and progress Iowa Select Farms has made.
“When I first started, the boar stud was still a relatively new concept in the swine industry. There were a few, but not many,” she said. “To see where the studs have gone is just amazing. Mr. Hansen trusted our vision when we first talked about Cheers and even gave us room to grow into the future. His support of progress and innovation is very appreciated and why I think we’re such a successful company today.”
Outside of work, Laura enjoys channeling her creative-side and paints, reads, makes jewelry and writes. In fact, her husband, Calvin, (sneakily) submitted one of Laura’s murder mysteries to a publisher and they are working with her to get it published online. She admitted that she also has a few children’s stories in the works.
“My job is definitely more analytical, so it may come as a surprise to most that I also have a creative side,” she said. “But there are times in the lab that require some creativity, as well. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy my job so much.”
When she thinks back on the past 25 years, one thing that stands out to Laura is the phenomenal growth of Iowa Select Farms. “The company was always doing things before they were mandated,” she said. “I’ve always thought we’re proactive, especially on our conservation efforts. Our farms are well-cared for and we strive to be good neighbors. That’s meant a lot to me over the years. The little things make a big impact.”
But mostly, she’s grateful for the people she’s had an opportunity to work with over the years. “There’s been a lot of good, caring and creative people that have made Iowa Select Farms what it is today,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of them. And while there were probably a lot of headaches as we grew, their hard work paid off. There’s a lot to be proud of.”
Congratulations on 25 years, Laura!