Louis Celebrates 20 Years with Iowa Select Farms

posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Congratulations to Louis who recently celebrated 20 years with Iowa Select Farms!

For the past two decades, Louis’ goals have revolved around having fun every day, while still getting everything done and being efficient. And for anyone who knows Louis, he’s crushed those goals.

“I’m a competitive guy,” he chuckled. “But I’m also super laid-back when it comes to being a manager. Heck, you spend more time at work than you do with your family so it’s important to have positive relationships on farm. If you don’t have fun at work then what’s the point?”

Back in 2000, Louis was looking for a job and as a Diagonal resident, knew all about Iowa Select Farms. He recalled a conversation with a friend who worked at the company saying they had good benefits and paid well, especially if you worked hard. He applied and was hired on the spot.

Louis’ first job was at Parker Sow 16. He was promoted to breeding department head at Sow 15 where he worked for five years, then it was over to Ochyskli Sow 17 where he managed the farrowing department for ten years.

“I’ve always loved a challenge, so I remember after consistently hitting 97% conception rates as breeding department head, I was ready for a new challenge and that’s when I went to Sow 17,” he recalled. “I’m always looking for the next challenge. There’s no down time or sitting still for me.”

After Sow 17, Louis’ next challenge was heading back to Sow 15 to revamp the breeding department while also working as an assistant manager alongside Doug. He transitioned to sow supervisor for a year and now he works as the Sow 15 farm manager.

“I love being a sow farm manager because you get to help your people and farm be successful,” he said. “We focus on training and hitting production targets. The moment you see a lightbulb go off for an employee—that’s what it’s all about.”

For Louis, it doesn’t seem like that long-ago farms were switching from crate gestation to open-pen and from individual semen doses to multi-dose bags. “We’ve steadily evolved over the years and it’s been fun to see the company grow,” he said. “I’ve seen the rise in production numbers and remember when you were excited to wean 1,737 pigs a week to hit your bonus. Today, that number is around 2,310.”

Outside of work, Louis jokes that he doesn’t do much other than sleep and spend time with his family, along with an occasional camping trip here and there. “What can I say, I work a lot because I enjoy the work and try to be the best, it’s my competitive side,” he laughed. “I have a weekly action list that I won’t quit working on until it’s done. I’m making sure all animals are bred and accounted for and if they’re not, you bet I’m going to figure it out before the day’s done.”

As he looks towards the future, Louis is excited to continue training the next generation of farm managers for Iowa Select Farms. “As a manager, my mentality is to train my team to take my job,” he smirked. “It sounds crazy and maybe not the smartest for my job security, but at the end of the day, I want to train my team to be the best they possibly can. For me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Congratulations on 20 great years, Louis! We appreciate the enthusiasm and dedication you bring to work every single day.