Marco: Good Training Means Good Animal Care

posted on Thursday, October 6, 2022

Marco helping care for a new piglet.

"I am very committed to my job duties and want the best for both the animals and my fellow caretakers here,” said Marco Paulin Mendoza, an animal caretaker at Sow Farm 114 and TN visa mentor. “When the employees are trained, the pigs are well-cared for, and my job is to help them understand why what they do is important and give them the tools to reach their goals.”

Marco is here on a TN visa—a program of the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (formerly called NAFTA) that allows people with specific, professional degrees to enter the US to work temporarily.

Like many, he came to the United States from Mexico to work for Iowa Select Farms, so he understands the needs of a new employee firsthand. Marco’s knowledge of Mexican culture allows him to relate to TN employees and better equips him to help them find their place in the Iowa Select Farms family.

“It’s a big, complex responsibility,” said Marco. “I’m ensuring they get off to the right start. The time dedicated to teaching new TN employees is vital. They must understand that every task is important to animal care, whether vaccinating or other job duties. Every task has a purpose.”

Today, 32% of Iowa Select Farms’ workforce demographic is Latino, which has increased by 12% since 2018 making our Latino workforce the fastest growing demographic in the company. Because of this growth, we’ve taken many new steps to create a positive work environment, teach them good pig care and welcome them to the company and their farm. Our TN mentors, like Marco, are a great example of that initiative.

In addition to the TN mentorship program, Iowa Select Farms has created a People Care Council. This group of 20 elected employee leaders represents our diverse workforce and provides feedback that helps us pinpoint training areas and growth opportunities.

Marco enjoys his work at Iowa Select Farms and is passionate about caring for pigs. He brings that same passion to his role as a mentor, living out one of our core values of people and animal care in a big way.

“Marco is a multi-functional worker and has a natural ability to teach in a simple but very effective way,” said Andres Robles, one of Marco’s past supervisors. They recommended him for the mentor program. “He has a special charisma with people, and he trains them in both the protocols and values of the company.”