Mike Named Top Finishing Supervisor for 2021

posted on Friday, September 9, 2022

Mike inside a finishing barnMike grew up on a farm near Ackley and launched into his career in pig farming when he was a senior in high school. Long hours mowing around barns soon opened up an opportunity for him to help chore the barns as a contracted site manager.

After three years, he was encouraged to join the company full-time. He accepted a feeder pig specialist position, then later transitioned to a finishing supervisor, where today he oversees 23 farms and four site managers.

Since those days of mowing, Mike has proven himself to be an excellent caretaker and a great trainer, supervisor, mentor and friend.

His dedication to his job and ability to champion and support his team shone through when he earned the Top Finishing Supervisor award for 2021. An award that not only recognized Mike but also his team of Lane Bass, Leann Myers, Chase Capper and Kyle Kampman.

When talking with Mike, it’s not hard to tell he’s happiest working in the barns alongside his team. He’s known for launching impromptu contests and light-hearted competitions around marketing results, production audit scores and anything he can find that scores and measures success. He says it challenges himself and others around him to get better.

“Mike’s a unique individual,” said Lane Bass, a site manager who oversees ten barns throughout the Butler county area. “He’s fun to work with, and he gets the best out of you. He’s good at holding his team accountable.”

Lane says they began working together when Mike was a feeder pig specialist. “He’d come into my farms and help sort pigs and look for belly ruptures.”

Then, he became Lane’s supervisor. “He makes the days go smoother. I talk to him daily, and he’s always available for me, especially when I need another set of eyes on the younger pigs. On the marketing side, which I do on my farms, he helps me by previewing the pigs and makes good recommendations.”

“I think what makes Mike so successful is his team approach,” said Tom Boge, senior finishing supervisor. “He communicates well with his managers; he’s never afraid to ask questions and always exhibits a ‘get after it’ approach to the day.”

His co-workers say he’s great to be around, and he’s particularly good at mentoring and training newer finishing supervisors because of his natural abilities.

“Mike, at his core, is a great caretaker,” said Trent Myers, Mike’s supervisor. “He knows how to run a barn, spots sick pigs, manages pens and gets air, feed and water right—and he’s great at sharing that knowledge and helping others get better in a way few can.”

Trent also appreciates how he is a champion for change, which is happening right now in the finishing system. “As we’ve been evolving our finishing approach and roles to emphasize feeder pig care and overall livability, he’s been a tremendous help.”

Of course, Mike shies away from the commotion and quickly passes the accolades to his growers.

“It makes me proud to see them be successful, and I’m grateful for a good, experienced group of dedicated growers who oversee the farms daily.”

Congratulations, Mike, on earning the title of Top Finishing Supervisor!