Nick Celebrates 15 Years with Iowa Select Farms
Congratulations to Nick for celebrating 15 years with Iowa Select Farms!
Like most, Nick is having a hard time grasping how the time has flown by so quickly. But as they say, time flies when you’re becoming more efficient and crushing breed targets—or was that not quite how the saying goes?
“I think back to my first day and it seems like it was forever ago based on how much things have changed,” he said. “From how our barns are built and the technology we have implemented, to breed targets and the number of employees at the company, it’s almost as if we’ve done a 180-degree change in the best way.”
Since starting his career in the Sow 27 breeding department, the Osage native has worked solely in GDUs. After a year at Sow 27, he was promoted to manager at Kiss G162 (now a finisher) and he remained there until the opening of Saratoga G733 in 2017.
“At the time, Saratoga was unlike any GDU Iowa Select Farms had seen before,” he said. “Aside from having positive pressure filtration, which was huge, the farm was able to supply gilts for six or seven sow farms, instead of each sow farm having a GDU dedicated solely to them. That also meant our breed targets were way higher.”
“Way” higher, indeed! During the initial breeding project when the farm opened, the team was tasked with breeding 450 gilts per week.
“I remember every week looking at our targets and thinking, ‘there’s no way we’re going to hit those’, but we always did,” he smiled. “It was a really fun environment to be in. Crazy and hectic at times, for sure, but it will always one of the fondest memories of my career.”
Fast-forward to present day and Nick continues to enjoy the everyday challenges that working on a GDU brings. The farm’s current breed targets are now around 250/week, and in addition to breeding, Nick helps with pregnancy checking, filter checks, animal care, marking and moving loads and general farm maintenance.
“I enjoy that in a GDU you get to see the results of your hard work,” he said. “For example, I like preg checking because you can almost practically tell the litter size on a small screen. It’s rewarding to know that we’re making an impact.”
Outside of work, Nick enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their four children, Brad, Ethan, Becca and Genesis. As a family they enjoy camping and following the kids’ activities. From dance to sports, they are a busy bunch!
As he reflect on the past and starts to look towards the future, Nick is excited to see how the company continues to evolve.
“Not everyone views change as a good thing, but I look forward to it because it challenges you and makes you a better person,” he said. “I enjoy learning new technologies that make us better pig farmers. My knowledge and skills have improved so much over time and I’m excited to see what else is in store.”
Congrats on 15 years, Nick! Thanks for your hard work and dedication to the Iowa Select Farms team.