posted on Friday, September 13, 2019
Ever wonder what happens at a sow farm immediately after an open house? Well, after a lot of power washing, power washing and then some more power washing—in come the animals.
It’s been 18 months since the crew at Primrose Sow 37 welcomed their first group of bred gilts and they’ve finally made it to the top! The farm has been in the #1 SelectPride spot now amongst all other sow farms for two weeks in a row.
Thus far in the third quarter, Sow 37 has weaned 50,489 pigs—nearly 10,000 more pigs than projected.
“We really struggled in the beginning, so it’s exciting to finally be in the top spot,” said Aaron Perry, the farm’s manager. “Jordan and I were texting each other immediately after the results were made public. This is a really big deal to us because it just shows how far we’ve come.”
Except for four people, the crew at Sow 37 was comprised of brand-new employees when they opened their doors in the spring of 2018. The day after gilts were brought it, animals started farrowing.
“It was definitely a hectic couple of months,” recalled Jordan Kraft, the farm’s farrowing department head. “For many of our employees, this job was the first time they had ever laid eyes on a pig. So not only did we have to figure out how to operate as a new farm, but we also had to train on the basics.”
Between learning “the basics” like chores, observations, animal care, and movements and record-keeping and keeping up with daily farm tasks, there were a lot of long days, weeks and even months at Sow 37.
“We tried to explain to everyone that it wouldn’t always be this way, but since they were new, they had nothing to compare it to,” explained Jordan. “But now everyone gets it. We’ve got a good thing going, morale is great and we’re all working together. Not only does everyone know a lot more than when they started, but they consistently want to keep learning even more new things. This is much more than a job now, it’s something they truly care about.”
In addition to the crew finally being in a great spot, so is the farm’s herd.
“Overall this group of animals is what we call parity prime,” said Aaron. “Most of our animals are P3s and P4s and we’ve been healthy, other than a few small challenges here and there. We’re excited to see what the rest of Q3 and Q4 has in store.”
Congrats to the hard-working crew at Sow 37! Keep up the great work.
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Ashley Dyer Heads Hooper Sow Farm Farrowing Department
As the farrowing department head, Ashley and her team of Selene, Vivian, Dolly, David, Zory, Hugo, Alonzo and Yulissa—to name a few—will receive the gestating sows within a day or two of farrowing, make them comfortable, monitor health and feed intake, and then assist with birthing.