“When we started the safety award program four years ago we only had five sow farms qualify,” said Eric Wiechmann, safety manager for Iowa Select Farms. “It’s amazing to see the progress the teams have made in such a short period of time and I stand behind the farm managers in saying I could not be more proud of the hard work our employees have put into staying safe on the job.”
Congratulations to the teams at Sow 1, Sow 5, Sow 11, Sow 14, Sow 16, Sow 17, Sow 18, Sow 20, Sow ...21, Sow 22, Sow 23, Sow 24, Sow 26, Sow 27, Sow 28, Sow 29, Sow 114, Sow 115 and Sow 116 for earning safety performance recognition for Q4.
Special mention to Mikey Shields and his team at Sow 28 for earning the Safety Award three quarters in a row; Lawra Mathes at Sow 21 and John Hoffman at Sow 26 and their teams for earning the Safety Award four quarters in a row; Cesar Sanchez-Garza at Sow 5 and Mike Spalding at Sow 118 and their teams for earning the Safety Award five quarters in a row; and finally—huge shout out to Kaci Pohlman and the Sow 24 team and Aaron Perry and the Sow 27 for SEVEN QUARTERS IN A ROW!
Earning quarterly Safety Award recognition means the teams received a minimum score of 90% on their quarterly assessment, followed the safety protocols, completed the monthly Safety Talks and prevented on-farm injuries.
“Safety is something that we take very personally at our farm,” said Lawra Mathes, Sow 21 farm manager. “We’re like a family -- that’s how much we care about each other. We never want anyone to get hurt so we are constantly focusing on training and improvement.”
And Lawra and her team’s focus is working—2016 was the first year that Sow 21 received the safety award all four quarters in a row. “We’ve learned that if you fix problems ahead of time, it saves you a lot in the long run,” said Lawra. “For example, if we see someone moving sows wrong, we stop right then and there and use it as a teachable moment. We can’t risk anyone getting injured, we need everyone at the farm every day to meet our goals.”
Q4 was also notable for Sow 20, led by Melissa Houseman, who received their first ever safety award. “It starts with simply following the protocols,” said Melissa. “We’ve had quite a few new employees this quarter so continuously training them on the proper SOPs and protocols is important not just for their success, but the overall success of the farm.”
“Seeing this program grow has been really exciting,” continued Wiechmann. “It’s truly amazing how much everyone has improved and how the caretakers are working together to keep their employees and animals as safe as possible.” #billionplus