Rogelio Cruz Makes Impact at Iowa Select Farms
“It’s rewarding to share all of the knowledge I’ve gained over the past five years with new employees,” said Rogelio Cruz Bracamontez. “To see an employee advance and be promoted within the company because of the help you showed them is really cool. I love seeing others succeed.”
Rogelio Cruz was one of the first employees to join Iowa Select Farm’s international recruitment program for TN professionals in 2015. Since growing up on cattle farm in the small community of Santa Maria Nduayaco, Oaxaca, Mexico, he’s always had a passion for livestock. After graduating from college with a degree in animal science and working for several years on the Oaxaca State Livestock Development and Protection Committee, Rogelio decided it was time for a new challenge.
The TN visa program allows for professionals of in-demand professions to come to the United States from Mexico or Canada. Equipped with degrees in animal science, agricultural studies and agricultural engineering, Iowa Select Farms has been honored to welcome these specialized positions to our sow farms in recent years. Last June, the company started a TN leadership council to better serve the needs of our employees and Rogelio was selected as a leader.
“Rogelio is as calm and collected as they come,” said Megan Kaestner, HR Specialist. “He's extremely approachable and he is one of those that leads by example; you can tell that his peers respect him because of that.”
The Council meets quarterly and each leader comes equipped with feedback from their peers to collaborate with HR on topics ranging from policies to parties. The Council is also focused on fostering engagement in their communities, volunteer-efforts and creating a welcoming environment for all employees.
HR leaders have noted how prepared he is at their meetings with questions and feedback, which ultimately provide them with helpful feedback on how to better communicate a message or approach.
“I think the Council has made a big impact in a short period of time,” said Rogelio. “Not only are we a voice for coworkers, but we’re able to reach out to new employees and provide information that makes adjusting to life in Iowa easier.”
Outside of his involvement on the Council, Rogelio is active in local sports leagues and works as the breeding department head at one of our newest farms, Yale Sow 39. The farm’s manager, Bill Bergquist, says Rogelio has been instrumental in getting the farm up and running.
“When we first opened as a farm, we bred 7,450 pigs in three and a half short months,” explained Bill. “That wouldn’t have been possible without Rogelio. He took the time to train our employees on breeding, heat checking and pregnancy checking. He focused on doing everything right every single day.”
According to Bill, Rogelio is a breath of fresh air for the farm. His optimism and positivity are contagious.
“To me, a successful leader is someone who takes the time to learn their team’s strengths and develop their opportunities,” he said. “They’re patient, enthusiastic and easy to approach. But above all, good leaders know that it takes everyone working together on their team to achieve the best results.”
Rogelio has always liked his work, but says that this job in particular is one that he thoroughly enjoys.
“We work a lot as a team, so our ability to carry out daily tasks is dependent on the relationships the team’s leader helps cultivate,” he said. “I work hard to always be fair when assigning daily tasks, encourage my team and support my coworkers in everything that they do. Both at work at outside of the farm, I’m always encouraging everyone to be the best they can possibly be.”