Rogelio: Welcome New Ideas and Collaboration
“The Sow Livability Task Force gave us a lot of ideas to increase our sow herd retention,” explained Rogelio Cruz Bracamontez, the manager of Wright sow farm. “They helped us determine the proper setting for the feed boxes and showed us how to standardize the body condition score for each animal to understand the amount of feed they require more accurately. This helped us improve the livability of the sows on our farm.”
Rogelio is talking about a new initiative from Iowa Select Farms to improve birth-to-market livability in our sows. In 2021, we organized the Sow Livability Task Force to review and identify factors to increase sow retention. Currently, the task force collaborates with a team at Iowa State University that focuses on swine research.
We also created positions for three sow retention specialists to support farm teams in implementing the findings and recommendations of the task force. These specialists serve as a resource to foster better, more consistent animal care and help implement innovative changes on farms like Rogelio’s.
“Like any change, it is never easy to accept the new things right away,” said Rogelio. “Change requires patience on the part of the employee and time to adapt and see if it is beneficial or not. We have seen many benefits, and we feel good about this.”
By implementing new practices, sow farms can make strides to increase livability. For example, these company-wide efforts have helped retain about 150 sows weekly. However, none of this progress would be possible without the leadership of our employees, who are eager to carry out changes and try new things.
“Rogelio is a persevering and visionary person who isn’t afraid of change,” said Andres Robles Garcia, Rogelio’s supervisor. “He has been in the company for seven years and has faced different challenges as the head of departments on different farms and now as a farm manager. Through it all, he has clear priorities on the farm to guarantee the welfare of the sows.”
Managers like Rogelio and their teams are essential to foster continual improvement in the quality of our animal care throughout our entire sow herd. These dedicated and innovative employees are critical to humanely raising healthy and productive animals in a comfortable and safe environment.
“He is always pushing his team to do better. He is involved in each of the most critical processes with his team, and every day he makes good decisions to promote livability,” said Andres.