Salvador Wins Select Care Excellence Award

posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2022

“Salvador’s work ethic is unmatched,” said Chris Fields, manager of Nursery 7 near Belmond. “He is so kind to others, he’s a great animal caretaker, he helps out other farms, and his quality of work is always tremendous.”

Chris is talking about his Nursery 7 caretaker, Salvador Villa Arteaga, winner of the Q3 2021 Select Care Excellence Award. This award is one of the highest awards any employee at Iowa Select Farms can achieve.

Salvador has been with Iowa Select Farms for over ten years, primarily working in the nursery system in north central Iowa. Currently a caretaker at Nursery 7, he’s rotated through the caretaking teams at Nurseries 10, 113 and 112.

What makes Salvador unique is his willingness to help other areas of the company when he’s not caring for the animals at his farm. He has lent his skills to inspect trailers at the truck wash and to nearby finishers to help with treatments, load-outs and cleaning feed bins.
Salvador says he enjoys pig care first and foremost, but his colleagues say his effort goes above and beyond.

“It’s not uncommon for Salvador to stay late to help fix fans and repair flooring,” said Nahum Bahena, supervisor of Nursery 7. “He’s always looking for ways to help and never complains.”

“I enjoy what I do at my farm because everyone here does what is best for the pigs,” said Salvador. “I like seeing the pigs when they are younger and how well they grow when they are healthy. We can see what we accomplished with our hard work, and the extra jobs we take on also help the pigs and the people.”

He also says Chris and his other co-worker, Robert LaValle, keep things lighthearted and fun.

“I know they have my back when needed,” said Salvador.
That’s a feeling that is undoubtedly mutual, and what Chris says makes him a great teammate and employee.

“He has everyone’s back, going above and beyond to lend his talents to his farm and the farms and teams around him,” said Chris.

Chris Smith, another finishing supervisor who has worked closely with Salvador and the Nursery 7 team, is happy to see Salvador recognized with the SelectCare Excellence Award. “He has a great attitude, and I’ve always enjoyed working with him.”

Nahum also agrees, adding that one person’s attitude can make a big impact— good and bad—on the farm team and the pigs in their care and Salvador always chooses to stay positive.

“He’s always positive, in a good mood and willing to help out anyone,” said Nahum. The N7 team of Chris, Roberto and Salvador is an excellent example of a good farm team.”

When told that he had won the award, Salvador was taken aback.
“I just try to do what is best and learn from my mistakes,” he said, quickly showing appreciation to his team of Chris, Chris, Nahum, Robert and James Bergert, the farm’s maintenance technician.

“I like what I do and am impressed with how much we as a company have improved our people and pig care over the years—that’s why I stay,” said Salvador. My best memories are going to Adventureland and even going sledding on snow-filled days on the hill behind N7.”

Salvador says he enjoyed spending time with his family and dog, Tyson, and fishing.