Select Pride Award Goes to Chawn and His Team

posted on Thursday, April 14, 2022

Chawn at on of his pig farms
“We got back to the basics in quarter three, and that all ties back to the absolute best animal care my growers and I can provide to our pigs,” said Chawn, a finishing supervisor near Riceville.

Since starting with Iowa Select Farms in 2015, Chawn’s been at the top of finishing rankings. Once again, he proved his team has what it takes and took first place for the Q3 2021 SelectPride award. Congratulations to Chawn and his growers and contractors—Dean, Ed, Mike, Corey, Sal, Bob, Jade, Mike, Cory, Ken, Janet, Dennis, Ivan, Carlos and Dave.

“I feel fortunate to have continually worked with the same caretakers for years,” said Chawn. “They are responsible and accountable to their animals and farm and their tenure gives us the room to make improvements on the little things, such as biosecurity protocols, production well-being audits and great pig care.”

Another area that Chawn and his managers focused on was their marketing abilities. Marketing pigs is the process of evaluating and sorting pigs by weight or harvest specifications, then sending the market-ready hogs to the packer.

“Chawn and his team are very well organized, which is why they are continually represented in the top ten of our finishing supervisors,” said Tom, a senior finishing supervisor. “His execution and timing is an area where Chawn excels. He knows everything going on with his pigs and farms and makes good decisions.”

Throughout each day, Chawn and his growers challenge each other to champion Iowa Select Farm's four pillars—people care, animal care, environment care and community care.

“It all starts with taking care of each other,” said Chawn when talking about his managers. “It’s important that we show our gratitude and respect for the continued hard work that’s put in.”

Chawn ensures they have everything they need to successfully manage their farm. Caring for our people is the heart of Iowa Select Farms, and without it, Chawn is sure his team would not be as cohesive. Talking at least several times a week on the phone and meeting at the farm provides a critical base of excellent communication among this team.

“Chawn shines in his people care leadership,” said Tom. “He’s always willing to lend an extra hand and help other area supervisors in need.”

Creating a healthy environment through people care leads to good animal care every day. Chawn says they achieve this by monitoring herd health closely. They are proactive in providing treatment and work with their vet, Katie, to maintain health throughout their farm.

Reacting to the slightest changes in health makes a huge difference in the outcome of the pig.

Chawn emphasizes environmental care because of its impacts both in and out of the farm.

"During the third quarter, we were preparing for fall manure pumping season and kept very close conversations with the nutrient management department to make sure we were fully prepared." Additionally, Chawn and his growers keep their farm appearances in good condition for the neighbors and members of each community we farm in.

“It’s important for me to make sure my farms look great,” he says. “Simple things like mowing the lawn or plowing snow, but also cleaning up occasional feed spills when they happen. Our farms are something to be proud of, and I want to keep them in good condition."

Beyond the farm, though, Chawn and his team love to give back to the communities where they farm and live—a testament to our community care pillar. The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation programs support many communities, including those in Mitchell and Howard counties, where Chawn and his managers have farms. They often participate in Operation Christmas Meal, Veteran’s Day and Haul out Hunger, each of those working to combat hunger in Iowa.

“All of us love our communities and want to give back whenever possible,” said Chawn.

Focusing on Iowa Select Farm's pillars provides guidance for Chawn and his growers that result in significant production, quarter after quarter. We can’t wait to see what else this group has to offer.