Sow 118 Clenches Q2 Select Pride Victory
Congratulations to the team at Sow 118 for clenching the Q2 first-place SelectPride victory! The crew celebrate their win with a small BBQ yesterday after work.
“Although this farm may be small, it’s very mighty,” said sow supervisor, Don. “Since being promoted to manager back in January of 2019, Loni and the team have seen steady increases in production every quarter, concluding with this win in the second quarter, but I know they’re not done improving. They plan to continue working hard to maintain a certain level of excellence.”
In addition to Loni, the farm team consists of breeding department head, Brandon, farrowing department head, Josh, assistant farrowing department head, Vina, and animal caretakers, Abbie, Jordan, Courtney and Tony.
For Loni, these past two years have included tremendous growth, both personally and for the farm. One of the first things she did as manager was taking a look at the farm’s non-productive days and figuring out why they were so high. “I spent a lot of time behind the scenes and after work crunching the numbers,” she said. “Then it was all about putting in the work, gaining my team’s trust, communicating with them and leaning on them for support.”
According to Don, she has successfully assembled a team of transfers and existing employees. “Loni works well with people to become a unified team that chase after the same goals,” he said. “She takes the time to work with each team member individually, even if that means individual action plans or goals for them to succeed.”
Prior to working as Sow 118 farm manager, Loni worked as an animal caretaker and farrowing department head, but lacked experience in the breeding department. So, for her, having Brandon, Tony and Jordan in the breeding department has been a lifesaver.
“I actually worked with Brandon at Sow 28, so I knew how skilled he was in breeding—that guy knows his stuff,” she said. “The breeding department is the driver of a farm and have a huge impact on production numbers, specifically farrow rate and total born. Our breeding department is amazing and definitely deserve major kudos.”
Last quarter, the farm ended up with an 89.6% Farrow Rate, 15.94 Total Born and 14.44 Born Alive—all scores that put them in the top 4 of the company. On the farrowing side, the Sow 118 team is equally as competitive, ending the quarter with 12.57 pigs per litter and 79.07% Total Born Conversion, brining the overall production of the farm to 30.94 PSY.
The farm’s veterinarian, Shamus, says the farm is extremely clean and organized, including the entry way and office, which sets the tone for how the farm looks. “During my last visit I also noticed how that same cleanliness and organization was on display in the farrowing rooms,” he said. “I was very impressed that every piglet was correctly identified and treated—probably one of the best I’ve seen.”
“Anytime you get these kinds of production numbers, you know you have all of the sprockets turning,” said Don, in reference to a Habitudes training our managers completed earlier in the year. “And when you’ve got everything working correctly, you just continue pushing to new heights, which is exactly what this team is doing. They are definitely headed in the right direction.”
Although we couldn’t pay a visit to the farm, Loni wanted everyone to know about the whiteboard her team has in their breakroom with the following goals outlined: top ten, decrease sow death loss, increase pigs out the door and get rid of scour issues. Thus far in 2020, the team has already reached their goals.
“Our team is very motivated,” said Josh, the farm’s farrowing department head. “We’re a pretty close-knit group that works well together. Everyone knows everyone’s strengths and uses that to make the most of every day.”
Now, the team doesn’t want to fall below the top five, but with a younger herd (getting ready to farrow P6’s) Loni is feeling as confident in her team. “I’m definitely not the one that got us into the number one spot,” she said. “It was everyone working together and that’s how we’ll continue to succeed—together.”