Sow 25 Names Most Improved Sow Farm
Congratulations to Sow 25 on being named the Most Improved Sow Farm!
“When you talk about committing to a goal and overcoming adversity, that’s Sow 25 in a nutshell,” said sow supervisor, Mark. “I couldn’t be any prouder of this group, how far they’ve come and now, how far they’ll go.”
Earlier last year, Sow 25 experienced a devastating PRRS break. PRRS breaks can be difficult, both physically and emotionally, but this specific break was made even more difficult at Sow 25 because only one of the farm’s employees had experienced PRRS before.
“It was certainly eye-opening to Zach, the farm’s manager at the time, and the rest of the crew,” explained Mark. “We didn’t really have any time to waste, so we hit the ground running.”
Mark spent every day at the farm in the following weeks to guide the farm staff on cleanup and movements. To make matters worse, at the same time the farm was batting PRRS, they were also experiencing a staffing shortage.
“There were days we had five, maybe six, people to help with vaccinations and movements,” recalled Zach. “But through all of the hard work, everyone kept pushing. The team pulled together to reorganize breeding and save as many pigs as possible in farrowing. We had an awesome, committed group."
According to Mark, the entire crew was exceptional at executing the “have to’s” that kept the farm running during this difficult time. “I’m not sure I’ve ever had a group of employees catch onto things so quickly,” he said. “Everyone was a quick study and executed the plans laid out perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for more out of them than they were already giving. You could tell they wanted to succeed.”
Katie, the farm’s veterinarian and director of biosecurity, couldn’t agree more. “Going through a PRRS break is no easy feat, even for our most tenured employees,” she said. “Sow 25 has kept a great attitude through it all, which I think has been key in their success. They’re always asking great questions and striving for continuous improvement.”
In addition to Zach, the farm team was comprised of breeding department head, Jose, farrowing department head, Denia, assistant farrowing department head, Erik, breeding leads Jazmin, Angeles, Diana, Jose and Itzer, heat check specialist, Luis, newborn pig specialist, Daniela, and animal caretakers, Catlyn and Jocelyn.
The farm is now managed by Rogelio, who recently transferred from Sow 39 as Zach transitioned to Sow 34 manager.
“I am grateful for all the hard work that Zach, Mark and the entire team put in prior to me coming to Sow 25,” said Rogelio. “I’ve got a great team, which has helped me transition into the manager role. There’s a lot of new things on my plate, and so I’m especially grateful to have such a knowledgeable, hardworking team by my side.”
During a two-week period between Zach’s departure and Rogelio’s start date, Jose and Denia rotated management responsibilities. Once Rogelio came, Mark says he did a “masterful” job of stepping in and leading the crew as they get close to starting PRRS elimination protocols.
“This crew, every single one of them, has been absolutely outstanding to work with,” continued Mark. “They have all put forth a grand effort towards getting Sow 25 on the path to becoming PRRS free and getting the farm back on top. They’ve showed a lot of resilience getting the farm back in shape and making the most of a difficult situation.”
Congrats to Zach, Jose, Denia, Erik, Jazmin, Angeles, Diana, Jose, Itzer, Luis, Daniela, Catlyn, Jocelyn and Rogelio on being named the Most Improved Sow Farm. We can’t wait to see where 2021 takes you!