"Take care of issues as early in the turn as you can, before they become bigger problems"

posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

“Take care of issues as early in the turn as you can, before they become bigger problems,” said Bryan, the site manager at Reisetter F16 near Ellsworth—a farm that will most likely contribute 12 million pounds of pork towards our billion pound goal.

Bryan is referring to the care and attention the pigs need while they adapt to their new surroundings and welcome new pen mates, a time period where pigs can have trouble getting feed from the feeders, finding their way to the waterers and also getting picked on by other pigs that are larger or more aggressive.

BryanThough Bryan oversees a “grower” that receives 50 pound pigs coming out of a nursery or an “undouble stocked” load of pigs from a wean-to-finish farm, the transition from barn to barn can still be tough, even on larger pigs.

“I watch carefully as they come in, walk the pens and make sure they get settled into their new surroundings,” said Bryan. “At this phase we still sort out smaller ones and get them into a separate pen, then I watch the general population carefully for any signs that might indicate they are sick—such as how they look, how they walk, and if they are eating, drinking and behaving

Because finishing farms are typically smaller, each farm has a farm manager and, depending on the size, one or two technicians. Which means site managers are accountable for a whole host of responsibilities, according to Bryan.

First and foremost

Bryan“We first and foremost take care of the pigs,” said Bryan, which means taking care of the feeding, ventilation and waterer equipment, the entire inside environment of the barn and the individual care each pig needs to thrive. “Good critical thinking skills go a long way as problems gone unnoticed or ones that are not taken care of early on tend to increase exponentially.”

“One of the great things about Bryan is his willingness to do whatever is asked of him and his drive to go above and beyond,” said Jeremiah, Bryan’s supervisor. “With Bryan finishing his degree at Iowa State University, on the days he has class he comes in early to get his work done and if he’s not comfortable with how he left the farm he’ll come back after class.”

Bryan started with Iowa Select Farms in 2014 as a finishing technician, then was promoted a few months later to a finishing manager. Today, Bryan is a member of the Production Leadership Program where he’s working his way towards the position of Junior Finishing Supervisor where he will take on 35,000 pig spaces and supervise multiple farm managers within a territory.

“I enjoy my job because I am given a lot of freedom in how I accomplish tasks at the farm and control the farm’s operations,” said Bryan, referring to how he is able to set his own daily schedule around walking the pens, administering treatments, sorting pigs, ordering feed and supplies and entering data into Tools.

Dedication and leadership

“Bryan has tremendous dedication and leadership,” said Jeremiah. “A good example of his dedication is when we had the blizzard this year. I told the guys that someone would need to stay overnight at the farm, and Bryan was the first to volunteer. As soon as he did the tech spoke up and also offered to stay in case something was to happen. That shows me just how much respect Bryan had earned from his reports. After staying the first night Bryan called me and asked if he could stay again because he had heard that it was supposed to get bad again that night and was afraid he wouldn’t be able to get to the farm. To me that says a lot about his character and dedication.”

“The herd has been entrusted in my stewardship, and it’s important to me that I get the details right,” said Bryan. “My commitment to get us to a billion pound is to really focus on solving issues immediately, as early in the turn as possible, because the sooner you fix it the better results you’ll have, and the more pounds this farm will send to market.” ‪#‎billonpounds‬

P.S. – If you were wondering…Bryan’s current herd came from Nursery 3!