Travis Celebrates 15 Years with Iowa Select Farms

posted on Monday, February 15, 2021

Shoutout to Travis for recently celebrating 15 years with Iowa Select Farms!

It may come as a shocker to most that Travis is a bona fide “city kid”. Although he’s from the rural community of Mount Ayr, neither he, his parents nor grandparents grew up on a farm.Travis first dipped his toes into pig farming when a friend who managed another local pig farm encouraged him to apply. He enjoyed the work and when an opportunity to work at Iowa Select Farms opened, he applied.

Travis’ first job was working at Jernquist Sow 15 in the breeding department. From there, he transferred to Ochylski Sow 17 where he continued to work in the breeding department but helped in farrowing on the weekends. He then further diversified his experience with a transfer to gilt development team working at Shirley G039, breeding, preg checking and caring for gilts. In his current role, Travis manages Dolecheck, Howard and helps at Lee. All three are multiplication sites that provide replacement gilts for sow farms in our system. Fun fact—the farms recently earned top honors in company SelectPride rankings!

In the past fifteen years, Travis has learned there are three things that are instrumental to a farm’s success: herd health, biosecurity and a happy work environment.

“If you’ve got those things, you’re going to be successful,” he said. “As a manager you will learn where to spend extra time—sometimes it’s on animal care and sometimes it’s simply getting to know your team. Both are equally important and will contribute to the farm’s long-term success.

Outside of work, Travis is kept on his toes just as much as he is on-farm. He’s a single parent to twin five-year-old's, Kolter and Kannon.

“Everything I do, I do for my boys,” he said. “The freedom and flexibility of this job is one of the things that I love about it. It allows me to be there for my boys and I’m grateful for that.”

In addition to spending time with his boys, Travis stays busy traveling the country playing in competitive slow pitch softball teams, managing the bowling alley in Mount Ayr and outdoor activities, like hunting, fishing and now ice fishing. It’s hard for Travis to believe that fifteen years has gone by what seems to be the blink of an eye.

“If you would have told me as a kid that I’d be managing pig farms someday, I probably would have laughed at you,” he smirked. “But now here I am all these years, grateful for my job and playing it day-by-day, striving to do the best I can. It’s been a fun journey.”

Congratulations, Travis! Thanks for fifteen years of dedication to excellence in animal and farm care.