Welcome Upland Sow Farm 41!
“This group has 100 years of combined pig care experience and that’s something to be proud of,” said Chad Carver, manager of Iowa Select Farms’ newest sow farm—Upland. “I know the bar has been set pretty high for us, but I expect us to meet, if not exceed, the goals set for us. It’s a really exciting opportunity to be a part of.”
Less than a week ago, local Rockwell City community members, businesses and Iowa Select Farms employees came together to celebrate Chad, his crew and their brand-new sow farm, which will be receiving gilts in one short week.
In addition to Chad, the Upland farm roster is made up of Tom Glass, Kaylynn Graber, Tyler Gresham, Tim Lamb, Jose Moreno Jr., Baylee Nicholl, Tyson Saxton, Mitchell Shropshire, Caleb Byerly, Trey Eischeid, Jacob Mere, Mickenzie Nelson and David Owen.
“I think we’ve formed a really good team at Upland,” said the farm’s supervisor, Dan Sander. “Almost everyone is well-versed with a lot of experience in pork production. I have a lot of confidence in Chad and the team to smooth over the normal farm startup ‘road bumps’ and get this farm stocked and running in no time.”
Leading up to the open house, getting Upland built and ready for employees and animals was no small feat.
“One of the great things about Iowa Select Farms is that we’re never left behind to fail,” said Chad. “Our support teams are all in. From the construction and training to auditing and getting everything set up, everyone’s got our backs and wants to see us succeed.”
Speaking of support, the gilt development teams at ISO pork, Hunt and Colfax have been working consistently for several months caring for and breeding the gilts that arrive at Upland next week.
“The GDUs have done a tremendous job preparing for this farm,” said Jeremiah Hall, director of gilt development. “Because of their hard work, we will be able to move gilts into Upland that will start farrowing two weeks after being placed. It takes a lot of consistency and skill to be that efficient and I’m really proud of everyone’s efforts.”
Concurrently while the farm is receiving bred gilts, breeding department head Tim and his team will continue breeding gilts on-site; however, before that can happen, Tim’s first order of business will be to design barn flow and set up regimens for feeding all the way to boar exposure. Luckily for Tim, this isn’t his first rodeo, so to speak. Having worked at Kielsmeier, Primrose, Erickson, Jamestown and now Upland, his sights are on a fresh start at a new farm.
“I’m really anxious to get gilts on the farm and see what’s possible,” said Tim. “There is already a lot of experience on this breeding team, having spent previous time at Colfax GDU. Right now it’s just the calm before the storm.”
Prior to gilts arriving on September 3, Tim and his team will be rewashing the barns, ordering supplies, getting organized… and then rewashing the barns some more.
“We’re trying to do everything we can now to avoid a rush when the gilts get here,” he continued. “We want to be able to focus all of our time and attention on the animals.”
Much like Chad and Tim, farrowing department head, Dave Owens, can’t wait to get started.
“Working in farrowing means there’s constantly something to be doing, which is actually one of the things I enjoy most,” explained Dave. “I’m also a details-guy, which comes in handy working in the farrowing department. From the difference to total born and pigs weaned, it’s all in the details and making sure you execute."
Of the farm’s 100 years combined experience, Dave contributes 25 years. During his time in the swine industry, he’s been a part of several startups and can’t wait to see what unique set of challenges Upland brings. And although his career at Iowa Select Farms is just starting out, Dave has worked with Chad in the past and has no doubt the crew is right where they need to be.
“Chad’s really great at taking a group of individuals and turning them into one team,” he said. “We will be working 8 hours a day, sometimes more, and that’s a lot of time to spend together. But those long days are what will bring us closer together and make us a family, and families take care of each other.”
Welcome to the family, Upland Sow Farm! We can’t wait to watch you succeed.