Pig people

Externship Project

In my previous blog, I mentioned the components that make up a pig farming system. Swine veterinarians help manage this dynamic system by keeping the host, agent, environment and nutrition in harmony to minimize problems in each farm. However, the true success of a pig production system depends on its people.

Barn managers like Rod are one in a million! He is passionate about pigs and is a pleasure to work with. Rod manages a 1550-sow farrow-to-wean barn and when it comes to taking excellent care of pigs, Rod and his wife Ellen, who manages farrowing (when a sow gives birth to piglets), do a tremendous job and the proof is in the pigs. Seeing litter after litter of healthy pigs during a routine barn visit put a smile on both Dr. Lisa’s face and mine. They practice excellent husbandry and management and it makes the veterinarian’s job that much easier.

Pig people are leaders, risk takers, problem solvers and are innovative and adaptable to changing situations. Not only that: good pig farmers are humble, hard working people and they value organization. They recognize the advantages of their organization as well as the downfalls that may be inherent, and work together with swine veterinarians and other service providers to overcome these challenges. Larger farming systems with tiers of management depend highly on their managers and workers to be working diligently, face day-to-day challenges and to seek out opportunities for improvement within their company. Having the right person for the right job is key to the success of any system!