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Kevin Kurbis

Kevin began his career in the Hog and Poultry industries in 1997, where he specialized in service and installation. In 2003, he started his own company providing sales and service of hog and poultry equipment. In 2007 he joined New Standard and currently manages the Manitoba branch of New Standard which services Manitoba to the Canadian east coast. Kevin has been involved with ESF and loose sow housing since 2001, and has worked with producers across Canada, US, Europe, and Australia.

Recent Posts

Take Time to Stop and Smell the Pig Sh*t


One of the best things about traveling, as I do for work, is getting to see all the soft shoulders, amazing curves, and lush bush...

I’m just talking about being on the Manitoba roads.

Where were you going with that?

On a serious note, how often do we take the time to appreciate the great things that are all around us?

While we are on the topic, have we taken a step to realize how the hog industry plays a big factor in all of it? Curious? Let me try to explain. 

Bacon selling on my Chest



I take great pride in working in the pork industry, and have always tried to be a good ambassador to the general public. I find there are a lot of “myth-conceptions” about how pork is raised. As well as, some extremely wrong “facts” about the health factors associated with consuming meat.

Since changing the world is a daunting task, a few years ago I decided to try to change just one person at a time. Someone I have great respect for once told me to, “be an army of one”. I took that advice and ran with it. 


The Curse of the Nibbler


So although the title of this blog may make you think of an cheap 80’s movie or one of those extremely unbelievable urban legends that were spread in the early days of email, we assure you that we are going to cover a serious topic. But as with so many things in life, it doesn’t hurt to also be able to see the humorous side of an issue. So let me set the scene for you:

The Last 10 Years: Reflection Piece


When I was asked to write an article reflecting on recent advancements in the pork production industry, I was first forced to evaluate where we were ten years ago. That was a reasonably straightforward exercise for me, as my son is currently ten years old—but where were we as an industry? Here are a few things that came to mind. They help explain the advancements in both the pork industry and our daily lives.

Converting a Stall Barn to a Group Sow Housing Barn at Pembina Colony


We often get asked to talk through the process of taking a stall barn and converting it to a loose housing barn, and for good reason! The process seems daunting, but in reality it is pretty painless if you plan ahead. Every barn conversion is different due to a number of factors including barn size, current and desired barn operations, temporary housing options, and a number of other factors. Providing a general outline of the conversion process is helpful, but we decided we could paint a clearer picture if we walked you through a recent conversion. 

Don’t Forget About the Little Guy


I know we spend a lot of time sharing information about the care and housing of sows; so much so that sometimes we may appear to lose sight of the bigger picture. Which in this case is actually the little picture. If great care for the sows is important, and increased production is the result, then it stands to reason that once you have done all of that you also need to focus on what you’re going to with all those little piglets.

It doesn’t matter if you are an ISO-wean barn selling your piglets or are responsible for feeding them to market, the job just gets started once they are born. So let’s look at a few things that can be done to ensure that the little guy has the best chance possible.

Lessons Learned: How Managing Loose Sow Housing Is Like Being a Father and a Husband


We often find overlap between our work life and our personal life. For us, and maybe for you, we see lots of connections between managing pigs on the farm and everyday life. We recently posted an article on how sows are like our in-laws, and it got me thinking about another connection I see every day - how being a good father and a good husband relates directly to successfully managing loose sow housing.

If You Think Group Sow Housing Will Work, You're Right. If You Don't, You're Right.


When talking with our customers, we often use this phrase. We use it to emphasize that the attitude and belief in an ESF group housing system can be just as important as the system itself. The people running the barn need to believe in the system and how it should operate first, only then will they be able to make it work. When you come across challenges in a loose housing barn (and you will), if you believe there is a solution, you will find it. If you believe that the system is flawed, then you will blame that on the system, your staff, or some other element of your operation instead of looking any further for a solution.

Everything You Need to Know Before a Sow Housing Remodel


Making the decision to remodel your existing sow housing barn may seem daunting. You will have to restructure your barn, buy new equipment, and train your pigs and barn staff on the new processes. We promise that making this decision is worth your time and investment, but we understand effort this transition takes. That is why we want to provide you with everything you need to know about a sow housing remodel before you make the decision.

Group Sow Housing Barn Highlight - Eagle Creek Colony


As it enters its 10th year of operation, we would like to highlight the building that set the group sow housing industry standard, the Eagle Creek Colony electronic sow feeding facility. The Eagle Creek barn is a 1,000 sow farrow to finish site located near Altamont, MB. It was designed using large-pen gestation and Nedap equipment and the year-to-year annual weaning in the facility is nearly 32 pigs/sow/year, which is above most conventional systems. It is a fully dynamic building with central separation. New Standard started designing the building in January 2007, and later began construction in April. The first animals were introduced to the barn in April 2008. The finisher barn was later completed in 2010.


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