New Standard Ag took on a renovation project located at Greenwald Colony, in Brokenhead, Manitoba, Canada. The renovations started in early January 2020. Before renovations, it was servicing 1200 head of sow. The crew and the client worked to get the barn fully empty in March. Renovations were completed and filled with sows at the beginning of August 2021. This was a great example of the fine eye for detail, taking advantage of space, and utilizing the whole facility to its full potential.
After over 20 years working in this industry, I thought I had seen and heard it all. However, a situation came up the other day that reminded me that, ridiculous things will always continue to happen, and they can still surprise me. It got me thinking about all the weird/stupid things that I have experienced, which propelled me to discuss them.
Here are some stories of what I have seen. Although, at the time, none of this seemed funny, I can laugh about it now. Hopefully you find some humor in these as well. If you are reading this, and happen to realize that the story is about you, please don’t be offended. We’re all guilty at some point.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.