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So What's Next: Hunter Thomas


New Standard Staff


The New Standard team is all about the advancement of taking care of our animals in this industry. So are quite a few of our producers we come across in this field. Over the course of our time as a company, we were always curious about what the future of farming could be. We sat down with a handful of producers to ask just that. What they enjoy currently, and what, realistically or not, would they like to see in the next 10 years for the advancement of farming. Below are their answers.

Hunter_ThomasHunter Thomas

Vice President of Thomas Livestock

Q: How long have you been in the industry?

A:  I grew up in the industry, but I have worked within it part-time for 10 years and full time for 3 years now. 


Q: How has technology changed the way barns operate today?

A: With the use of technology, you can be more efficient without cutting corners, making sure that you are creating the best environment for pigs and employees to thrive. You can detect problems in barns a lot easier with technology whether it be a broken feed line or water line, ventilation issues, or a sow off feed. Technology has allowed us to focus on what is right for the people and the pigs while increasing our production. The availability of data has helped us be able to make decisions to enhance our production and help us make changes to our barns.


Q: Where do you see things in the next 10 years?

A: I think that over the next 10 years the industry will continue to make advancements in technology. There is still a lot of potential with cameras and integrating what they observe into programs like the Nedap system to provide the pig with exactly what it needs. I do see a couple concerning issues regarding the future, one being unrealistic regulations imposed on the industry, and two being labor. Unrealistic regulations such as Prop 12, will cause more harm than good not only for the industry but for the individual animals as well. Hopefully, in the next 10 years, we will not have any unrealistic regulations imposed but there will be changes regarding welfare because improved welfare will continue to be popular. Labor has been an issue for a while, but it seems to be getting even more difficult to find help and I do not see that changing anytime soon. Hopefully, the technological advancements in the next 10 years will allow us to adapt to labor shortages and any regulations. 


Q: What thing would you want, realistically or not, in the future for producers?

A:  Better prices of course! I would like to be able to see real-time data and real-time results in all aspects of pig production. I believe seeing that kind of information would help make her business more efficient with production and with employees. I also like the idea of programs communicating together such as Nedap and Pig Champ because it would help keep your data more accurate and again be more efficient.


This article was originally published in the Modern Producer Magazine! Learn more below! 

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Topics: Insider, Meet the Experts, Producers and PR


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