AMES, Iowa ― Although just a few years older than most of his employees, new Iowa State University swine farms manager Jacob Myers said he’s excited to be able to work with a younger generation in developing their pork industry skills. As a 2005 Iowa State graduate in animal science, he was pleased to return to his alma mater in a capacity that builds on his experience and education.
“I’ve owned pigs, custom fed hogs for a local producer for two years and worked for Iowa Select Farms as a finishing supervisor for four years,” Myers said. “I have raised hogs in just about every facility possible so I can understand challenges of larger and smaller scale farms.”
He said this job is a unique position that offers challenges and occasions for improvement.
“One of my expectations is to maintain the positive traditions that Iowa State is known for,” he said. “This includes student involvement in and on the farms, our commitment to research with faculty and staff, and maintaining a high health herd status.”
In the two months since the Maxwell native started work (his first day was April 25) he already has seen success. During the 2012 World Pork Expo in early June, the swine teaching farm exhibited two class winners and the champion Berkshire gilt. The farm also was named Premier Exhibitor for the third consecutive year.
His goals for the farms include increasing biosecurity, increasing production through more efficient use of available space, and expanding opportunities for students to be involved in production practices and decisions. He said student employees are as important to the swine farms operation as the pigs themselves, and wants to see the students succeed.
“Family is very important to me and I see our student employees as family on our farms,” Myers said. “I hope to encourage them to make life decisions that are well thought out and put themselves in position to succeed. All they have to do is add hard work and honesty to the equation.”
PHOTO: Jacob Myers