In less than four years with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Matt Romoser has already seen the volatility and market cycles that the swine industry is known for.
He started his career as an extension swine specialist in 2020 – in the middle of the COVID pandemic – when packing plants were closing and farmers were struggling to find processors. He saw the good times of 2021 and 2022, followed by the market decline of the current year.
“It’s been an interesting start so far,” said Romoser, who serves as swine specialist in southeast Iowa. “It was all-hands handling the challenges of COVID, followed by a period of good prices, to where we are right now, essentially dealing with the opposite.”
Romoser knows the swine industry well. He grew up on his family’s crop and swine farm near Keota, where the family still farms. He earned his bachelor of animal science degree from Iowa State in 2015, and completed his master’s of animal physiology in 2017.
His favorite part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach is working with other Iowans and helping them succeed.
“I enjoy the opportunity to make close connections with the producers and the approach I get to bring as an extension employee,” he said. “As a nonprofit, I can build relationships and trust with people, because they know I’m being objective and truthful.”
How long have you worked for ISU Extension and Outreach?
What do you do for ISU Extension and Outreach?
I am a swine field specialist and serve pork producers in southeast Iowa.
What is the best part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach?
The opportunity to forge relationships with producers and serve as an unbiased source of information.
What drew you to Iowa State?
Having familiarity with the Iowa Pork Industry Center’s work, the IPIC Staff, and the opportunity to serve as a resource for Iowans in the swine industry.
Do you have any big upcoming projects or events?
November will be a busy month with the IPIC Sow Summit, and our Women Managing Swine workshop series in Washington County
With your time with Extension, what is one thing you would like to accomplish (or are especially proud to have accomplished) in this position?
Pork producers are experiencing economic hardships that haven’t been felt for decades. If I can help make a difference in even one swine operation to help them through the next year, it would be a massive accomplishment in my mind.
Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.
I have a twin sister
What do you do in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, helping on my family’s farm, smoking meat and cheering on the cyclones.
How do you create a #StrongIowa?
It’s really a privilege to be able to help producers, knowing the value they bring to communities and producing a product that benefits all consumers in Iowa. Being able to work with them, and hopefully future producers in 4-H, I believe will benefit Iowa for years to come.