Director of Business Development and Genetic Improvement
What is your background in the swine industry?
I actually spent most of my childhood in town with my mom; my time with my dad was spent around livestock on his farm. My dad had a small farming operation with roughly 60-70 beef cows. He also dabbled in pigs on and off. When I’d visit him, I had the opportunity to work on the farm. My experiences on my dad’s farm were my earliest exposures to agriculture.
One of my favorite stories growing up, at least the version I recall, was when my dad built a small farrowing house in basically my grandparents’ front yard — while they were on vacation.
In High School, I joined FFA. My passion for livestock was expanded through my experiences livestock judging under my chapter advisor, the late Mr. Dave Fowler. I continued judging at Lake Land College and then Iowa State University. At Iowa State, I judged under Clint Schwab, who at the time was working on his MS and Ph.D. in swine breeding and genetics. Through him and Dr. Tom Baas, one of my college professors, my exposure to swine genetics formed. I realized I could combine my skills with numbers and my passion for livestock. Eighteen years later, here I am, still learning new things every day with more experiences and the same passion.
How does your background give you a unique perspective on the Acuity Genetics Team?
Each Acuity team member possesses their own unique talent and expertise. We did that for a reason when we formed the team. By bringing a diverse array of perspectives together, we can collaborate and broaden the value we bring to the industry. Innovation isn’t brought by doing the same things and thinking the same way, it’s brought by challenging our understanding and by collaborating to be better.
“I have always loved learning. I like that you got back out of learning the effort you put forward. Learning should be more than just a means to an end. It should be about pursuing productive outcomes that benefit us all.”
My background is a little different than some of my counterparts. My interest and my experiences give me a unique lens in that I see production and genetics from a business perspective. At the end of the day, we can innovate, we can do research, but if that doesn’t provide value to our team and the rest of the industry, then why are we here? Our vision is to bring actual, realized value that positively impacts the industry.
How is Acuity a differentiator in the industry?
Our team brings experiences as producers, as researchers, as domestic and global sales teams, and as a genetics company born from one of the largest producers in the industry. Our blend of experiences allows us to see perspectives and understand needs.
“We’re a part of commercial producers’ stories ─ but we’re not writing their story. We’re here to be a supporting character.”
Anyone can make genetic improvements. What is not replicable is Acuity’s unique blend of stockmanship, science, and production. Our emphasis on collaboration, internally and with partners, continues our pursuit of new perspectives. Our culture allows us to engage with each other and foster new ideas. While we all have different perspectives and different lenses that we view the swine industry with, what aligns our team is our drive to serve and bring value to the industry we are a part of. We’re here together, and we’re here to bring value to all involved.