A passion for supporting small- to medium-sized independent livestock producers and providing a path for future generations interested a group of northwest Iowa livestock producers to the Pipestone System several years ago, and has built a foundation for their success.
Kirk Hall lives in LeMars, Iowa, and is the manager of Pork 4 Profit, LLC (P4P), a group of 10 pork producers. The group is a shareholder in the Thunder Ridge sow farm. They initially met with Dr. Luke Minion, CEO of Pipestone Holdings, in 2014 and began receiving pigs from Thunder Ridge in February 2016.
“We were excited about the unique leadership that Pipestone System offered. There are a number of good livestock agriculture families in our area of northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota, and Pipestone is providing the leadership and resources to give those independent producers the chance to succeed and bring in the next generation of family members into the livestock operation,” said Hall.
The group includes producers from several counties in northwest Iowa, all with varying backgrounds in raising pigs.
“Some of the group members were contract feeders and others had owned pigs, but none had been involved in farrow to finish systems,” he said. “As part of one feeding entity, now all producers are shareholders in the sow farm and receive weaned pigs to finish.”
The resources and expertise provided by PIPESTONE, including research expertise and services like PigVet to provide ongoing veterinary care and consulting, are important to the P4P group members. They work with Dr. Emily McDowell, veterinarian, for veterinary services and consulting.
“Providing good animal care is important to everyone,” he said. “Involving producers in a team with resources and support to keep improving will allow them to do that for many years.”
Hall and P4P members look forward to a strong future for small to medium sized producers.
“It all comes back to leadership. Whether you are working with a local church or school group or farming or business organization, the ability to gather everyone into a unified effort takes a lot of hard work,” said Hall. “But once you are able to get that team together on the same page, it is pretty powerful. That is the expertise that Pipestone is bringing to our industry.”