On September 3rd, 2014, family, friends, and co-workers of Erin McCoy, a member of the Pipestone Grow Finish team, gathered to celebrate her most recent accomplishment – although she didn’t know it yet. She walked into what seemed like another lunch at the Pipestone clinic to be greeted by a loud “Surprise!”
In May, Zoetis started accepting nominations for the Pig Caregivers Award, an award that honors farm employees who show exceptional commitment to swine care. Upon news of the award, colleagues of Erin McCoy, (Jamie Smith, Angie Homann, and Janae Mogler) knew they owed it to Erin to nominate her. “I nominated Erin because her passion for animal husbandry is second to none. She is available to the producers she works with anytime day or night, no matter the task. It’s clear that animal welfare is Erin’s number one priority, and is never compromised,” stated Angie Homann. Nominated caregivers were judged on proper treatment, proper disease prevention, and proper pig handling.
Up against 140 nominations across the United States, Erin McCoy sure had her fair share of competition; however, it is not surprising that her dedication to pig care shined above the rest. Erin started working at Pipestone System when she was sixteen. “I always said I was a Pipestone lifer,” Erin joked at the party, and it turns out she was right. After graduating from South Dakota State University with a degree in Animal Science, Erin returned to Pipestone System, and they were more than glad to have her back! “It’s because of people like Erin that we are able to offer such exceptional pig care to producers, and that’s what keeps our business growing,” stated Dr. Barry Kerkaert, president of Pipestone Grow Finish.
Erin was one out of only five pig caregivers to receive the award this year. Chelcee McCulley from Zoetis was there to present Erin with the award and congratulate her on this huge accomplishment. “I was completely surprised,” said Erin at the party, “and am very grateful for this honor.”
To learn more about the program, visit www.zoetisus.com/honoringcaregivers.