What is your goal at Hi Point Genetics, when raising showpigs?
Hi Point Genetics of Chrisman, Illinois, work each day to make showpigs better, but this doesn’t stop at the backdrop.
“Not only better in terms of making it to the backdrop, but also better in the sense of being a successful project for the buyer. We feel that if we can make the customers life better, then we have had a successful exchange,” Mike Miller says.
What makes Hi Point unique?
Hi Point Genetics is unique in many ways, but one of the most positive ways is the success and longevity of the recipe of the brand at Hi Point and the team that stands behind the brand. Hi Point is here to provide service to its clients. Brent Bolen has spent 24 years at the helm with Tom Webster, Mike Miller and Diane Ingram as a team unit with longevity in this industry that is incredibly unique. In 2015, Justin Grinstead joined the team, as well as multiple additional new team members in 2016.
“The strength of the Hi Point Genetics past and the momentum of the future is very exciting to us. Big things are happening at Hi Point, and we are excited to see the future unfold,” Justin Grinstead says.
This momentum stretches from the farrowing barns to the boar stud.
“We also believe that we share the same goals as our customers, and we try to make all of our transactions as easy as possible for them,” Mike Miller says. “In addition to the boar stud, we have 200 sows in production allowing us to know what will or won’t work for our customers and be able to view most situations from our customers’ standpoint.”
What’s the first thing you look at when viewing sales on Showpig.com? Why?
“Pictures – without a doubt! About 15 years ago, we did videos on pigs and bred sows, and people still bought off of the picture.” – Mike Miller
“The calendar; the calendar is kept up to date, and we find it efficient to see the trends of the history that it offers of sale dates as well as big changes that happen on future dates. Current trends, as well as the past, play a key role in setting dates of sales and activities in the showpig arena, and the calendar often assists us with this.” – Justin Grinstead
One word that best describes how you work:
“Diligently, but we have a lot of FUN!” – Mike Miller
“How about a phrase? ‘Stepping into tomorrow with the knowledge of yesterday and the energy for the future.’” – Justin Grinstead
What is your most important gadget or electronic device? Why?
Smart phones! They keep the whole Hi Point crew in touch with the customers, even when they’re away from the barn.
What websites, apps or tools can’t you live without? Why?
“My next birthday I will be 50, so I’m not up to speed on all the apps. However, I just started on Twitter and Snapchat. Websites I view the most include: Showpig, NSR, CPS, Facebook, American Berkshire, Fox News and The Pig Planet.” – Mike Miller
“Showpig.com is a partnership that we appreciate very much. The knowledge and professionalism that is extended to us allow us to have year-round sales more efficiently and successfully.” – Justin Grinstead
What do you listen to while you work?
“Classic Rock – such as Zeplin, The Who, ACDC, Skynyrd, etc.”– Mike Miller
“We always hope it’s the sound of ringing phones.” – Justin Grinstead
What is the secret to your success? (or at least one you would share)
We have 4 individuals who have 80 years of combined experience at Hi Point Genetics. If we haven’t seen it – it typically hasn’t happened.
“We try to make every interaction a win for our customers because repeat business points to customer satisfaction,” Mike Miller adds.
How do you keep from getting burned out with the day-to-day?
“We have a close-knit group, and we work well together and can make most jobs fun. When the day is done and I get home, I try to turn work off and focus on family. My wife and I pick and sell rusty gold on EBAY, so on the weekends I can mentally get away.” – Mike Miller
“Our team at Hi Point is like family. We are excited with the new additions to the team. We are focused right now on keeping things refreshed and new. We believe you have to keep the pace and momentum at the proper rate to make sure to not get burned out nor burned in this ever-moving industry.” – Justin Grinstead
What is your favorite and least-favorite chore?
“My favorite is talking to customers trying to help them match up genetics, and my least favorite is accounts receivable.” – Mike Miller
“My favorite chore is showing boars and the pigs to customers. It allows for time to have the human interaction and connection with fellow breeder and showpig people. The online aspect is an incredible one for our industry and changed it beyond an actual comparable number. However, our industry, like all industries, we believe, thrives on contact and connections to like-minded people who enjoy all that the livestock community has to offer. The ability to spend an hour or two with customers will always be the favorite at Hi Point. The least favorite is probably the day that comes on all farms, the day on which we have to say good-bye to a legendary boar to us from the Boar Stud.” – Justin Grinstead
How long does it take you to picture, sort and write a description for ONLY one pig in an online sale?
“35 minutes max down to 15 is the quickest, when my wife is typing to my dictation!” – Mike Miller
“It depends on the pigs … and of course, the patience of the team doing the photos!” – Justin Grinstead
Describe your ideal customer.
“One who knows what he or she wants and has all questions and information ready, for some reason the calls all tend to land right on top of one another”. – Mike Miller
“A customer who has a true desire to work with good hogs and make them better is the ideal customer. Someone who understands the work and dedication it takes to make a hog the best it possibly can be, while also understanding that you cannot make a ruby into a diamond, but you can make the ruby the best dang ruby that it can be.” – Justin Grinstead
What do you find most satisfying after a long day in the barn?
“Spending time with family.” – Mike Miller
“After a long day in the barn, it is a feeling of completion when everything is in ‘its place’ and ready for the next day. There is a great sense of accomplishment when all of the boar studs calls and needs are complete, the phones are settled and the livestock outside from the boars, the sows and pigs are all thriving. That is the most satisfying to our team.” – Justin Grinstead
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ____________________ answer these same questions.
“We believe Heimer was one of the first ones to complete this, but anytime we can throw his name in to do something we will, so Jesse Heimer all the way!” – Justin Grinstead
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Always try to make things right and gauge every transaction by asking yourself this question, ‘Did I make that person’s (customer’s) life better?’” -Mike Miller
“You cannot cut corners and expect things to work in this industry – hard word and genetics do not work that way. What you put into the mix is what is going to come out on the other side.” – Justin Grinstead