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How They Work :: WinMor Farms

Friday, July 12, 2019

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How They Work :: WinMor Farms

Jennifer Slagle, her dad, Ron Smith, and her husband, Don, are the principals behind WinMor Farms, a 100-sow show pig operation located in Grinnell, Iowa which is one hour east of Des Moines on I-80.  Ron has been living in Grinnell since December 2014.  Don and Jennifer had been living in the Des Moines area but recently moved to Grinnell with their two children, Will (10) and Anna (9).  They both work full-time in the ag financial services industry.  Don also manages their row-crop farm.  They feel very fortunate that Jennifer’s dad, Ron, is able to fully devote his time to managing the show pig operation.  The family also recently hired a new full-time herdsman to their team.  Derek Moore joined WinMor Farms in September of 2018 and has been a great addition.

One word that best describes how you work:  Efficiently

Current Mobile Device:  iPhone 8

Current Computer:  HP Laptop

Current Camera: Mostly my iPhone

First, tell us what you feel separates your business from other operations in the show pig business?

First of all, I would say that we are like many other operations because we are a family farm first.  The kids work right alongside grandpa, mom, and dad to get things done.  As many people know, we are very focused on producing and retaining the highest quality females we possibly can.  We also have a strong emphasis on biosecurity and herd health.  Visitors to the farm are suited and booted before touring.  Dad often gets the nickname of Biosecurity Ron around here.  But, we don’t take our herd health for granted and we would never intentionally cut a corner in this area.

What websites, apps or tools can’t you live without? Why? 

Aside from and social media, I am becoming more and more of an Amazon shopper all the time.  I also really appreciate the weekly meal kits I can order through various apps. As a working mom with a showpig operation – they make me feel good about “kind of” preparing a home cooked meal after show barn chores at night.

How do you keep your to-list?  I have pretty much resorted to texting myself…a lot.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? 

My DVR as there is just no way I can keep up with TV before 10 PM.

What do you listen to while you work? 

I work at John Deere Financial headquarters so most of my day is spent answering questions from people who drop into my office.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?   

That is a hard one to answer.  People who work around me tell me that I multi-task well and that is probably true.  I am used to having many projects going on at one time and it gets my adrenaline pumping.  I like organized chaos and I’m not as comfortable when things are quiet.  

What are you currently reading? 

If you saw the stack of magazines in my family room, you’d laugh if I even tried to lie about that one!

How do you recharge? 

Definitely with my husband and kids.  The kids have become more involved in showing pigs and I’m realizing how much I love spending time with them in the show barn during these warm weather evenings.  This activity has been so good for this mama’s soul!  I also look forward to date nights and an occasional long weekend away with Don.

What is your favorite and least-favorite chore?
My favorite chore involves everything to do with the farrowing house. I can get lost with with moms and babies for hours.  My least favorite chore would probably be large animal vaccinations or maybe I should say mowing this time of year.

How long does it take you to picture, sort and write a description for ONLY one pig in an online sale?
I am so fortunate to have my dad, Derek and Austin in the picture pen with me.  Those three guys can get a baby pig to calm down and pose nearly every time and it makes my job behind the camera so much easier.  I would say from beginning to end, we can get that job done in less than 20 minutes per pig.

Describe your ideal customer. Repeat

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Ron Smith answer these same questions.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?   

“Surround yourself with good people”.  Whether that’s employees, friends or business partners, it’s important to surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook, share your values, have a high degree of integrity and push you to do and be better.  I love my tribe and wouldn’t trade them for the world.