Written by Trevor Enerson
I had a pretty interesting conversation with a grower a couple weeks ago. It was after Christmas and we were talking about not missing the yearly practice of getting up early on Christmas Eve to clean out all of the hog buildings, bed them, grind feed, and generally do everything so the next week was just basic chores and nothing else. We went on and on about how, without doubt, something would go wrong and turn your 2 hour buffer before church into everyone yelling at each other like the opening scene of Caddyshack so we weren’t late.
We talked about this for a while and we talked about the bitter cold days when tractors don’t start or waterers would freeze up so you’d take your tea kettle and get some water heated up to get it running again. Once, I decided that process was a giant time suck so I was going to revolutionize thawing waterers and simply use a torch. I learned that people had thought of that before and there was a reason you didn’t do that. Now in my defense, it worked, however my dad let me know that there were reasons you didn’t do that, such as melting down pieces of the waterer. Of course, with all things related to livestock, this family conversation was very calm and subdued.
Anyway, we went on with these stories and then something hit me. When you get all done on one of those days with everything that needed to be done it’s possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had. You looked in every lot and building and you had hundreds of pigs in perfectly clean bedding, with perfectly clean feeding floors, and all the feed they could eat for at least the next 5 days and there was a real sense of accomplishment. Sure, making that sale you’ve worked years for feels great, but for some reason, it just doesn’t top what we had done with the livestock on those days.
I’ve thought about that a lot the last couple of weeks and how I can’t explain why we felt so good about it but I think it comes back to something my grandpa had said to me when I had first had my own sow herd and had forgotten to do something. “Always remember,” he said, “those animals can’t take care of themselves so it’s all up to you make sure they have everything they need.” That’s a really simple, really obvious statement now, but I think it hit home for an 11 or 12 year old kid that probably didn’t have his priorities in order all of the time and I think that was the real reason that the sense of accomplishment I felt on those Saturdays was so great. It’s highly unlikely that it’s ever feasible for me to have livestock on that level again but if it ever were, I think that sense of accomplishment may just talk me into spending Saturdays sloppin’ the hogs.
Trevor is a Seed Sales Agronomist at our Estherville location and has a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Business as well as Economics. Prior to working at Asmus Farm Supply he was a crop consultant in southwest Iowa for a little over a year. Trevor was raised on a family farm near Estherville and continues to help out there as time allows. He enjoys the customer interaction that comes with this career, and looks forward to helping growers maximize profits through making sound seed decisions.