To explain the Pipestone System from the beginning requires a look at the end result. Even though this is a tale of pork production, it does call to mind the old question regarding the chicken and the egg.
Well…actually we do know which comes first: Our shareholders. They’re family farmers who aren’t willing to give up their private stake in the pork industry.
Still, there are a few things they don’t mind giving away. Labor-intensive breeding and farrowing can really wear one person down. Good genetics and modern sow barns require huge investments. Everybody knows today’s employee benefit package is too costly for a single farm family to absorb.
Once they hand over responsibility for sows and employees though, our local owners get back the three things they really want. We provide healthy baby pigs and the opportunity to raise those pigs their own way and they keep all their profits! At that point, who cares whether it started with the chicken or the egg?
Here’s how we preserve livestock ownership close to home:
- Our Pipestone System owners are family farmers with a stake in the farming communities surrounding our barns.
- The System brought them together. Few owners knew each other before they decided to invest in a new barn.
- Each owner receives an allotment of pigs based on shares owned and preferred schedule.
- Sow barn employees are hired, trained, compensated, and motivated through Pipestone System.
- On their own, shareholders cannot tap economies of scale available through the System. Animal health products, feed, veterinary services, and employee benefit packages are all more cost-effective because of System buying power.
- Supervisors, veterinary professionals, and employees embrace System core values that emphasize ethical treatment for animals.
- Potential for career advancement within the System enables employees to stay close to home and close to the livestock industry they love.
- Our producer-owners epitomize sustainable agriculture when they use their own corn to feed their pigs and their own manure to feed their corn.
- Our owners put their money in our hands. We supply them with a thorough accounting for our stewardship of their investment.