As part of my consulting business, I am in a large number of swine facilities every year. When added to my years of experiences while an Extension Swine Specialist at the University of Nebraska, I like to think I’ve seen a variety of ‘front-doors’ when I’ve gone to visit production sites.
However, this week I had a first – a continuous flow wean-finish site with laminate hardwood floors in the office area. Along with the flooring was oak trim around the windows and door frames and finished and painted sheetrock wall coverings. The facility was 2 years old, but it could have been the first turn of pigs thru it based on how it looked.
On the return flight home, I got to thinking about all of the front-doors I enter thru every year. In most cases, the front door has been a good indicator of the state of repair for the facility when I finally entered the pig space.
Like it or not, our industry is judged in many cases by the front-door appearance of our production sites. While we don’t necessarily need hardwood floors and oak trim in our facility entry areas, I think we do need as an industry to strive harder to be sure we have a front-door at each of our production sites that demonstrates the pride that goes into a successful production unit. This pride is not only in maintenance of the production facility, but pride in the daily care of the animals under our supervision.
Yes, we can all think of someone in our neighborhood or region who could use some motivation in demonstration of their pride in production, but my message today is the fact that what you have for your front-door sends a tremendous message to both supporters of our industry, and to our critics. Have you done your part to be sure your front-door contributes to a positive image for the prok production industry that you are a part of?