Adam Krause is a pig farmer of tomorrow, but right now he wishes he was a crop farmer of today. The wet fall weather is keeping the Clear Lake, S.D., farmer (and a lot of other producers) from bringing in the corn and soybean crops.
“We’re not super behind,” he says, “we’ve got about half the beans out, and we’ve got a start on the corn. Hopefully we can be back at it in a couple days. … we hope to be done by Halloween.”
The downtime from field work allows pig farmers to spend more time with their pigs, which is Krause’s real passion. Krause and every other hog producer practices the We Care principles, in that pig care comes first even while bringing in the fall harvest. Rain may keep crop farmers out of the fields, but hog producers are always on the clock for pig care.
This down time from fieldwork is allowing Krause to get caught up on building maintenance.
Krause, Emma Lasco and Christine Snowden were named as the 2018 class of Pig Farmers of Tomorrow during the National Pork Forum in March, and they have been telling the pig farmer story through fresh eyes.
“This has been a great learning experience,” says Krause, a South Dakota State University graduate. Being most familiar and comfortable with Facebook, Krause has helped spread the pig producer story on that platform, while also branching out to Instagram and Snapchat.
“I love my job, but I what I love more is showing others why I love my job,” Krause says, as evident in his late-June Facebook post that featured him showing a couple of children the young pigs in his barn. (See the photo above)
That is his main message this Pork Month, showing and sharing his love for the pork industry, an industry that he now sees through a larger lens since his Pig Farmer of Tomorrow involvement.
He is also looking to leaders who have risen out of his home state — Brad Greenway (the 2017 America’s Pig Farmer of the Year), Steve Rommereim (current National Pork Board president) and Craig Andersen (current National Pork Producers Council board member) — as great role models and has taken the initiative to become involved with the South Dakota Pork Council as a representative for District II, as well as serving on some committees. Krause’s industry involvement as a Pig Farmer of Tomorrow has opened his eyes to the need for involvement for the greater good.
“We need to look beyond that we’re ‘just a pig farmer’,” he says. “We need to look to the future and to where we see ourselves in the industry.”
Where Krause sees himself is as a contract grower, weathering the recent hog market down turn. “People tell me, ‘what do you have to worry about, you’re just a contract grower. There’s no risk in that.’ I tell them there’s plenty of risk if the owner of the pigs defaults, and they can’t pay me. There’s always risk. … Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”
And that gets back to why Krause, and so many others like him do what they do: “We do what we do because we love taking care of pigs,” he says. “We’re not in this for the money, we’re in this for the lifestyle. We’re in this for the long haul.”