Being able to share stories with our readers in the swine industry is a great part of this job. Being able to tell the stories of producers and leaders in our industry is a cherry on top of the bacon-laden sundae.
We thank you for opening your world to our prying minds, offering us and our readers a glimpse of what makes you tick. You probably noticed earlier this week that we introduced you to the first of this year’s class of Masters of the Pork Industry. Hord Family Farms from Bucyrus, Ohio, is just one example of the great hog producers that make this industry great.
As I sat down with Pat, Duane, Phil and Janel Hord, and many of their team members, for the interviews that would be molded into their feature story, I got a feeling that what you see is what you get. I mean this in the best way possible; they are all genuine about their feelings for their operation, and very dedicated to the care of the pigs in their barns, as well their employees. Actually, from the top down, they discourage the term “employee,” instead opting for “team member.” Though they aren’t all kin, I got the feeling that “team member” could also be replaced with “family member.”
Hord Family Farms has an outreach program — Hord Cares — that allows the family business to reach out to its team members and the surrounding communities, helping team members fulfill the business’ core values spelled out in the company’s Value Tree. Hord Family Farms is a business, and their goal is to make a profit and to provide the best care to their animals and their team members. The Hord team doesn’t just talk about the Value Tree; they live it. Pat Hord speaks openly about what’s important to him: faith, family and the team — in that order.
That’s one of the things that I really enjoy about the opportunity of writing these Masters stories each year. You all know the names and what they are known for, but through the interviews and subsequent feature articles, hopefully we provide a glimpse into the lives of the people behind the nameplate.
We highlight people in different walks of life in the swine industry in these Masters features, but they all share the common thread that they are all people; just like you and me. As far as I’m concerned, you are all Masters at some level. You all have great stories to share of how you got to where you are. I hope in time that our paths will cross and that you’ll be willing to let us in to share your great story with the world.