In this edition of the Real P3 podcast, Dr Casey Bradley speaks to Katherine Marcano-Bell who, together with her husband, Brandon, owns a 12,000 pig contract grower finisher farm in Iowa, USA. They discuss different aspects of one of the most pressing issues in the US pork industry – labour.
The Real P3 podcast series is an initiative where pork professionals from around the world are interviewed about challenges and solutions in their day-to-day work.
Marcano-Bell is originally from Dominican Republic. She and Brandon met in college and now work closely together at the farm, which fattens pigs from when they are received on the farm at around 35/40 pounds (16/18 kg).
The importance of listening to pigs
She talks about the importance of listening to the pigs, and her husband says she has an eye for detail and is better than him at looking after the younger pigs.
Dr Bradley and Marcano-Bell talk about how to bring people from an urban environment, who do not have an agriculture background, into the farm’s staff. Marcano-Bell also shares her thoughts on the struggles fitting into the industry as she fills the roles of a mother, a wife, and as a Hispanic/non-traditional American farmer. Dr Casey asks her how we get more women appreciated in the industry, and we can build a better community and support system for non-native employees.
Earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series
In the previous weeks, Pig Progress published earlier episodes of the Real P3 podcast series:
- Episode 20: Porcast’s Jean-Philippe Martineau and Louis-Philippe Roy, France;
- Episode 21: Amanda Minton and Dr Justin Fix, USA;
- Episode 22: Dr Daniel Columbus, Canada;
- Episode 23: Dave Klocke, USA;
- Episode 24, part 1: Dr Craig Bradley, Michigan, USA;
- Episode 24, part 2: Scott McKenzie, Michigan, USA;
- Episode 24, part 3: Dennis Wooden, Michigan, USA;
- Episode 25: Guy Soreq;
- Episode 26: Dr Joel Flores, USA;
- Episode 28: Willem Steyn (South Africa), Philip van den Brink and Vincent ter Beek (both the Netherlands).
- Episode 29: Myles van Deventer (South Africa)