A 21-year-old Grant Weaver never imagined he’d still be working for Tyson Foods three decades later.
Weaver grew up on a farrow-to-finish operation in Jefferson. In 1992, his passion for pigs led him to start as “yard help” with then-IBP in Perry, a brand acquired by Tyson in 2001. He was an alley hog buyer, but also acted as a relief buyer in the field when others were on vacation. His leadership was quickly recognized. Later that year, he moved to Indiana, where he would spend the next 13 years running buying stations there—first in Wheatland, and then Montgomery.
Weaver returned to Iowa for an outlying buyer position at Tyson’s Storm Lake facility. But after about seven years, he relocated once more, for his current role as a hog buyer based at Tyson in Waterloo.
Today, Weaver, 51, works with about 35 large and small pork producers in Waterloo and surrounding communities, as well as with outlying buyers to schedule and coordinate local hog deliveries. He strives to match the needs of producers and suppliers with those of Tyson, such as demand for the Duroc breed and herds that are free of antibiotics and the feed additive ractopamine.
Food safety and animal well-being are among Weaver’s top priorities. As part of Tyson’s FarmCheck® program, he coordinates annual audits at producers’ sites to ensure pig care meets the company’s protocols. He tries to limit the number of pigs delivered every half hour at the Tyson plant, to allow for faster unloading. In addition, Weaver collaborates with producers to establish crisis plans for disease outbreaks, and encourages them to provide status updates and pig movement data to state officials via AgView, the contact-tracing platform.
A certified Pork Quality Assurance® Plus adviser, he serves as a resource for producers and fellow buyers who are obtaining their own certification.
Weaver is a member of the Black Hawk County Pork Producers, assisting with various grilling events along with a scholarship program for area students interested in agriculture-related careers. He attends First Baptist Church in Dunkerton, where he and his wife, Laurie, help with the weekly Awana youth ministry.
The Weavers have three children, Colby, 32, Madison, 29, and Gracen, 21, along with four grandchildren.