Pat Weber has deep roots in swine, starting on a small family farm in South Dakota. His dad sold feeder pigs, and Weber helped his brothers grind feed, haul manure, and tend to the hogs.
While studying animal science at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., Weber worked at the Swine Education and Research Facility and was intrigued by modern facilities. At that time, confinement systems were a newer concept. After graduation, he initially pursued a career in the feed industry, but quickly realized he had more of a passion for animal agriculture.
So he’s spent his career immersed in just that. Weber, 68, has had many different roles on several operations, from managing a sow farm in Audubon County, to overseeing groups of farms for AMVC, to becoming director of live production for Newsham Hybrids in Colorado. While in Audubon, he also ran his own 150- to 200-head, farrow-to-feeder farm, and in the late ‘90s began finishing his pigs and rented facilities from area farmers.
To be closer to grandkids, Weber returned to Iowa in 2005 and landed at Reicks View Farms in New Hampton. In 2009 he transitioned to Cargill, now JBS, where he currently is a production manager of 550,000 grow-finish spaces. He oversees seven employees and 155 finishing sites.
Weber takes time for personal development and his community. In 2015, he completed what’s now the Iowa Pork Leadership Academy, and has since become a member of the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s Membership/Leadership Committee. In addition, for the past decade he has coordinated volunteers to cover a shift at the Iowa Pork Tent during the Iowa State Fair.
Weber has been active with county pork organizations in Audubon, Chickasaw, and Black Hawk. For many years, he was a 4-H leader and Audubon County Fair swine superintendent.
While Weber is old enough to retire, he loves what he does.
“I just have that passion to see, Can we do better next year?” he said. “That’s what drives me. I know I can’t get perfection in the hog industry, but I’m working real hard to get as close as I can.”
He and his wife, Cindy, have two adult sons, John and Dan, and four grandchildren.