Allan Schmidt has been a contract producer for AMVC Management Services in Audubon for 14 years. He oversees five 2,400-head wean-to-finish barns, including three of his own and two AMVC sites. The newest barn was built to allow his son, Grant, an opportunity to be part of the family operation. Grant plans to continue working on the farm after graduating from high school this spring.
A former over-the-road trucker, Allan was tired of being away from home. He decided to start raising pigs after seeing a newspaper ad seeking growers. Allan now considers animal care his most important job of the day. He goes above and beyond AMVC’s protocol of how to correctly start a new group of 3-week-old pigs. For example, AMVC recommends pan feeders only in sick or fall-back pens, but Allan has pan feeders in every pen to give every pig the best start. Allan markets 24,000 hogs annually. Most are sold to Tyson Fresh Meats in Storm Lake and Perry.
Allan is quick to adopt new concepts. Before biosecurity was highly emphasized, he was one of AMVC’s first growers to install a Danish bench system in barn entryways to remind folks to remove their shoes before crossing into a “clean” area.
Site maintenance is important to Allan, as well. A cement driveway leads to each barn, and there’s space for semitrailers to turn out and feed trucks to enter.
Allan has been on his home farm—once his grandpa’s and dad’s—for 45 years. He also runs a cow-calf operation and does custom anhydrous application. In addition, he and Grant keep busy with custom manure pumping, tending to their own barns and others on the side.
Allan is a supporter of the Ida County Fair in Ida Grove and sponsors kids showing pigs. A couple of school-age kids help on the farm occasionally, and Allan enjoys teaching them how to raise swine. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Battle Creek.
Allan and his wife, Liz, have two other children: Preston (22) and Addison (15).