Andrew Perry of Alta is the third generation to work on the farm started by his grandfather. Andrew’s dad returned in the 1980s, and Andrew came back after graduating from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., in 2011. Perry Livestock LLC in Aurelia is a wean-to-finish operation that includes three finishers and one nursery. They finish about 7,500 hogs annually.
Perry Livestock is a true independent family farm. Every seven weeks, Andrew fills his nursery with a truckload of iso-wean pigs from a farmer near Lake City, and manages day-to-day operations. Each batch supplies all three finishers, and Andrew takes care of one finisher through closeout. They have their own semi and livestock trailer to transfer feeder pigs to the finishers, and to haul fat hogs to market. Vita Plus helps with nutrition, and Andrew uses a phone application to track daily records and medications.
In addition, Andrew has 700 acres of corn and 700 acres of soybeans, and sells seed under Perry Seeds. He grows the corn that feeds his pigs—test weight is a big factor when he selects the next year’s corn hybrids. When neighbors started a feed mill in 2007, the Perrys began hauling their own feed from there the following year, storing their corn in a separate bin. Andrew’s brother, Adam, helps out on weekends and during harvest and spring planting.
Andrew has been a member of the Cherokee County Pork Producers board since 2012, and is a Farm Bureau board member. He also is active in Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer Program, which gives Iowa farmers ages 18 to 35 the chance to participate in educational conferences, earn recognition for on-farm achievements, and continue professional development and personal growth.
Andrew’s wife, Liz, teaches second grade at Cherokee Community Schools in Cherokee, where she constantly encounters general misconceptions about food production. She works with Siouxland Agriculture in the Classroom, a nonprofit that teaches kids where food comes from and offers opportunities to interact with those directly involved with agriculture.
Andrew and Liz are members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia and have two children: Danika (4) and Alexa (2).