Aaron and Alyce Nieland own and operate a 125-year century farm. Their diversified operation consists of finishing and marketing 20,000 pigs annually, along with a row-crop enterprise.
The Nielands were recognized as Master Pork Producers in 2017. Since receiving this award, they have tightened up biosecurity in their barns, which Alyce oversees. Aaron runs their expanding crops division. Last summer they purchased a farm and added 225 acres, and they will take over Aaron’s parents’ operation this spring, bringing their total to 2,000 acres. They now utilize a program to do their own soil sampling and nutrient management, and have started experimenting with variable rate seeding, fungicide applications and other seed-related trials throughout their fields.
Aaron and Alyce are fifth-generation farmers and both grew up with livestock. Upon graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in animal science and agronomy, Alyce moved home where she and Aaron were married and began farming. With a desire to diversify their operation, they built their first barn in 2012, a 2,400-head finishing building. The following year, they put up another 2,400-head building, and added two more in 2015. Two barns are in Carroll County; the others are in Sac County.
As contract growers for Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic (AMVC), they fill their barns with 12-pound weaned pigs mostly from farms in Colorado and Iowa. Aaron and Alyce handle day-to-day animal care, ordering feed and marketing pigs. Alyce specializes in getting weaned pigs off to a good start.
With their corn and soybeans and a manure management plan with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, they utilize all manure from their barns for their crop enterprise. Oftentimes, they allow students to come to their barns and gain on-farm practice during courses AMVC hosts.
The Nielands are members of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breda, where Alyce is vice president of The Ladies’ Guild; are members of the Sac County Pork Producers; and volunteer with Breda Little League coaching their kids’ teams. Alyce is president of the Breda Day Care Board of Directors and a member of the Mt. Carmel Mutual Insurance Association Board of Directors. In addition, she runs a social media page called Pigs and Kids, where she actively shares farm happenings and promotes the swine industry in a positive light.
Aaron and Alyce have three children: Aisha (7), Will (5), and Ellie (2).