Unleashing Genetic Potential through Careful Management

In the realm of pig farming, maximizing genetic potential is a constant pursuit. Despite common perceptions that pigs are the “easy part” compared to human challenges, the reality is that ensuring optimal conditions for pigs involves overcoming various hurdles. Among the challenges present at your farm, which has the greatest potential to impede performance?


Genetic Potential in Pigs

While renowned athletes like Michael Jordan and LeBron James were not born as NBA players, their inherent athletic abilities were crucial to reaching their worldwide success and fame. Similarly, pigs are born with a maximum genetic potential, which, unlike humans, cannot be improved through practice. Our impact can only maintain or reduce the genetic potential of the animals in our care. A pig with a lifetime of flawless air, feed, water, care, comfort, and health can maintain the maximum genetic potential. Any challenge to air, feed, water, care, comfort, or health could reduce what the pig had the potential to do. When we place pigs in a barn, we apply all the pressure on ourselves as caregivers to supply everything for that pig’s daily and performance needs.



When we analyze variations in performance among farms with similar genetic lines, caregiver practices emerge as a key determinant. Despite similar genetic backgrounds, performance discrepancies are attributed to the caregivers’ role in ensuring optimal conditions for the pigs. Some may assume newer facilities provide a performance advantage, but when we look closer, it is far more important to make improvements to operational execution rather than focus on facility age.

Proven production practices consistently yield superior results. It is the caregivers’ responsibility to promptly address common problems in the barn. But, a caregiver cannot do so without proper training to complete a job correctly. Untrained employees will not duplicate excellent performance day after day.

Observation of employee execution will ensure animals have the appropriate care to reach their genetic potential. Additionally, daily feedback on how employees are completing tasks is essential to yield continued positive results and/or improve behaviors. The impact of great caregivers minimizes situations that hinder genetic potential, contributing to improved farm efficiency and financial performance.


A financially successful farm lies in the careful management of various factors, from genetic potential to caregiver practices to animal health. At Pipestone Management, we expect our team to provide excellent care consistently to the animals and we audit their performance daily, we challenge you to do the same.


Article by Sam DeHaas

A ranch kid from northwest Oklahoma, Sam DeHaas holds degrees in both Agriculture Economics and Accounting from Oklahoma State University. He joined PIPESTONE in 2019 and serves as Vice President of Domestic Production for the East Region.