Farmers Coop Society is committed to our core values of integrity, accountability, leadership, and innovation. We hold these ideals close in order to better serve our patrons. One of the ways we do this is by providing a deep knowledge pool and access to the best in the industry. When it comes to our deep knowledge pool, this can be displayed by the years of experience of our employees, for example Galen Mars, Swine Specialist at Farmers Coop Society, has been working with hogs for over 40 years. Throughout the years he has helped producers manage through the highs and lows of the industry. One of these partners is Michael Doran, “I feel like the cooperative does a great job of optimizing the member benefits. Farmers Coop Society, I think is better than anybody else I work with. They maintain a focus on really trying to bring value to the member producers everyday” (Doran). Brady Goslinga, Production Manager at Proven Swine Management, is also a part of the deep knowledge pool at FCS. Brady has been helping swine producers, like Mike, perform their best for nearly a decade.
One of our many customer success stories is Mike Doran. Mike graduated from Iowa State and began his career feeding livestock and working with Elanco Animal Health. From this point he was presented with the opportunity to begin farming on his own, back on the farm he grew up on. There are several things that have made Mike successful over the years, one of those is being able to tell his story, advocating for the swine industry. “He does a very good job of articulating what he does, why it’s good for the industry, why it’s good for the consumer, and why it’s good for everyone across the board. He can point to a lot of different factors that can explain what he’s doing” (Goslinga). This trait makes Mike a producer that drives the industry and the producers around him into the future.
From Mike’s ability to share his story we gather a glimpse behind the curtain of his success. Mike has the ability to think innovatively, “He can think creatively, look at opportunities that exist in the pork industry that we may not have thought of and consider doing things a little bit differently than we may have done in the past” (Mars). Mike is known for having a hand in the production process from start to finish, allowing him to make creative decisions based on the entire process. Along with creativity comes a willingness to take risks, “My friends joke that if people want to do something crazy, I’m the guy they should call” (Doran).
At FCS integrity is a core value, Mike’s operation holds a similar sentiment. “The more responsibly and ethically we can raise our animals and bring them to market, the better the product” (Goslinga). Integrity is a key to overall sustainability, “I’m a fifth-generation farmer, and I take pride in knowing that the people before me did the right things to build a farm and prosper. I like knowing that I’m continuing to grow and advance, even though I am doing it differently, it’s the same goal, to create a legacy that hopefully gets better and better as it’s passed down” (Doran). Operating with integrity both in and out of the barns has contributed to Mike’s success as a producer and community member.
When it comes to community, Mike is an active member in both the livestock community and his local community. Through his involvement Mike has developed a deep network, that has opened new opportunities. For example, his partnership with Nick Berry opened the opportunity for them to expand into the Japanese market. While telling his story, Mike reenforces the value of pork for families across the country. No man is an island and accomplishing this took a community. Proven Swine Management has been able to step in and fill the gaps. “Between Galen Mars and the guys at Proven Swine Management, they’ve done a really good job of accommodating me as I’ve grown. Making sure that we have the right buildings to house the livestock we have. Sometimes, we get into some unique groups of odd sizes, and we need specialty diets for some of them, and FCS has always been able to accommodate whatever we need” (Doran). The swine industry is a tightknit community and FCS is proud to be a leader within it.
Mike has proven himself to be an innovative producer for the swine industry. When customers push to be on the cutting edge of the industry, they push FCS to join them. The innovation of our customers creates innovation within FCS. We are proud to be able to learn from our producers. “You don’t have to be the biggest to be good at what you do. There’s a lot of big pork producers out there that produce a lot of high-quality meat, but the independents, the smaller guys, can still survive” (Goslinga).