Popular Pig Podcast Episodes

PigFlow in Action | Dakota Steber

About Dakota Steber:

Dakota Steber, Assistant Manager at Borg Farms’ Newton Sow Farm in Illinois, has a deeply rooted connection to the agriculture sector, having been introduced to pig production at a very early age. Raised on the farm where his father worked, Dakota began assisting with chores when he was just six years old. Throughout his high school and college years, the farm remained a constant in his life. After a stint in the automotive industry in Alabama and serving six years in the United States Army Reserve, Dakota returned to his roots in 2018 to take on his current role. (more…)

Adapting and Communicating in Pork Production | Ed Tice

About the Guest

Ed Tice, a native of the Texas Panhandle, has established his home in the heartland of America. For 20 years, he resided in Tipton, Indiana, and now lives in Story City, Iowa, with his wife Emily and their two children. Ed’s professional journey in the pork industry spans nearly three decades. His career began with Tyson Fresh Meats, where he contributed significantly as a Senior Hog Buyer and a Corporate Auditor for FarmCheck, Tyson’s animal welfare program. Following this, Ed expanded his expertise at United Animal Health, holding the position of Sales and Business Development Manager for Show Feed and UPPS.

Four Pillars of Sow Robustness Part II: Nutrition and Sow Care | Dr. Steve Dritz

About the Guest

Dr. Dritz currently provides global technical support for PIC, the porcine division of Genus. PIC directly employs people in 18 countries worldwide and PIC products are available in more than 50 countries across the globe.

Previously, Dr. Dritz was a Professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University from 1995 until 2020.  He conducted on-farm research to characterize pig nutrient requirements and feeding management practices. Research projects included evaluating viral transmission through feed mills as well as mitigation and decontamination strategies and reducing the use of feed antimicrobials in swine production.


Four Pillars of Sow Robustness Part I: Genetics & P1 Development | Dr. Sergio Canavate & Dr. Saskia Bloemhof

About the Guests

Dr. Sergio Canavate was born in Spain and obtained his veterinarian degree from the University of Murcia. He started his career in the pork industry in Agropor SL, where he learned the core principles and values of pork production. In 2010 he joined PIC Spain, and since then, he has shown willingness to embrace new changes.  In 2013, he moved to the United States with his family, where he joined the PIC North America Technical Service team, mentored by Dr. Juan Carlos Pinilla. Over the past 11 years, he has had the privilege to work closely with  large systems in North America and Europe, gaining unique experience and a broader view of pork industry from customers, colleagues and teammates.

Evolving with the Times: Navigating Change in the Pork Industry | Larry Bertrand

About the Guest

Larry’s background has been in farming and the pork industry of some kind his entire life. His parents still have the linear family farm that has been in the Bertrand’s name since 1876. Larry spent numerous years in the packing side of the pork industry in the procurement / management side of companies such as Oscar Mayer, Cargill / Excel , IBP/Tyson , Triumph Foods , JBS, from 1982 through 2019.

Transforming Agriculture through Servant Leadership | Andrew Leikvoll

About the Guest

With 20 years of entrepreneurial and executive experience, Andrew brings a passion for servant leadership and a diversity of experience to serve Triune’s clients.

Beginning in 2010, Andrew was part of a team that developed and scaled an industry-leading weight management solution delivered exclusively through licensed healthcare providers, including partnerships with some of the nation’s premier hospitals and health systems. Following an exit to a private-equity group, Andrew was asked to serve in an executive role which resulted in leading a variety of teams across several functions and geographies.


From Mixed Practice to Swine Specialist | Dr. Randy Jones

What can you expect to learn from this episode of Popular Pig brought to you by SwineTech?

  • Dr. Jones’ journey from a mixed veterinary practice to specializing in pigs during the industry’s growth phase in North Carolina.
  • His observation of the pig industry’s evolution, including significant disease management efforts and the impact of technological advancements.
  • The transformation in North Carolina’s pig farming landscape, marked by market access challenges, COVID-19 impacts, and regulatory changes.
  • The shift in farm management and veterinary roles towards more specialized, large-scale operations.
  • Randy’s “golden nugget”


Randy Jones

The Founding of Freking Cattle | Brad Freking

About the Guest

New Fashion Pork is headquartered in Jackson, Minnesota with Brad Freking as its CEO and managing partner.  Founded in 1994, New Fashion Pork (NFP) employs over 400 people and owns 53,000 sows in six states, along with having interests in several related businesses (i.e., Triumph Foods and Daily’s Premium Meats). Annually, NFP markets roughly 1.2 million hogs.

Brad Freking

What can you expect to learn from this episode of Popular Pig?

  • Background Knowledge: An overview of New Fashion Pork’s (NFP) evolution from a small operation to a significant player in the pig farming industry.
  • Relevance and Current Trends: How NFP incorporates sustainability into its business model, emphasizing the importance of integrated farming systems.
  • Industry Challenges: Strategies NFP employed to navigate market volatility and external challenges, such as economic downturns and health crises.
  • Expansion Strategies: The process and rationale behind NFP’s diversification into cattle farming and the acquisition of farmland, highlighting the benefits of a diversified agricultural business.
  • Valuable Takeaway: Brad’s “Golden nugget”.