Popular Pig Podcast Episodes

Digital Farm & Technology Insights | David Speller


About the Guest

From vegetable farm manager to global ISO auditor, David then moved into the poultry sector when he purchased a UK broiler farm in 2004 and continues to operate a contract poultry farm management company in the UK. In 2018, David founded OPTIFarm. OPTIfarm is a very unique data driven support service, currently for poultry and swine, assessing real time farm data against animal behavioural knowledge and human considerations to increase productivity and welfare globally 24/7. David has a broad and open mind regarding the opportunities of data and digital solutions in farming and he has a passion for creating tangible value from digital solutions.

Show MoreDigital Farm & Technology Insights | David Speller

Proposals Impacting Animal Agriculture | Elizabeth Rumley


About the Guest

Elizabeth Rumley is a senior staff attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. At the Center, her primary research and scholarship focus is on legal issues in animal agriculture, and she frequently lectures on those issues and others to audiences nationwide. She has co-taught a course covering “Animals and Agricultural Production, Law and Policy” at the University of Nebraska College of Law and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and has developed and teaches a graduate/undergraduate course discussing legal issues in animal agriculture at the University of Arkansas. Additionally, she teaches Environmental Law at the University of Arkansas.  She is licensed to practice law in Michigan, Ohio, and Oklahoma after earning her B.A. from Michigan State University, her J.D. cum laude from the University of Toledo College of Law, and her LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Show MoreProposals Impacting Animal Agriculture | Elizabeth Rumley

Our Great Resignation | Emily Erickson


About the Guest

Emily Erickson grew up on a small, diversified livestock and crop farm near Dundee, MN.  Her parents bought their farm in the early ’80’s, right as the farm crisis hit.  Her dad raised pigs outdoors, a farrow to finish operation of about 100 sows at the time, and also farmed corn, soybeans and usually oats, for bedding. Emily graduated from South Dakota State University with a B.S. in Animal Science. She was fortunate to fall into an animal welfare role for a production system right at the start of the industry reacting to activists and welfare videos.  Emily spent 13 years internally auditing and monitoring the welfare of a 53,000 sow system.  She has sat on the committees for National Pork Board and Minnesota Pork and is currently still engaged on the Common Swine Industry Audit Task Force, which she has been a part of since the CSIA’s inception.  Emily is currently the Head of Human Resources for Wakefield Pork and lives in Jackson, MN with her two kiddos, August and Hazel, who keep her on her toes!  They enjoy spending time outdoors, going to her parent’s home farm to ride/drive Grampa’s Kubota and spending time with family. 

Show MoreOur Great Resignation | Emily Erickson

The Supreme Court Hearing of Prop 12 | Michael Formica


About the Guest

In his capacity as Chief Legal Strategist for the National Pork Producers Council, Michael Formica works with state and federal lawmakers on pressing, high profile issues impacting livestock production. His work leading strategic legal initiatives has benefitted America’s 66,000 pig farmers across the country, including efforts to get NPPC’s challenge to California Proposition 12 to the U.S. Supreme Court.

He was previously an attorney in private practices in Washington, D.C., where he represented agricultural clients on environmental and natural resource matters.  He has been recognized as one of the foremost experts in Washington, D.C. on environmental and energy policy. 

Formica received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island and his law degree from Vermont Law School where he founded the school’s influential environmental law journal. He has been admitted to the bar for the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as multiple other federal courts.

Show MoreThe Supreme Court Hearing of Prop 12 | Michael Formica

The Creation of Genvax Technologies | Joel Harris


About the Guest

Joel is the CEO and Co-founder of Genvax Technologies. Formerly he was the Director of Product at GlobalVetLINK and was VP of Harrisvaccines, which Merck Animal Health acquired in November of 2015. Along with coordinating investor relations and mentoring at the Ag Startup Engine, he participates in several advisory and mentoring roles to entrepreneurs and startups in the SaaS, Agtech, Biotech, and Healthcare industries. Joel holds a degree in economics from the University of Iowa and a professional certificate in public relations, marketing, and non-fiction writing from Northwestern University.

Show MoreThe Creation of Genvax Technologies | Joel Harris

The Founding Story of Dykhuis Farms | Joseph Dykhuis


About the Guest

Joseph Dykhuis was born and raised on his family’s farm in Holland, MI. Joseph is a Purdue University graduate with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics. Joseph is the President of the family farm, Dykhuis Farms, Inc, a farrow to finish pork producer in Michigan and Indiana. Dykhuis Farms also farm row crops in Ottawa, Allegan and Van Buren Counties. He is a member of the Michigan Pork Producers Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, National Pork Board’s Nominating Committee, NPPC’s Competitive Markets Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Mutual Agricultural Software Association, the ODC Network, and the Michigan Maritime Museum. He and his wife Heather, their son, and three daughters reside in Holland, MI.

Show MoreThe Founding Story of Dykhuis Farms | Joseph Dykhuis

What All Graduating Veterinarians Must Know | Dr. Rebecca Robbins


About the Guest

Dr. Rebecca Robbins is a mom, veterinarian and swine industry professional with 12 years of post-graduate experience. Her business, R.C. Robbins Swine Consulting Services PLLC, provides consultation in swine health management and research to animal health companies and swine producers. She is also the Lead instructor for the Elite Swine Veterinary Program available through SwineIt’s SwineCampus. Rebecca’s goal is to always deliver the highest quality, applied business solutions to the swine industry.

Show MoreWhat All Graduating Veterinarians Must Know | Dr. Rebecca Robbins

Managing the Profitability of Barrows and Gilts | Chris Opschoor


About the Guest

Chris Opschoor is 43 years old and already for 22 years working in the pig industry. After his study at the Hogeschool INHOLLAND on Animal Husbandry, 1994 – 1998 he graduated with a BSc in Swine husbandry and later obtained his Masters in Animal Breeding and Genetics from Wageningen University. He started working as Account Manager (Swine nutrition and farming) for the Company Agruniek Rijnvallei from September 1998 until October 2007. For 9 years he gave technical support to his customers and was responsible for sales too. His main focus was to take his clients to a higher technical level.

Show MoreManaging the Profitability of Barrows and Gilts | Chris Opschoor

We Have No Data…We Have No Automation | Andrew McKenzie


About the Guest

Precision Livestock Technologies CEO Andrew McKenzie co-founded the company in 2019 to bring new sources of data and analytics to the livestock industry.  Prior to PLT, he held executive positions in several software companies, worked in venture capital in New York City, and was lead engineer at a global industrial gas company.  He lives in Dallas, TX with his wife and two children and plays a little tennis when he isn’t driving around feedlot country.  Andrew has an MBA from the NYU Stern of Business and BSE in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.

Show MoreWe Have No Data…We Have No Automation | Andrew McKenzie