History and Advancement of Innovation- Pipestone

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In 1942, Drs. E.A. Scheweim and P.A. Pinkert founded the Pipestone Veterinary Clinic. Since then, the company has continued to innovate while serving our mission of Helping Farmers Today Create the Farms of Tomorrow.

In 1988, the Pipestone System was founded and in 1990 Hiawatha Gilts, LTD was built and became the first Pipestone System managed sow farm. Hiawatha Gilts is still in operation today, along with 68 other Pipestone System farms.

The building of Hiawatha was a pivotal movement in not only Pipestone’s success, but for over 500 independent producers across the Midwest.

“It is all about the producer,” Dr. Jay Bobb said. We needed to develop an avenue for producers to be a part of. The development of the Pipestone System managed farm allowed us to step aside from the trends of large farms and keep small farms around.”

Dr. Jay Bobb has been with Pipestone for 31 years as a Veterinarian. Dr. Gordon Spronk, also a Veterinarian, started with Pipestone while in High School in late 1975 before he started full-time in 1981.

“Pipestone’s culture is agriculturally based, with the traditional ethics of hard work, family and faith as key drivers,” Dr. Spronk said. “We have been through disasters, changes, advancements, but our core values have always stayed the same.”

Over the years, the world has adapted and changed, allowing Pipestone and pig farmers to continue growing and improving.

Computers have allowed us to advance our speed in data and decision making. Phones have allowed us to better communicate. “Technological advancement has allowed us to gather the right information at the right time, deliver it to the producer, and make quick, but accurate decisions,” Dr. Spronk said. “With information at our fingertips, we can do so much more.”

2016 was another pivotal year for PIPESTONE and independent farmers with the formation of WholeStone Farms. Integrating 220 family farmers through ownership in a pork processing facility located in Fremont, NE, WholeStone Farms serves their mission of Bringing the Farmer Closer to the Consumer.

“Anyone can raise a pork chop, but not everyone can be proud to serve their product to their family,” Dr. Bobb said. “Pipestone’s involvement with Wholestone has made this possible.”
The needs of our consumers continue to change. With each other’s support, Dr. Bobb believes we can produce safe food and safe pork. A pivotal movement in the swine industry that we have at our fingertips.

“Pipestone is here to facilitate the demands and adapt to those changes, all with the producer in mind,” Dr. Bobb said.

“Be prepared for the next generation of consumer demand,” Dr. Spronk said. “This starts with healthy pigs including no antibiotics, and the use of new products to new markets. The development of disease elimination and filtered barns is a major impact to the economic well-being of the pig owner.”

As we move into the future, Drs. Bobb and Spronk encourage us to accept challenges and risk and to not be afraid to fail. If we raise our pork the best we can, and the market it right, the opportunity is never ending.

“I would have never dreamed where Pipestone would be today,” Dr. Jay Bobb said. “There is nothing but good ahead. It won’t always look the same, but by growing, changing and innovating, we can push forward.”

Dr. Spronk agreed.

“The next generation will go places we have never even dreamed,” Dr. Spronk said. “I encourage the next generation to go places and do things to meet the needs of tomorrows farms we cannot even think of today. I encourage and bless you along the way.”

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