Podcast: Proud of Family Farm Heritage and Social Media Pioneer as a Pork Producer with Randy Curless

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Randy Curless is one of those “lifer’s” with an old school mentality and passion for the Pork Industry. Wining family farm of the year awards, presidency of Indiana Pork, and one of the Pioneers for social media in our Industry Randy still exudes just as much passion today as we work’s with Producers as the Producer service manager with Pig Tek.

We discuss:

1. How in the 2009/2010 time frame he was one of the first Producer advocates on Social Media who paved the way for others.

2. We discuss how he is proud of the family farm heritage, and a family rich in Agriculture success in Wabash Indiana .

3. We look about what prompted the change from being a Producer and now how he is the Producer Services Manager at Pig Tek.

4. We discuss State organizations and his tenure as  President of the Indiana Pork Producers association.

4. We discuss with the Producers Randy works with  what are the biggest challenges they are facing?

5.Reflection time. We ask Randy what is one thing you would do the same and one thing different in this era as a  Pork Producer?

6. We discuss mentor’s and role models.

7. War in Ukraine, ASF, Covid , Market prices? Which current disastrous event do you think has affected you, our industry, and will have the longest-term repercussions?

8. We discuss a story about Jim Long that reflects years ago when Randy remembers him visiting the Family Farm.

9. For the first time in a public setting we reveal Randy’s nick name, something only myself and his family knew.

10. Final wrap. We are approaching that time in the industry with a “new Guard” and evolution coming in. Do you think the key to success in the Pork Industry is establishing “strong relationships” or are our ideas and value we come with should hold weight in success?

The black and white photo is the first generation of Curless’s that moved to Wabash County and started this all. My sow farm was built on that same farm where that photo was taken. Some of my employees lived in that house. Morris Curless was the father and he passed away within the first year that the family moved to Wabash. His wife raised their 10 kids on that farm and they spread out from there. Many still live in the area. One of those boys in that photo was my Great grandfather Cy Curless, his son was my grandfather Wilbur Curless, whom I started farming with in 1979.

About our guest Randy Curless –

Born and raised in Wabash County, located in North Central Indiana. Curless graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. degree in General Agriculture in 1979. He returned home to join his father and grandfather and become the sixth generation to operate their family farm. During his tenure operating Curless Farms, Inc and Liberty Swine Farms, Inc he grew the family swine operation from 150 sows to a 1200 sow farrow-to-finish operation. The farm operation consisted of both owned and rented ground totaling 1300 acres, raised corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay, an eighty head cow/calf operation, and fed out an additional 250 head of cattle per year.

Nationally, Curless has served on the Checkoff’s Pork Safety Committee and is a graduate of the Pork Leadership Academy. At the state level, he was a member of the Indiana Pork Producers Association serving as president in 2009 and serving as Indiana Pork’s representative to U.S.M.E.F. for 4 years. In 2011 Curless represented Indiana Pork and traveled with a group of Indiana businessmen on a trade mission to China with the Lt. Governor. Locally he was a member of the Wabash County Pork Producers, Wabash County Soil and Water District Advisory Board, and Wabash County Extension Board as well as being a Wabash County Councilman for 12 years, and currently serves on the Wabash County Area Plan Commission.

Curless sold his swine operation in 2017 and currently works with PigTek, the swine division of CTB, Inc, as their Producer Services Manager.