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Developing the Dykhuis Way: Navigating Research-Based Growth

s any hog farmer knows, managing a facility is no easy task. From feeding to cleaning, it takes a village. That’s why sharing the workload and passing down the tricks of the trade are staples that have sustained family-owned operations for so long, and Dykhuis Farms, while perhaps not a traditional version of working through generations, shows the value of those practices. Joseph Dykhuis, current President of Dykhuis Farms, Inc.®, offers his expertise on his family’s research-based business and how they’ve come to where they are today.

Joe Dykhuis is a second or third-generation hog farmer, depending on how you see it. His father, Bob Dykhuis, finished a program in agricultural technology in ‘78 and came out of it with a dream to raise pigs, but he wanted a partner to do so. Bob’s father, Jim Dykhuis, already had a career as a master plumber, but Bob convinced him to be said partner for the business. The same year Bob graduated, he and his father founded a facility with 80 sows, and what would become Dykhuis Farms was born.

Entering the industry just after the farming crisis of the early ‘70s, Bob Dykhuis started his dealings with pigs when a person could “sweat equity” their way into the industry “and build a future,” as Joe puts it. Moreover, as Bob and Jim began their work, they soon became connected with PIC Genetics® and their PIC model, which angled for genetics that created quality meat, not show pigs. Though this application of genetic engineering was relatively new, it produced results. “We trusted the science of what PIC genetics would deliver…We could make projections of economic performance based off those, and we leaned into that. And holy cow did that work,” says Joe. PIC genetics allowed Dykhuis Farms to produce a competitive, profitable number of pigs, and Bob saw that for himself.

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