Healthy, Happy Pigs are Guerrero’s Greatest Job Satisfaction

For pig farmer Brandi Guerrero of Milford, Utah, there is no greater job satisfaction than walking through the barns and seeing healthy pigs. After all, they depend on her and the other employees.

“When the animals look great and are healthy, and when the piglets are healthy, it gives me a good feeling,” she said. “It’s very gratifying to see that these animals are thriving because of what we have done.”

Animal well-being has always been a focus for Guerrero, who works for Smithfield Foods. While she grew up on a dairy farm in Utah, it was pigs she says really “clicked” with her. After listening to friends talk about their jobs at a pig farm, Guerrero decided to consider pig farming as a possible career path. She started as a herd technician with Smithfield Foods when she was 18.

10,000 Pigs
4,700 Sows
15 Employees

She has since become a farm leader and now oversees the 4,700 sows and 10,000 pigs on her farm, in addition to the 15 employees. Her job is to ensure the animals’ needs are met and that her employees follow practices that support animal care and safety.

Although Guerrero mostly learned from hands-on training on the job, she’s also had formal training over the years, such as that offered through Pork Quality Assurance® Plus, the National Pork Board’s comprehensive food safety and animal well-being education, training and certification program. She also has been involved in committees to improve health on farms. When it comes to animal well-being, day-to-day tasks are important, such as keeping the environment comfortable and meeting the animals’ nutritional needs, Guerrero said.

One of Guerrero’s key duties is walking the barn and observing the animals together and individually and thinking about how she can make things better for them. That may mean adjusting the ventilation if they appear too hot or monitoring them if they seem sluggish or uninterested in food or water.

Sometimes, however, they may need medical treatment. When there is a health issue present, she works closely with the farm’s veterinarian to provide the right treatment or medication.

Ultimately, her team’s goal is to keep the pigs healthy and get them to market so they can feed families.

“It’s up to us — we need to make sure we’re doing our part to take care of these animals,” she said. “That’s why we’re here.”
female pig farmer, standing outside of a barn