The Extension Service of Iowa State University and the Iowa Pork Producers Association recognized CF contract partners Brent Tripp and Ryan Tripp at 2019’s Iowa Master Pork Producers on January 23rd at the Convention Center in Des Moines, Iowa.
This award recognizes Iowa’s outstanding pork producers promoting diversity, efficiency and excellence in pork production in Iowa.
Hailing from Dows, IA, brothers Brent and Ryan are third generation pork producers with three, 5,000 head, wean-to-finish farms, and have been contract growers for Christensen Farms since 2009.
Tripp Farms started back in 1931 with a 70-head farrow to finish operation complementing their row crop farming. After an unfortunate health challenge in the sow herd, the family retired the wooden floor farrowing barn and left the pork industry.
Fast-forward over sixty-five years later, Ryan returned to the family farm in 1997 after graduating with a degree in Agriculture Studies from Iowa State. And just seven years later, Tri-B Farms was established with the construction of a 5,000 head, wean-to-finish hog barn and the family could once again call themselves pork producers. Raising pigs allowed additional income for Ryan to stay on the farm and work alongside his father, Marlyn. A short year later, Tri-B Farms added a second farm to their operation, this one a doublewide, 2,500 head, wean-to-finish barn.
In 2010, Brent returned to the family farm after graduating from Iowa State and working in feed sales for a number of different organizations, including Farmland Industries, Land O’Lakes, United Suppliers and Cargill’s Porkworks team. He also worked as a swine specialist for CVA Coop in Nebraska.
Tri-B expanded again in 2011, adding a third, 5,000 head, wean-to-finish farm to generate income to support a growing family. In 2014, Tri-B Farms rounded out their hog operations with the construction of an additional 2,500 head barn on their second farm, Tri-B 2, bringing them to their current footprint of three, 5,000 head, wean-to-finish farms.
Today, Brent manages the pork production operations, and Ryan manages the row crop operations. They employ three individuals who are able to help out wherever the farm needs, with the pigs or the row crops. Together, they meticulously care for the animals, the equipment and the farms, humbly demonstrating stewardship for the land, animals and all that has been entrusted to them.
With volatility and slim margins, every successful operation needs a strong business model. Ryan and Brent’s brother, Matthew, supports and manages the farm’s finances from his home in Kansas, MO, and keeps Tri-B farms financially stable. This allows the farm to make smart, opportunistic investments, further strengthening their platform.
One of those investments was the installation of solar panels at Tri-B 2 in 2014, where the farm is able to offset roughly 67 percent of the annual utility costs and lower their carbon footprint.
The Tripp brothers are not just invested in their own operation, they are interested in seeing businesses, schools and their communities prosper. Brent serves on the Christensen Farms Grower Counsel, helping identify opportunities to improve production. He is a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Eldora, IA where he serves as an usher, and works with the church’s trust. Brent also currently serves as the president of Timothy Christian School Board, and is active on many communities supporting students. Ryan is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hampton, IA and Matthew is a member of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Kansas City, MO. When not attending activities for their kids or in the community, Ryan, Brent and Matthew enjoy spending time with family, and snowmobiling with each other.
Through the hard work and commitment to their care for pigs, the environment and their communities, the Tripp brothers are truly deserving of the recognition of “Master Pork Producer”.