Trent Thiele, Iowa

Biography

Trent Thiele is the owner of KMAX Farms, a wean-to-finish operation marketing 120,000 pigs annually based in Elma, Iowa. The farm also includes 4,800 acres of corn and soybeans, along with cattle. Thiele served on the Iowa Pork Producers Board of Directors (2014-2020), National Pork Board’s Nominating Committee (2020-2021) and the National Pork Producers Council Bylaws and Resolutions Committee (2020-present). He is an active Operation Main Street speaker and has participated in the Pork Leadership Institute.

Nominating Committee Comments

Industry Knowledge

With dirt on his hands, Trent Thiele is well-versed in crop and swine production. He is active with the pigs each day and leads by example by doing not-so-glamorous tasks. He embraces environmental technology by utilizing specialized software and equipment on the manure applicator tool bar when applying manure, and then covers additional nutrient needs with side dress.

We Care®

Thiele models the We Care® Ethical Principles. He says the most important – and the most challenging – principle is public health because an incident can break public trust, causing disarray in the supply chain and putting the industry on the defensive. In the community, his farm donates meat from one market animal to the food bank each month.

Leadership

Thiele has a precise ability to handle conflict and manage diverse skillsets and viewpoints. He is experienced with local and state leadership responsibilities, including being past president of Iowa Pork Producers Association. He has devoted time to the nominating committee in the past to gain experience and knowledge of the process.

Communication

Thiele knows all producers have the same end goal, and he embraces different perspectives. He seeks to repeat ideas for cohesiveness. For example, he shared a story of a producer explaining an idea to a group that seemed unconstructive. In the group discussion, he asked the right questions to identify what the producer meant to relay for the situation to move forward.

Attitude, Passion and Commitment

Thiele wants to devote time to helping the industry that helped him. Agriculture provides a stable income for his family, and the farm is a family affair, so his kids are helping when needed. He is a “sponge for information,” according to one member of the nominating committee.

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