Preferred Capital Management (PCM) at Fairmont, MN, provides a variety of services to its many wean-to-finish hog farmers, as well as the shareholder-owners of sow farms across southwest Minnesota and Iowa that produce weaned pigs for them to finish out.

PCM services range from the planning and construction of hog farms, to hiring employees, providing legal, payroll, marketing advice, and human resources, Human Resources Manager Tammy Steuber says.

With the hog industry under severe economic duress for over two years, finances are very important for the management company and the human factors that impinge on the cost of producing a pig.

Worker compensation insurance is offered by a variety of carriers. “You want a carrier that is going to be an advocate for both your employee’s best interest and your (company’s) best interest, so picking a worker’s comp carrier based on their rate is not a clear-cut decision, because so many other factors are involved,” Steuber says.

She explains that businesses, including farms, are given a “mod factor,” which rates their insurance status based on the number of claims filed. The starting point is 1 or 100%, meaning that no claims have been filed.

She says if businesses go for a while and file few to no claims, their mod factor can actually fall below 1. Hog farms managed by PCM range from under 1 to 1.8.

That suggests a wide range of conditions exist on those farms, says Sasha Gibson, swine educator for PCM. Worker safety training guidelines now being implemented may prove highly cost-effective in lowering insurance premiums over time as less accidents result in fewer claims, she notes.