“I’ve been in trucking since I was a kid,” said Ty Rosburg, of Charter Oak. “I guess I was born into it.”
At the 2020 Iowa Pork Congress on January 27, Rosburg was named to the 2019 class of Master Pork Partners by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.
Six Master Pork Producers and three Master Pork Partners were named.
The IPPA Master Pork Partner award was created in 2014 to recognize non-producers who have had a positive impact on pork production systems.
Rosburg was recognized for his trucking company, Rosburg Livestock, and for his other contributions to the Iowa pork industry.
“Ty Rosburg is known for a high level of care for animals during transportation, which is important to both animal well-being and food safety, both critical concerns of those in swine production,” said Dal Grooms, IPPA communications director.
Rosburg was nominated for the award last summer and the IPPA interviewed him in the fall.
Individuals are considered for the award due to their contributions to the pork industry and by how they apply the “We Care” principals to their activities, Rosburg said.
The “We Care Responsible Pork Initiative” is an effort by the IPPA to promote ethical principles and call attention to the responsibility of farmers “to uphold the highest standards and maintain the public’s trust,” according to the IPPA.
The “We Care” principals are: producing safe food, protecting and promoting animal well-being, ensuring practices to rotect public health, safeguarding natural resources in all practices, providing a work environment that is safe and consistent with other ethical principles and contributing to a better quality of life in communities.
Among his qualifications for the award, the IPPA said Rosburg “prioritizes the welfare of his ‘valued passengers.’ He manages animal welfare protocols, audits, biosecurity measures, technology and equipment development, and the HR responsibilities of the company.”
Rosburg is on multiple committees and task forces with IPPA and the National Pork Producers Council, such as the animal well-being committee, the foreign animal disease task force and transportation committees.
His personal life spans many of the principles the IPPA seeks.
The IPPA noted that he serves on the IPPA pork tent committee (for the Iowa State Fair) and he is a member of Saint Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison, a member of the Knights of Columbus, a past assistant chief of the Charter Oak Fire Department, a member of the American Legion Post 66, the president of the Soldier Valley American Legion Riders, a member of the Crawford County Republican Party Central Committee and a member of the Denison Country Club.
Both of Rosburg’s grandfathers were in the transportation industry – one founded Keating Truck Line in Charter Oak; the other was a farm hauler with a straight truck.
After serving in the Army from 1982 to 1991, Rosburg worked for a time hauling grain with his uncle in Charter Oak but wanted to be involved with livestock.
“In the fall of ‘92, I got my own tractor and I started building my personal career in trucking,” he said.
He became partners with Les Brown in Denison and formed B Bar R Livestock trucking company.
The B is for Brown and the R is for Rosburg.
“He and I were partners for quite some time and built a good reputation in the industry,” Rosburg said. “We had trucks running from coast to coast back in those days. We had trucks in the Carolinas and clear out in California.”
In the early 2000s, Rosburg needed a break. Brown bought out his portion of the business.
He did his own thing for about three years and then started Rosburg Livestock with his wife, Natalie.
“She took care of the books for me and still is our chief office manager,” he said.
They took on hauling pigs out of Oklahoma for Smithfield Foods and also hauling out of Utah.
From there, “the proverbial snowball took off downhill,” he said.
He was eventually asked by Smithfield office staff to be a voice for transportation concerns in the pork industry, which is how his involvement with IPPA began.
Rosburg said trucking is one of the most visible components of the pork industry, which makes it a leader for the industry.
“We’re out there on the highways every day,” he said.
Today, Rosburg Livestock has 18 trailers, six company tractors and employs six owner-operators.
The company’s primary area of business is western Iowa, with a smaller amount in the eastern half of the state.
Rosburg’s son Zach oversees the company’s maintenance program and is taking over daily operations.
“As Zach became more involved in the office part of the business, I was able to step up and start doing more with the advocacy part for the pork industry,” Rosburg said.
The IPPA Master Pork Partner award is a sign that his efforts have not gone unnoticed.
“It’s an amazing honor,” he said.
He was impressed by the wisdom and experience of the other award winners in the room at the Master Pork Producers breakfast that followed the Iowa Pork Congress.
“It was kind of overwhelming to be accepted to be part of the community,” Rosburg said.