“Taking care of hens and producing an affordable food source is rewarding.”
“Day or night, my job never stops. Caring for a flock of hens requires us to be flexible, working at odd times and willing to give our attention to the hens as needed.” Jason Ramsdell, the general manager of Dakota Layers, is responsible for the flock on his family’s farm. He dedicates his days to overseeing the South Dakota company’s layer farm, pullet farm, and processing department.
Ramsdell joined his family’s farm shortly after he acquired his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree from South Dakota State University. Starting as a construction manager, he utilized his skills to design belted, high rise hen housing and later stepped in as a processing manager before moving to his current position as the general manager. Not only does Ramsdell get to do what he loves every day, he also gets to work alongside his father, Scott, the CEO, his wife Tracy, the marketing manager, and his brother-in-law, who is Dakota Layers’ legal counsel.
There is no typical day on the farm; Ramsdell’s schedule is different every day. He schedules his time a week in advance to ensure he visits each area of the farm. Ramsdell showers in (an important biosecurity step to protect the hens from diseases) to the layer barn and spends a full day checking on the hens and the team in the production area. He also showers in and spends a full day at the pullet farm. Ramsdell’s favorite part of the job is “constantly interacting with employees and caring for our hens.”
The remainder of his time is spent overseeing the processing department, manure and grounds keeping and other areas. Ramsdell even takes the farm’s local delivery truck out to deliver eggs occasionally.
“My family loves this lifestyle. Taking care of hens and producing an affordable food source is rewarding.” Both of his children enjoy watching the chicks grow, reworking eggs, and helping around the farm.