We had to be up near Mason City, Iowa, this morning, so we stayed at the Historic Park Inn again last night.

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Traveler tip: always sign up for hotel loyalty programs – we scored a free upgrade last night.

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The HPI gets big points for its reasonable rates, quirky Frank Lloyd Wright design and heated floors. So posh.

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In other work related news, I need to learn more about plumbing and water pressure. Seems like half the customer issues we deal with are related to water pressure. I believe the best way to learn about the market and our customers is taking the time to watch the feeders in action and talking with the people who operate them, so I spend a decent chunk of time in the barns with Chad.  I love meeting the hog farmers and watching them care for their pigs. Many of them sell to big labels like Hormel or Swift, but most are family operations. Today we’re in a barn owned by a guy about our age, and his dad helps out.

Piglets really like their wet-dry feed and are not known for taking turns. And once in a while a little guy will just crawl right on in. Sort of the equivalent of pulling up a chair and hogging an entire buffet. (See what I did there?)  But he never stays there long, ’cause his buddies nudge him out so they can eat.

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The nursery pigs get extra points for cuteness.  Hi!

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Also, you know what’s pretty good? BBQ at Hickory Park in Ames. Nom nom.

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