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Feed Mill of the Year Award goes to Cargill

The Cargill Animal Nutrition plant in Martinsburg, Pa., received the 2008 Feed Mill of the Year Award. The award is a joined initiative of AFIA and agri newspaper Feedstuffs.

“The Cargill plant’s employees are much more than a team,” said Keith Epperson, AFIA vice president of manufacturing and training. “It’s clear that a family-like atmosphere is fostered and grown at the Martinsburg plant. The dedication to fellow workers and to their jobs makes it easy to understand how the employees make their plant operate with efficiency, safety, house-keeping and customer service always on their minds. Each employee has an important role in this process, and each is committed to the belief that only the best will do.”

The Martinsburg plant, which has been managed by Charles Lickteig for the last six years, is situated in the heart of the Keystone State’s dairy country. The plant primarily manufactures bulk-style feed for dairy cows in a region that extends west to approximately the state line. The plant’s associated mineral business, formerly operated as Young’s, is 90-percent dairy-focused. The plant is a key part of Cargill’s North East Region operations, and it is certified by AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program.

Lickteig accepted the award on behalf of his employees and dedicated it to the memory of a long-time employee, Barry Brown, who died unexpectedly earlier this month. Lickteig said a key factor in the success of the Martinsburg plant is its sense of family and its dedicated employees. Several employees have worked at the plant for 15 or more years apiece.

The 2008 runner-up feed mill is Ridley Inc.’s plant in Beloit, Kan. The plant is a large manufacturer of feed for show animals, and it produces primarily bagged product. Managers of the Ridley plant during 2008 were Clint Scheck and Jerry Dunno. The 2008 Most-Improved Feed Mill is the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative mill in Jackson, Tenn.

The annual Feed Mill of the Year award recognizes overall excellence in feed-manufacturing operations. Increased safety, quality, regulatory compliance, operating efficiencies and overall industry awareness of food safety are among the criteria reviewed for each applicant.

On the photo: Keith Epperson (l.) of the American Feed Industry Association presents a commemorative plaque to Charles Lickteig (r.) of the Cargill Animal Nutrition feed mill in Martinsburg, Pa., on Feb. 13, 2009

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