Every year the American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs pick the Feed Mill of the Year for the United States. For 2008 the Cargill plant in Martinsburg, Philadelphia won the trophy.
By Dick Ziggers
The annual Feed Mill of the Year award recognises 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.
The 2008 Feed Mill of the Year, the Cargill Animal Nutrition plant in Martinsburg, Pa., was presented with a commemorative plaque, banner and other keepsakes on Feb. 13, 2009. The presentations were made during a special lunch by representatives of the American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs. Cargill hosted the lunch in honour of its Martinsburg employees and their families.
“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% 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 in early February. 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, Kansas. The plant is a large manufacturer of feed for show animals, and it produces primarily bagged products. Managers of the Ridley plant during 2008 were Clint Scheck and Jerry Dunno. The operation in Beloit is one of more than 20 plants operated by Ridley in the US. This plant became under full ownership of Ridley after it was leased since 2004 from The Farmway Co-op. The buy-out of the lease contract was established for $1 million.
The 2008 Most-Improved Feed Mill is the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative mill in Jackson, Tennessee. With its headquarters in LaVergne and facilities in East and West Tennessee, TFC has a total of three distribution centers, three fertiliser plants, five feed mills, a metal fabrication plant, a farm equipment facility, and a maintenance shop. In addition, a seed conditioning and vegetable and lawn seed packaging facility are located at Halls in West Tennessee, and TFC operates barge terminals in Nashville and Ft. Loudon in East Tennessee.
Background of the award
The annual Feed Mill of the Year award recognises overall excellence in feed-manufacturing operations. Selection of the top plant starts with an online application process and concludes with personal visits to the top sites by an inspection team from AFIA and feed industry weekly Feedstuffs. Final selection is based on a combined scoring of the application and a personal visit. More than 60 feed companies from across the US competed for the 2008 award. AFIA is the US organisation devoted to the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the animal feed industry and its suppliers. Members include about 500 domestic and international companies, and state, regional and national associations. The feed industry makes significant contributions to food safety, nutrition and the environment, and plays a critical role in the production of safe and healthy meat, milk and eggs at affordable prices. More than 75% of the commercial feed in the United States is manufactured by AFIA members.
Feed Tech Vol. 13 No. 3, 2009