Southern States Cooperative’s Roanoke Feed Mill in Vinton, Virginia has won this year’s Feed Mill of the Year title, which is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs. Kent Nutrition Group in Rockford, Illinois, is the runner-up.
The Southern States’ Roanoke feed mill, which origins date back to 1935 (photo), was built in 1982 and manufactures 94,750 tonnes tons of feed every year. Safety is of utmost concern for Roanoke and its 34 employees.
Asked for his thoughts of winning the 2012 Feed Mill of the Year title, plant manager Dave Jones exclaimed, “For years we have danced around being the winner. Finally, we got the brass ring from the old fashioned Merry Go Round!”
The feed mill is third-party HACCP certified, is Safe Feed/Safe Food certified and is in compliance with the Bio-Terrorism Act.
The US Food and Drug Administration inspected the mill as did the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) within the last year, and its Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan is certified by a professional engineer.
On average, supervisors at the mill are employed for 23 years. Non-managerial employees remain with Roanoke for an average of 15 years.
“Our dedicated people are very customer centric, driven to do the best they can for our loyal customers,” said Dave Jones.
Roanoke takes pride in its programs to minimize waste. All packaging and transport materials are reused, sold to 3rd parties or used as boiler fuel.
Non-medicated feeds including fines are reworked, while medicated feeds are reworked back into themselves. Ingredients from bin clean-outs are sent to a composter.
Runner up Kent Nutrition Group
Kent Nutrition Group in Rockford, Illinois, was named runner-up for the 2012 Feed Mill of the Year programme.
The plant, which manufactures 13,150 tonnes of feed annually, was constructed in 1964. The current receiving capacity of the mill is 33 tonnes per hour.
Rockford has a total of 21 total ingredient bins and four pellet mill bins each with a 10 ton capacity and twelve 9-tonne packaging bins and 30 bulk load out bins.
“The key to our success are the people. The employees at the Rockford plant have taken to heart what is required to be considered a top notch Feed Mill, Tom Smolen, plant manager of Rockford, explained.
“The Rockford employees embrace the Kent Vision of becoming a recognised leader in creating value through sustainable, nutritious, innovative foods and ingredients for the family. The people make an organization and this is a strong and dedicated group of personnel. They are always ready to show off their feed mill and demonstrate what they do at any time,” said Smolen.