Oct 31, 2022

Stepping into a new area of management can be a challenging task, however when you are taking the reins from someone who has done it for as long as Steve Lebrun has and being able to keep the rest of his team in place the transition for everyone is more comfortable. As this transition has been taking place, I have spent my time working with the feed team to get my feet under me and learning as much as I can, as fast as I can, about UFC’s feed department and its customers. As I continue to transition into the feed world in the future, I welcome any interactions from our feed customers to get to learn more about your operation and how UFC can be part of that.

While I might be new in the feed business, we still have our strong team in place seeing to the day-to- day business. Kelly Powell is the Sales Manager over seeing the sales team. Leon Wenninger is the Operations Manager over seeing the three mills and staff, and Kim Hague is Accounting Manager overseeing the office staff at the mills. Kelly, Leon, Kim and their teams are the ones responsible for receiving feed orders, grinding mixing and delivering the feed, and invoicing the manufactured feed. They also oversee all the other details that need to be managed in the process of running feed mills. Having a strong team in place that takes care of the day-to-day details of the business allows me to focus on market challenges and opportunities. It truly takes a team to run our business!

With volatility in ingredient pricing from market moves, inventory management is critical in staying competitively priced. One of our priorities is making sure we have the ingredients you need for your feed on hand. At the same time, we are also focused on making sure we are not out of the market with the swings we see from week to week. We are striving to do this by working with you, understanding what your upcoming needs are, and purchasing appropriately to meet those needs.

Another ongoing priority for the feed division is safety. UFC has continued to invest back into our mills over the years to keep equipment running and in line with industry standards. Some of the investments have been in automation and safety equipment to keep the mills running as efficient as possible and keeping both employee and mill safe. Staffing will continue to be a challenge into the future, and we continue to look at ways to use technology and equipment sizing to combat staffing issues. A few years ago, the Klossner mill upgraded its roller mill, micro system and found other ways to increase batching speeds to get increased efficiencies out of the mill. Most recently the Le Sueur Mill installed a new micro system and upgraded the automation system that runs the mill.

Moving forward, we will continue to look at ways to run the mills efficiently and still maintain high quality feed. As the feed mill industry continues to become more technological, we will continue to follow that and look at ways we can implement new technology in our mills.

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