How to Manage Multiple Locations

January 2012 | Departments | By Dr. John Foltz, Jim Miller & Dr. Christine Wilson

The “new norm” in the feed and grain industry is for managers to have multiple locations. Fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for each country elevator to be a separate business with a manager, grain buyer, accounting staff, warehousemen, etc. But just as the farmers being served have consolidated, so have the elevators and feed mills. Through mergers and acquisitions, many managers now oversee the daily operations of multiple locations at once. This has made businesses more efficient...

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Post MF Global

January 2012 | Departments | By Diana Klemme

Nobody likes to lose money — least of all when it occurs in a system long considered safe. Regulators, exchanges, futures firms, and individual brokers have all taken pride and advertised that futures customer funds are segregated from any monies or positions of the clearing member holding customer funds. As CME Clearing’s Financial Safeguards document states: “The (segregation) regulations are designed to protect customers in the event of insolvency or financial instability of the...

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Uncharted Territory

October/November 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

After MF Global's bankruptcy and the subsequent revelation it had misused customers funds, the grain industry was left reeling from frozen accounts and the lost confidence of its customers during the last quarter of 2011. With Senate hearings underway at the moment and the near-certain uncovering of additional information on the case, who knows what will transpire in the near future, much less in the months to come.

 I'm writing this column a day after the National Grain & Feed...

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Opportunities Overseas

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

They say when trade works, the world wins. In that case, the president’s signing of Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea on Oct. 21 was a long-awaited victory for all parties.

Global access is imperative to maintaining a competitive edge, as foreign markets hold the most potential. According to Floyd Gaibler, U.S. Grains Council director of trade policy, the overseas market represents 73% of the world’s purchasing power, 87% of the economic growth and 95% of the...

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How to Manage Combustible Dust

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

The October 2011 explosion of a Kansas grain elevator that killed six people tragically highlights one of the most serious hazards feed and grain processing companies manage every day — combustible dust. The loss of an employee and community-member is certainly the ultimate price paid for ineffective dust control, but loss of equipment and product, as well as nonfatal injuries, can also occur.

Nearly 280 dust fires and explosions occurred in U.S. industrial facilities from 1980 to 2005,...

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Using Surveys to Enhance Your Business

October/November 2011 | Departments | Dr. Joan Fulton, Dr. John Foltz and Barbara Foltz

Today’s world is an information world. No matter how much information you have, it never seems to be enough! In fact, the truth is — to be competitive you do need more and more information. Some of the information that you need you can get from secondary data sources also known as public information sources (e.g. government data for national and aggregate trends such as unemployment levels and rising fuel prices). However, there are many times you have a need for data that is specific to...

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How to Test Combustible Dust

October/November 2011 | Feature | By Vahid Ebadat

Solids size reduction equipment — mills — by their very nature are designed to impart energy to a solid and reduce its particle size. Mills typically have moving parts that rotate at high speeds and have small tolerances between them and the body or screens inside. Additionally, an ignitable dust cloud atmosphere may be present within the mill and/or the downstream receiving equipment when processing combustible solids. 

These factors make mills a highly likely candidate for creating...

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Full-Service Food Safety Navigation

October/November 2011 | Departments | By Dr. David Acheson, Vince Ventimiglia, J.D., and Kim Walker, J.D.

The ever-changing face of food safety and regulation has has prompted Leavitt Partners, Faegre & Benson and B&D Consulting to join forces in providing companies involved in the global food supply chain with a collaborative solution to food safety management. This joint effort offers guidance to companies seeking to navigate the shifting food safety challenges of today’s systems, and the new regulations resulting from the passage of the 2011 Food and Drug Administration Food Safety...

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Poultry Week 411

October/November 2011 | Feature |

The 2012 International Poultry Expo/International Feed Expo, the world's largest display of technology, equipment, supplies, and services for the production and processing of poultry, is expected to smash attendance records and welcome more international attendees than ever before. 

In addition to updated expo hours, new this year is the official designation of “IPE/IFE Week,” with an emphasis on educational programs in the days prior to and following the expo. Governor Nathan Deal even...

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Talking Turkey with Butterball

October/November 2011 | Cover Story | By Jackie Roembke

Butterball is synonymous with turkey; however, in the instance of its new feed mill, it's happenstance that brought U.S.’s largest vertically integrated turkey producer to Turkey, NC.

The Turkey facility was originally intended to operate as a hog mash mill; however, a downturned economy forced Coharry Farms to put its new-yet-vacant mill up for sale. Meanwhile, in 2010, Seaboard Corporation acquired a 50% ownership of Butterball LLC from Smithfield Foods; Goldsboro Milling Company, a...

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Harvest 2011’s Winners and Losers

August/September 2011 | Editors Note | Jackie Roembke

By the time this issue hits the streets, the 2011 harvest will be in full swing. Elevators in some areas will take in record volumes; others, however, will experience the diminished returns resulting from Mother Nature's bipolar regional spring and summer weather. With the numbers from the USDA's questionably optimistic June Crop Report dramatically dropping from its original estimates, the commodity market has mirrored this uncertainty.

By today's estimate, the national average corn yield...

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The Incredible Shrinking Margin

August/September 2011 | Departments | Jackie Roembke

“I’m taking my soybeans down the road this year – their bid is a nickel higher than yours most days anymore, and their moisture discounts are better too.”

Sound familiar? Managers always dread when farmers say they’re going elsewhere — whatever the reason. Sometimes a customer does leave because of price; that farmer is commonly known as a ‘transaction customer.’ This customer typically has little loyalty and always has an eye for the better deal, and may come and go with the crop years....

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Animal Ag Fights Attacks with Education

August/September 2011 | Feature | By Elise Schafer

Animal rights activist groups have long attacked every aspect of the animal production industry and continue to gain support by distributing misinformation about agriculture’s toll on the environment. Thanks to their use of controversial gimmicks and celebrity endorsements, they’ve experienced a fair amount of success with campaigns like “Meatless Mondays” and “Rather go naked than wear fur.”

These messages easily reach the eyes and ears of America’s youth by simply turning on the TV or...

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Not Your Daddy’s Feed Mill

August/September 2011 | Special Report | By Jackie Roembke

Driven by the growing needs of its producer partners, Iowa’s NEW Cooperative created its NEW Feeds, LCC, feed division in the early 90s. As technology, regulations and automation shaped the feed manufacturing industry, Elwyn Bruhl, feed division manager and 40-year NEW Cooperative employee, has witnessed every stage of this evolution. Standing within the cooperative’s new state-of-the-art Liddendale, IA, feed mill, Bruhl smiles and confidently reports: “This isn’t your daddy’s feed mill.”

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