MFA reaches across the spectrum to support livestock producers
MFA has a long-standing commitment to the livestock industry. Livestock has been a major factor in MFA’s trade territory for all of MFA’s 100 years. In fact, two of MFA’s first offerings to farmers and ranchers were livestock feeds and shipping associations.
Much has changed over the course of those 100 years. Animal breeds have undergone multiple transformations. Marketing has changed course many times over the years. Packer and consumer demands have gone from here to there and back.
Despite all that change, MFA’s commitment to livestock producers has remained a steady force. Why? Well, for starters, keep one thing foremost in mind: 10 percent of the U.S. cowherd is located within 150 miles of Joplin, Mo. That dovetails perfectly with our trade territory and assures MFA’s continued focus.
That’s 2,865,300 beef cows in that geography. Missouri accounts for 1,076,800 head; Oklahoma, 900,200 head; Kansas, 426,700 head; and Arkansas, 461,600. That’s a presence that cannot be overstated and not just for those in the livestock sector.
Row-crop farmers help feed those animals as do well-operated forage operations. And so does MFA. In fact, MFA has the largest market share of any feed company in the territory. Each year MFA manufactures and sells $84 million worth of feed through feed production sites in St. Joseph, Mexico, Kirksville, Gerald, Lebanon and Aurora, Mo., as well as Emporia, Kan. There’s good reason MFA keeps serving the livestock industry.
For a century, MFA has designed feeds to be reliable products that perform well in animals and that are cost-effective for producers by ensuring healthy animals that gain well. MFA’s standing today is built on that track record. MFA’s branded feed tonnage, already a market leader, continues to rise substantially in the face of a 15 percent decline in the nation’s herd.
MFA’s commitment doesn’t stop at the feed bunk, however. MFA Health Track has moved more than 500,000 head through a customized weaned-calf marketing program. Health Track is the largest calf program of its type in the nation. And it keeps getting larger for one reason: performance.
Those of you who have been following the industry for years know: many competing programs have fallen by the wayside over the years. Health Track has proved its worth, continues to grow and continues to attract buyers looking for healthy animals that continue to gain in multiple environments.
MFA Animal Health ($6.7 million each year) supplies pharmaceuticals, biologicals, feed additives, instruments and insecticides from major suppliers. And MFA hasn’t stopped there. Within the last month, to ensure prompt supply, MFA and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative created a new business called Alliance Animal Care.
Alliance Animal Care has warehouse facilities in Bowling Green, Ky., and support staff and distribution assets nearby. Forming this company allows MFA a better level of control over the future supply and service of the animal health product needs of customers. This endeavor underscores MFA’s commitment to serving livestock producers.
Farm Supply is another important part of, not just MFA, but of our customers’ operations. As MFA’s first official department, Farm Supply has a long track record of seeking out products farmers and ranchers need. And not just any products. MFA’s Farm Supply specialists comb through hundreds if not thousands of products sorting for reliability, durability and cost.
Because of MFA’s focus on the needs of the customer base, MFA moves more than $25 million worth of farm supply products each year.
In fact, again in conjunction with Tennessee Farmers Cooperative, MFA developed a line of farm supply products that set the standards in the marketplace: Herdsman brand. Herdsman products have proved their worth where it counts: in the field. Herdsman is built around one concept: quality products built to last.
Using all of these resources, MFA is in the midst of designing a multi-focus program specifically designed for the livestock industry. Calling on expertise and assets of all the experts on staff at MFA, your cooperative is creating a program to help beef cattle producers realize the full value of their herd’s genetic potential.
The program will be introduced to the countryside this fall. The focus is nutrition, herd health, management, Health Track and marketing support—the full spectrum of a livestock producer’s needs. The program, offered to individuals at requested levels of participation, covers rations, forage management, vaccinations, medicated feed access, record keeping, benchmarking, third-party verification and intricate producer communication—from certificates to electronic data to carcass data.
The program will highlight MFA’s comprehensive approach to a big-picture view of the industry. The program reaches across disciplines to provide high levels of service, deep commitment and strategic investment.It’s one more way MFA can help support and enhance the livestock industry.
- Billy Streeter
President & CEO