Quincy Farm Products was proud to host a group of producers on the annual Adams County Beef Tour recently. Producers from Adams County Illinois toured two area farms then finished up at QFP for grilled ribeye sandwiches and a walk-through tour of our facility.
Producers asked many questions about our livestock feed products and were able to inspect ingredients and finished products to see how they could successfully blend these into their feed.
Read Partial Transcript Below
– read on the Quincy Herald-Whig
QUINCY — Jerrod Evans holds up what looks like a doughnut to most people, but he sees a key ingredient in livestock feed.
Nearby boxes hold similar “ingredients,” ranging from granola and chocolate puffed cereal to gummy worms and cookies.
“We get a lot of stuff that’s bad for you, stuff that’s full of fat, full of sugar, full of starch,” Evans said. But combined with higher-protein and fat-free products like dry pasta, it turns into feed designed to help meet the nutritional needs of cattle, swine and poultry.
That’s the premise behind Quincy Farm Products, launched in 2014 as a subsidiary of Quincy Recycle with Evans as general manager to reuse waste from food manufacturers. The business was the third and final stop of Thursday’s third annual Adams County Beef Tour.
“Producers can get together, exchange information and take pieces of that back to their operation to benefit them and improve their bottom line,” said Jessica Carolan, a vice president with 1st Farm Credit Services, the tour’s sponsor.
The tour visited two farms and Quincy Farm Products, housed since early this year in the former Motorola plant at 3501 Wismann Lane.
“I was interested to see what they’re doing, what I can maybe use in my operation,” Mendon farmer David Muegge said.
Tons of products each month — all analyzed by a lab to determine protein, fat and energy content — move through the plant, which produces a supplemental feed to replace corn as an energy source in livestock rations and an oat-based product sold to producers and feed mills across Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas.
“People see food they have in their pantries. They’re surprised by the quantity,” said Pat Hildebrand, Quincy Farm Product’s operations manager.
Long rows of “ingredients” — unsuitable for retail sale because of size or color — fill the plant along with equipment to mix, grind and move the dry feed product, as well as “combine” the paper and plastic packaging from food products.
“Most farmers are always looking over the fence, seeing what everybody else is doing, and honestly that’s not a bad way to gather some information,” said Travis Meteer, University of Illinois Extension beef educator. “Seeing ideas in place and in action on another farm makes some of those ideas and management practices look a little more attainable.”
Meteer and Monte Rowland with Ursa Farmers Cooperative shared common-sense reminders with producers, including the importance of not overgrazing pastures, which can stunt growth, and reducing stress levels when weaning cattle by avoiding drastic changes in diet and dusty or muddy locations.
Quincy farmer Dean Dedert listened for ideas he can use on his farm.
“You always try to learn something to save money,” he said.
In most instances, that means efficiency.
“We’re in a down-trending market in the cattle business. It’s time for us to look at how can we be more efficient, how can we save on costs, and replace or use products that are fit and fit us on the bottom line,” Meteer said.
The key, Meteer said, is using the products like Quincy Farm Products’ feed the right way as part of a total mixed ration for livestock incorporated over time.
“To have access to this in your backyard gives you guys a competitive advantage against other beef producers in the state of Illinois and Midwest,” he said.