Illinois Farm Bureau’s Farm Week Now radio program recently interviewed Pat Hildebrand about Quincy Farm Products. Gary Speckhart, IFB District 9 director, and Brent Clair, a FarmWeek CropWatcher from Adams County, toured our new facilities at 3501 Wismann Lane in Quincy, IL. They discussed feed from manufacturers’ byproducts, the process of turning that into high quality livestock feed, and, of course, the price of corn.
Pat Hildebrand, a veteran farmer, and Jerrod Evans, who worked for Quincy Recycle for nearly two decades, launched Quincy Farm Products in 2014.
The unique company converts food waste – mostly bakery products such as cereal, granola, bread, donuts and even candy – into high quality ground livestock feed.
“We produced our first load Christmas Eve 2014,” Hildebrand said during a recent tour of the facility organized by the Illinois Livestock Development Group and RFD Radio Network. “Farmers are very receptive to it.”
The bakery blend produced by Quincy Farm Products looks and feels like a typical feed product with a high energy content and a moisture level around 8 to 9 percent.
It replaces a portion of corn or soybeans from a livestock ration and competes very well on price.
“Our product is priced off the corn market,” said Hildebrand, who noted corn prices in his area recently were $132/ton compared to a price for the bakery product of $120/ton. “It’s a little bit under corn. That’s what makes it a good value.”
The bakery waste used to produce the livestock feed comes from all over the Midwest, from Chicago to Indianapolis and St. Louis to as far north as Wisconsin.
Farmers and consumers shouldn’t be concerned by the term “waste,” though, as most of the discarded bakery products simply have a labeling misprint or defect in packaging or other minor issue. The food used for feed remains good but can’t be sold at any food retail stores or even given to charity for human consumption.
“Every food manufacturer budgets for 12 to 15 percent waste,” Evans said. “About 1,400 tons of material comes in and out (of the Quincy facility) each month.”
Quincy Farm Products in the past year tripled its workforce as production grew from about 400 tons per month to 1,200 tons per month. Other accounts could add another 600 tons of feed production each month.