ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S., and MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Hubbard Feeds of Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S., is the 2010 Feed Mill of the Year, according to the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and Feedstuffs, the sponsors of the annual contest. The runner-up is Cargill’s animal nutrition facility in Giddings, Texas, U.S.

The winning plant was built in 1977 by the Peavy Company. In 1983, it was purchased by Northwestern Supply and renamed Heartland, Inc. Hubbard Feeds entered into a joint venture in 1993, before purchasing the plant in 2003.

AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system certify Hubbard Feeds.

Randy Amelsberg has managed the plant for the last seven of his 30 years at this location. Among the employees keeping the running at maximum efficiency, include seven production employees, a truck driver, two supervisory employees, one plant superintendent, a grain merchandiser and three clerical employees. The mill had no lost time and zero accidents since 2006.

Hubbard Feeds manufactures approximately 24,100 tonnes of feed, annually. The plant has a total of 103 grain and feed bins, with approximately 400,000 total bushel storage. Feed volume is tested twice a year and scales are calibrated once a year.

The plant produces 90% of pellets, with textured and meal comprising the last 10%. The majority of feed is bulk, representing 78% of capacity, while bagged feed totals 22%. The largest volumes produced are for beef, dairy and wild bird. Hubbard serves 94% of dealers and 6 percent of retailers.

Safety is important to Hubbard Feeds. The mill has a safety committee, a written safety program that includes self-inspection for OSHA compliance, and mandatory employee safety training meetings.

Hubbard Feeds is also active in the community, sponsoring and donating to several causes.

Cargill’s animal nutrition mill in Giddings, Texas, is the runner-up of the 2010 Feed Mill of the Year contest. The mill previously won the award in 1991 and 2006, and it was named runner-up in 1989.

Cargill’s Giddings mill is certified by both the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system and AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program.

Cargill Animal Nutrition Plant Manager Byron Sommerlatte, who has managed the Giddings facility since 1988, taps his more than 30 years of industry experience to efficiently manage Cargill’s 34 production employees. Safety, customer service and equipment improvement are among the qualities ranking Cargill near the top.

Cargill Animal Nutrition supplies feed products throughout the region, with a 300-mile marketing radius in South Central Texas and Mexico. The plant produces beef feed products, horse products, poultry products, deer and other game products. The product mix is 70% bagged products and includes pellets, meal, minerals, textured feeds, processed grains and pressed blocks.

The annual Feed Mill of the Year award recognizes overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations. Increased safety, quality, regulatory compliance, operating efficiencies and overall industry awareness of food safety are among the criteria reviewed for each applicant.

“The quality of this year’s candidates was quite impressive as was their dedication to quality control and safety standards,” said Keith Epperson, vice-president of manufacturing and training for AFIA. He said this year’s winning mill stood out because there is a “clear commitment from every employee to produce a safe, quality product for the customers of Hubbard Mills.”

Over 75 feed facilities competed for this year’s award.

“The number of facilities increased again this year,” said Epperson. “I believe this is due in part to the fact that each facility that applies receives important feedback in the way of bench-marking information. Comparing their own mill to others in the industry gives managers a way to focus on the areas where they may have scored low so they can make improvements.”

Selection of the top plant starts with an online application process and concludes with personal visits to the top sites by an inspection team from AFIA and Feedstuffs. Final selection is based on a combined scoring of the application and personal visit.

The winner of the 2009 contest was a Southern States feed mill in Cleveland, North Carolina. The runner-up mill in last year’s contest was Cargill’s Value Added Meats turkey production plant in Harrisonburg, Va.