ATLANTA, GEORGIA, US — For the second consecutive year, a Kent Nutrition Group feed mill has been honored as the Commercial Dry Facility of the Year. 

The 2022 award, sponsored by the American Feed Association (AFIA) and Feedstuffs, goes to the Kent Feeds plant in Marshall, Missouri, US. The winner was announced at the AFIA Feed Education Program on Jan. 25 at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

Gary Huddleston, director of feed manufacturing and regulatory affairs at the AFIA, presented the facility’s leadership team with the award. 

“Back when I was a plant manager, there was a plaque on my wall that simply said, ‘Do the right thing,’” Huddleston said. “That’s what I wanted my employees to always understand: Do the right thing every day. What we try to do in this program is recognize facilities that do the right thing every day.”

He noted that although the Marshall plant is an older facility, built in 1976, it stands out because employees “do the right things every day.”

“They recently installed a (Repete) pellet mill automation system that helps them be more efficient and to have better quality control,” Huddleston said. “The Marshall plant prides itself in offering excellent customer service and manufacturing high-quality feed each and every day. They have a lot of dedicated employees.”

The feed mill produces about 52,000 tonnes of multi-species feed per year and has an 80% to 20% split between bulk and bagged feed, Huddleston said.

Chris Igo, plant manager at the Marshall facility, received a plaque from Huddleston and credited “a great group of employees” for the honor. The feed mill has 14 employees.

Other finalists for this year’s Commercial Feed Facility of the Year award were Kent Nutrition Group of Mason, Michigan, US, which was the winner of the 2021 Commercial Dry Feed Facility of the Year award, Belstra Milling of DeMotte, Indiana, US, and Western Milling of Goshen, California, US.

Kent Nutrition Group is a division of Kent Corp., a family-owned company based in Muscatine, Iowa, US, with a history of innovation in animal nutrition, food, beverage and personal care ingredients, agriculture, and pet care. Kent Nutrition Group manufactures nutrition products for everything from livestock to small animals. 

The AFIA has been recognizing excellent feed manufacturing facilities through the Feed Facility of the Year program since 1985, with 2021 marking the first year that the association began issuing top industry awards to facilities in four categories: commercial dry, liquid feed, premix and ingredient, and integrator.