Colorado feed business opens to help small livestock operations
April 27, 2017
Contact Mountain Vista Premium Feeds
To learn more MVP Feeds, go to the company’s Facebook page. To inquire about pricing and feed, you can reach the company through Facebook or by phone. Chad Franke can be reached at (970) 302-1016, and said text is the best way to get a hold of him. In the northern Colorado area, Sara Ellicott can be reached at (970) 702-6594.
Type of feed
MVP feeds has regular and non-GMO feed available.
Once a week Chad Franke would drive to Atwood, Kan., from his farm in Roggen, Colo., to pick up feed for his pig farm and other small Colorado operations.
He was tired of that drive every week, naturally. The round trip took as much time as it would to drive to three Rockies games and back, without the benefit of the baseball game or an overpriced beer. But he had little choice: The Greeley Elevator, the last place to sell local feed in small quantities, shut down in 2014.
So Franke partnered with Matt Ellicott of Kersey and Jeff Mizer of Atwood, Kan., to start a feed company in Roggen. Franke raised Berkshire hogs on his farm and connected with Mizer, who sold him smaller quantities of feed through Mizer Milling Inc.
And that is how Mountain Vista Premium Feeds began.
Franke wanted a small company that would provide feed to small or niche producers like him, because he knows personally how difficult it can be to get smaller quantities of feed. He was raising Berkshire hogs, but it was a small operation.
He was at a point where he needed to either expand his hog business or give it up. He decided to get out of the hog business and to concentrate on the feed business.
Franke now dedicates his time to processing the feed and doing the day-to-day on-site work in Roggen.
MVP is stationed on Franke's land in Roggen, and is now fully operational. MVP has already established a client base, as about 20 clients from Mizer Milling now work with MVP.
Last year, MVP was in the building phase. They purchased equipment from Greeley Elevator, last year they started building a client base.
The clients along the Front Range are now MVP clients. But the feed is still the same, premium, product Mizer sells as his own feed — MVP uses the same nutritionist as Mizer.
Mizer has worked in the feed industry for 35 years and has a mixture of large and small clients, but the small clients have a quality to them that, Mizer said, should help MVP.
"We (Mizer Milling) have always felt the small customers are more loyal — they're more work — but they stick with you," Mizer said.
The smaller customers are more work because they require smaller amounts of feed. It's easier to supply large loads than smaller, separate loads of feed.
Franke's wife, Carolyn, helps balance the books, and Ellicott's wife, Sara, helps with customer demands to the north. So it's a family business.
The grain for the feed is locally grown, and Franke said that helps with the quality.
These are people he can trust, and even though it might be a bit of an inconvenience to use a portion of crops for a small feed business, Franke said they pay them fairly to make it worth their time.
And that's the business philosophy too.
Quality product at a fair price to benefit the small producers. ❖
— Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at email@example.com, (970) 392-4410 or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.