Changes in the feed business over the past 37 years.

Jul 05, 2022

Rich Strutt

Thank you, Rich!

I have given it a lot of thought and have decided that after working in the ag nutrition field for 37 years, it is time to retire. Not from agriculture altogether, but to work on my family farm alongside my children and grandchildren.

First, I want to thank my present and past customers for their business and the support that they have given me throughout the years. 

I have seen many changes in the feed business over the past 37 years. When I started working in the Cooperative system in 1985, I worked in both the feed and agronomy side. After working in the feed mill, I would then deliver the feed with a bulk truck, sometimes pulling a fertilizer spreader along behind to make the trip more efficient!

In those days, you worked with all species of animals. I also worked with the agronomy department making recommendations for seed, fertilizer and crop protection.

When I began doing feed rations, they weren’t done on a computer. They were done by hand using the Pearson Square method. A few years later, we began doing rations on a computer, which had a whole room devoted to it because of its size. It didn’t have a hard drive; only a floppy drive, so you had to print all of your work because it couldn’t be saved on the computer. Around 1987, I used a portable computer and was able to take it on site to the farms to demonstrate to the producers how I could use it to generate a ration. This new-age computer had a built-in printer that used paper on a roll. When you printed, the paper would come rolling out of the computer. After a couple of months, the printed rations would basically self-destruct because the ink would fade out.

By the early 1990’s, most consultants started working with either the feed or agronomy side, but not both. By the early 2000’s, we were becoming specialized in working with specific animal species.

I have enjoyed getting to know my customers, their families and their operations. You know you have been in the business a long time when you are now working with the second and third generations on some of the farms that you work with. I will remember these friendships for the rest of my life. In closing, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of God, my family and all of my great co-workers who make this a great place to work.

Rich Strutt

Animal Nutritionist


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Mar 03,2023
With spring just around the corner, your cooperative is gearing up for another one of our seasonal rushes…spring planting season. Not only will we see our total employee count peak for the year, but nearly every asset in the company will be in use. While many businesses have equipment and buildings that are in use all year long, our grain and agronomy divisions have millions of dollars invested in some assets that only get used for a few months out of the year. It is critical that these assets are fully operational and ready to go when the season starts. Our agronomy operations team has spent the winter months going through all the equipment to make sure it's in good working order, unwrapping and greasing up the new sprayers, trucks and other equipment we’ve purchased this year, updating technology and precision tools on existing equipment, and conducting hours of training on its use and safety. 

In addition, the crop advisors and admin staff have been putting the finishing touches on crop plans and seed orders, wrapping up input financing and nutrient management plans, hiring and training new staff including college interns to help scout fields, and maybe taking a little time away to get rested for what is sure to be long days and short nights ahead. If you’re still looking to finalize plans for this planting season, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our highly trained crop advisors.

Gearing up for spring is not only about the equipment, but also the additional staff needed to provide the products and services our members rely on to help feed the world. Each year we try to fill about 100 full and part time positions at our eleven agronomy locations. These positions can last from six weeks up to eight months. Most seasonal positions involve delivering product to our members or directly to fields to keep our custom application machines running smoothly. If you or someone you know is interested in seasonal or year-round employment, please contact Shayla at our Mt Horeb office or stop by one of the agronomy locations. The hours can be flexible and available up to seven days a week. If agronomy work isn’t for you, ask about openings at any of our other locations including retail associates, plant operations, truck drivers, administrative professionals and more. Premier is always looking to add quality people to our team.

Thank you for your continued support of Premier Cooperative and its staff. Have a great month and stay safe!
Mar 03,2023
Cattle nutrient requirements can vary by season and stage of production. Now is a great time to evaluate your cattle mineral programs and map out a plan to maximize impact.

While minerals are a relatively small portion of the diet, they control many vital functions in cattle and impact everything from cattle reproduction to feed efficiency and overall herd health. That's why it’s so important to make sure the mineral needs of your cattle are being met year-round.
Mar 03,2023
I know many of you have plans in place for a spring burndown herbicide application. If not, here are a few reasons for you to get in contact with your Premier agronomist to do so. Spring burndown applications typically target winter annuals and perennial grasses that overwinter and resume growing as soon as temperatures warm in the spring.  As they get going in the field they immediately begin stealing water and nutrients from the soil, and can create planting challenges. With the onset of resistant weeds like waterhemp, and standby challenges like giant ragweed, it is a best practice recommendation to add a strong residual herbicide to your preplant spring burndown application.  Doing so helps keep populations down and gets ahead of your first early post application. Here are some tips for establishing clean fields that give your crop a strong start.