Hubbard Feeds Inc. receives national honor |

Hubbard Feeds Inc. receives national honor

Pictured at the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and Feedstuffs 2013 Feed Mill of the Year awards ceremony are left to right: Mark Nelson, Vice President, Ridley Inc., and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Feed; Thad Olson, Director of Manufacturing at Hubbard Feeds; Keith Epperson, Vice President, American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA), and Steve VanRoekel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ridley Inc. AFIA and Feedstuffs annually recognize the top two feed mills in the nation as part of the Feed Mill of the Year awards program. Rapid City's Hubbard Feeds Inc. was honored on Feb. 27 as the 2013 runner-up, besting more than 80 mills from across the country who entered the contest. Photo by Sarah Muirhead

On Thursday, Feb. 27, Rapid City’s Hubbard Feeds Inc. facility was presented an award for being named runner up in the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) Feedstuffs annual Feed Mill of the Year Program.

“It’s a great honor. It was an honor originally just to be in the top three, and ended 2013 on a high note for our team,” stated plant manager Thad Olson of receiving the award.

The award is based on a facility’s dedication and commitment to safety, productivity, efficiency and employee relations. Rapid City’s Hubbard Feeds mill was among more than 80 operations to participate, and placed second only to Tennessee Farmers Cooperative in Rockford, Tenn.

“They have showed continuous improvements in several areas including quality and safety. In fact, they have gone nearly 6,400 days without a lost time accident, so that is almost 17 years. They should be very proud of this accomplishment,” explained AFIA Vice President of Membership and Public Relations Sarah Novak of what set Hubbard Feeds Inc. apart.

She added that Hubbard Feeds Inc., which was built in 1890 and originally powered by water, has maintained a longstanding commitment to quality, winning runner-up honors previously in 2001 in addition to being named champion mill in the program in 2005.

An AFIA press release stated that a total of 16 team members, including 10 production associates, work at the Rapid City plant. Hubbard Feeds Inc. produces 40,000 tons annually, with 74 percent delivered to customers in bulk and 26 percent bagged.

Plant safety is self-driven through an employee safety committee designed to train workers to be safe both on and off the job. Daily safety huddles and a mentorship program are considered key aspects of the plants impressive record.

In addition to safety, Olson listed providing customers with a quality, consistent, product as a top plant priority, as well as making capital investments in new technologies.

“The new pellet mill added last year not only improves efficiency and enhances safety but also improves the ability to manufacture a more uniform product,” he provided as one example.

Hubbard Feeds Inc. also goes beyond federal requirements through being ISO 9001 registered and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) certified in addition to being Safe Feed/Safe Food certified to ensure their mill operates at a level above current federal standards.

“The Feed Mill of Year program began in 1985, and is used as a way for companies to benchmark how their mill runs compared to other mills. They are asked to answer well over 100 questions in the areas of: plant management, safety, quality, government compliance, housekeeping, plant appearance, productivity, employee and customer relationships,” explained Novak.

Following submissions, scores for each participating plant are totaled, and results tallied. Plants can then see not only their own scores in each area of the program, but the average, high and low score as well. This provides the ability to compare how a specific mill performs both within a larger company, but also across all operating mills in the United States.

“This is a big honor, and it takes an entire team to be successful in this program. They were quite happy when they received the news, as they should be. It’s a rather tough competition and the Hubbard Feeds Inc. mill excelled,” concluded Novak.

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