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In September 2000, as Land O’Lakes and Farmland were in the process of merging their feed companies, two local cooperatives—South Dakota Wheat Growers and North Central Farmers Elevator—were realizing they needed greater feed-milling capacity. At the same time, Farmland Industries was in possession of a feed mill in Huron, S.D., which was not being used fully. The three organizations embarked on a joint venture that fall to form a new company in Huron: Dakotaland Feeds, L.L.C.
With Land O’Lakes Farmland Feed providing the technical expertise, quality assurance, volume purchasing power for feed ingredients, and wholesale distribution, the local cooperatives have been able to focus on developing established distribution networks. The result of local cooperatives combining their strengths in this business is positively displayed in Dakotaland Feeds’ profitability and rapid sales growth.
Dakotaland Feeds’ business plan maintains a sharp focus on efficiency. Their financial performance also depends on keeping their sales and support staff informed of industry trends and developing partnerships with area businesses such as ethanol plants. Distiller’s co-products make excellent ingredients for livestock feeds, but they require additional formulation by Dakotaland Feeds in order to maximize the nutritional properties and enhance the value of the distiller’s grain.
As featured in the article “A Savvy Partnership,” in the First Quarter 2003 issue of Cooperative Profiles magazine