January 26, 2021

Beef Feed Made Easy: MaxYield’s Business Grows in North Central Iowa

“Three strikes and you’re out” seemed to be the story of Dennis Brady’s luck after he started feeding cattle southeast of Eagle Grove in 1998. It’s not that his cattle operation was struggling—far from it. The challenge was finding a reliable feed supplier.

“I did business with Woolstock, and then Webster City and then Clarion, but they all phased out of supplying feed, at least to smaller producers,” said Brady, who runs 70 cow-calf pairs.

When the feed mill he relied on informed Brady they were closing due to a merger with another cooperative, “’Oh no’ was my first thought,” said Brady, who started seeking other options.

He called his sister at Luther in central Iowa to see where she bought her horse feed. “When she said Prairie City, I knew that wasn’t going to work,” Brady said.

He looked into roller mills for his farm. “They cost $70,000, and I didn’t want to spend that kind of money at my age,” Brady said.

He called a supplier at Stanhope, but found out they no longer mixed cattle feed. The closest options that could meet his needs were in Hubbard or in Garner, where MaxYield Cooperative operates a feed mill.

When Brady received a letter from MaxYield’s feed team about an informational meeting in late summer 2019, he decided to go. About 50 people showed up at the Pizza Ranch restaurant in Clarion, including many cattle producers, along with some hog and sheep producers. “I liked what I heard,” said Brady, who asked one of his farmer friends in the Garner area about MaxYield. “I like the way MaxYield runs their feed mill, and I’m glad they have Kent Feeds. By the time I walked out of that meeting, I knew this was where I wanted to go with my feed business.”

BRADY FAVORS CRACKED CORN WITH FEW FINES

As a lifelong cattle producer, Brady knows the value of high-quality feed. “I’ve been feeding cattle since I was four years old, and I showed cattle when I was growing up,” said Brady, who grew up near Thornton. “Cattle feeding gets in your blood.”

He raised cattle by Rockwell for a number of years until his wife’s job as an anesthesiologist brought the family to the Eagle Grove area. Today, he relies on Simmental/Angus genetics and specializes in all-natural beef grown with no implants. He direct markets his beef and uses the Clarion Locker to process his cattle. He also sells some cattle at the auction barn in Waverly.

Brady has some specific feed requirements. “I’m not one for whole corn for cattle. I believe the animals get more nutrition from cracked corn. I also hate fines in feed. The cattle don’t like the fines, either.”

The quality of feed from MaxYield has been outstanding. “It’s a whole different ballgame working with MaxYield,” said Brady, who also runs a small feedlot and farms 160 acres with his son, Justin. “I’ve never had a bad batch yet.”

MAXYIELD OFFERS ONE-STOP SHOPPING

Serving feed clients of all sizes is important to MaxYield. “We picked up quite a few clients after the Clarion mill closed,” said Eric Malek, feed team leader at MaxYield. “These are good, hard-working clients who expect high-quality products and excellent service, as they should.”

The entire process of ordering feed from MaxYield is simple. Brady enjoys bantering with Norma at the Garner office when he calls to place his order. “My feed delivery driver, Mark, is also good and gets the job done right,” said Brady, who receives feed deliveries about twice a month. “The service from MaxYield is unbelievable.”

It’s a plus that MaxYield offers one-stop shopping. “I wanted to stick with my ration I was using before,” Brady said. “I like the Kent Feed program. We’ve been on this program for 30 years because it works, and the cows get bred.”

The transition to MaxYield has provided some unexpected benefits, as well. “I put some of my oats in grain bank at MaxYield and got paid a premium for the good test weight,” Brady said. “I’ve had a lot of people ask where I get my feed. I’m happy to recommend MaxYield to anyone.”

MaxYield understands livestock producers’ needs, added Brady, who appreciates working with Malek and the entire feed team. “Just like my clients, I want good feed and good service,” said Malek, who raises cattle. “I want to know the people I work with have my back.”

This kind of support makes it easier to manage a livestock operation successfully, Brady said. “I love the calving season. The challenge is to make the calves better than the mothers.”

High-quality feed helps Brady reach this goal. “I’m tickled that MaxYield was willing to expand to this area, because we really needed a good feed supplier around here. MaxYield is the top co-op I’ve ever worked with.”•

LEARN MORE

To learn more about feed solutions from MaxYield, contact Eric Malek at 641-923-3602.

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