Hanby Farms Inc.

Continuing a family farming venture in the Midwest
Written by: 
Tom Faunce
Produced by: 
Drew Taylor

Founded in 1960 by Ralph Hanby, Hanby Farms Inc. has played integral role in the local and regional community surrounding Nashport in east-central Ohio. After more than 50 years in business, the company has grown into a leading supplier of multiple feeds and grains from guinea pig to horse feed. Hanby Farms is also a manufacturer and distribution point for Manna Pro Products, with a reach of 15 states.

Getting started

Hanby Farms began by selling fertilizer and raising market hogs from feeder to finish. As the company grew their numbers to 1,200 sows and 90,000 hogs per year, Hanby Farms decided to research the idea of building their own feed mill. This would allow the farm to receive the right type and amount of feed in a timely manner and in 1983 the idea became a reality. In order to support the mill Hanby Farms developed its own brand name and line of bagged feeds.

In an effort to increase profits, a grain roaster was added to increase the feed mill business. This would allow Hanby Farms to incorporate flaked grains into all of its animals’ diets for a premium product. As the business grew to supplying 70 dealers throughout the Midwest, the company also landed a major retailer as a client.

The growth of the business has set the company apart from its competition. The ability to mass-produce a large amount of product in a timely manner has become a major asset for Hanby Farms as well as its clients. “We have become very flexible with our customers and their needs,” says David Hanby, president of Hanby Farms. “We are all about providing top-quality service for our customers.”

Hanby Farms Inc.

With a quality product and top-notch service, the company also has the facility to help it live up to its word. Hanby Farms incorporates more than 15 acres, which includes a feed mill, a 28,000-square-foot feed warehouse, fertilizer storage, a truck repair shop, a millwright shop and a 1 million-bushel grain elevator. “We also farm around 2000 acres of corn, soybeans and wheat,” says Hanby.

Hanby Farms also has 11 available delivery trucks to ensure all deliveries on made on time. Located approximately 50 miles east of Columbus, Ohio, the company is within three miles of rail siding and 70 miles of barge siding to facilitate greater volume and custom feed formulation.

The company is constantly upgrading its facility and equipment as well. “We have added a Fanuc robot to stack on our main packing line and also installed a new Johnson bag hanger to replace our outdated Johnson hanger,” says Ron Seitz, plant manager of Hanby Farms.

“We also recently implemented the KeepTraK work order managing software for our housekeeping and preventative maintenance programs. This will help to ensure that we are getting everything accomplished and there is a written record to show for it.”

A distinct style of leadership

Running an operation such as Hanby Farms is not without its challenges. Fortunately, the company views certain obstacle as an opportunity to learn and grow as a company. Hanby Farms recently experienced the passing of its founder and president, Ralph Hanby, in 2013. “This was a man who instilled a work ethic into people which made you want to achieve to the best of your ability for him,” says Seitz. “With his son David taking over as president he is incorporating his own style of ownership combined with his father’s to guide us into the future.”

The style of leadership that the Hanby’s have utilized has instilled a family atmosphere into the company. Among the 45 employees at Hanby Farms, there are several families with multiple members under the company’s employ, including six members of the Hanby family. “We are a family business and to me it has never really felt like work,” says Hanby. “It is not a factory setting. We aim to promote the family atmosphere to give our employees a sense of ownership.”

Hanby is optimistic about the future of not only Hanby Farms, but the independent farming industry as a whole, especially with consumer concerns about food safety. “I think the increase in the development of corporate farms will continue but I also see the survival of the ‘backyard farmer’ continuing,” Hanby explains. “More and more consumers are interested in where there food comes and with food safety issues these days more people are buying locally.”

With top-notch quality and customer service as the top priorities for the company, Hanby Farms Inc. will remain a leader in the Midwest agricultural industry.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Alfagreen Supreme
POET Nutrition Inc.
Shapiro Packaging