Muenster Milling Co. began in 1932 when Joe Felderhoff began purchasing grains from local family farms and milled the wheat into quality flour. After 84 years, the company is in the fourth generation of Felderhoff ownership and continues to work with retailers and distributors to provide high-quality extruded pet and horse feed throughout the state of Texas.
Located in Muenster, Texas, Muenster Milling was placed in the hands of a young Arthur Felderhoff when his father Joe died in a tragic car accident. Soon after taking over the business, Arthur was drafted into the military and spent four years serving overseas. Upon returning to Muenster in 1947, he discovered he could purchase flour cheaper in Kansas than he could make it in Muenster. Arthur then converted the company’s flour mill into a feed mill. For the next 30 years, Arthur focused on making high-quality livestock feeds for local farms and feed lots all over northern Texas.
A family venture
In 1974, Arthur’s son Ronnie Felderhoff took over as president of the company and continued to grow Muenster Milling in new areas, such as show and horse feeds. In 1989, Ronnie made a bold decision to completely change the course of the company when he installed a pet food extruder and began developing dog foods and ratite feeds. When the ratite market began to fall out of place, Ronnie shifted his focus to dog food and extruded horse feed. Now joined by his two sons, Mitch and Chad Felderhoff, Muenster Milling continues to adapt to market trends.
“From when my grandfather founded the company and converted it from a flour mill into a feed mill, it has been instilled in my father, myself and my two sons that we always adapt and do what we need to do,” says Ronnie. “As an independent company, you’re always going to have issues and challenges and you just have to find a way to get through them.”
Muenster Milling focuses on supporting independent business owners. The company produces small-batch, custom products that can be found in farm stores across the country. Muenster Milling consistently hires local people and continues to use homegrown ingredients. “We are proud of our country and our state and we only use ingredients that people would put in their own bodies,” shares Ronnie. “We also do not procure anything from China.” Ronnie has even turned down requests from potential customers who prefer ingredients that he refuses to use. “The integrity of what we do here is too valuable,” he explains.
The client base for Muenster Milling includes retailers, consumers and distributors. The company is growing its online presence, which allows Muenster Milling to maintain direct contact with the final customer.
Some of the top products that Muenster Milling carries include Perfect Balance, Muenster Natural and Milestone Horse Food. “Perfect Balance is our mainstay economical line of dog food that will match up with any other brand in the country,” says Chad. “We have six flavors in this line and offer a couple that do not have any chicken products in them.” Muenster Natural was one of the first natural dog foods to reach the market in 2000. Muenster Milling has continued to develop and rebrand this line to stack it with all other ultrapremium dog foods.
“Milestone Horse Food is a rebranded product line that we will be launching in 2016,” adds Mitch. “This will be a totally extruded horse feed that combines science and great ingredients. In our minds this will be one of the best feeds on the market and will offer everything from foal to senior diets.” Muenster Milling has lowered the amount of carbohydrates in the feed to make it more nutritionally stable for the animals.
As a family business, Muenster Milling has created a work environment that extends beyond the employer-employee relationship. “Our employees are the reason for our success and ability to maintain consistency in the quality of our products,” says Chad. “We believe that by putting our employees first, in turn they will put the customer first.”
In keeping with tradition of innovating and expanding markets, Muenster Milling Co. will continue to build on its strengths while integrating horse and cattle markets that continue to grow in the local area. New grains, ingredients and consumer preferences will continue to shape the direction of Muenster Milling.