PerforMix Nutrition Systems LLC
Not all feed is created equal. There are many variables that go into the mix to help ensure healthy, productive animals. In the Pacific Northwest, PerforMix Nutrition Systems LLC is delivering trusted nutrition answers for dairy and beef producers, packaging a more complete feed solution that drives end-user profitability and operational efficiency.
Operating throughout Idaho, Oregon, Washington, as well as parts of Utah, California, Nevada, Montana and Wyoming, PerforMix offers custom liquid blends and dry feed supplements, as well as equipment, transportation, inventory management and the quality control, customer service and support to back it all. Efficiency and consistency: these are keywords for PerforMix as the company strives to deliver greater value in the final product for producers.
“We’re focused on the profitability of our customers, whether that’s the dairy or beef industry,” says Jim Keppen, president of PerforMix. “Better profitability starts with knowing what each producer needs. In our beef business, we have consultants that actually go out into the field and take grass/forage samples. This helps us base the nutrition package needed and helps producers get the most out of their feed.”
In the dairy business, where long-term predictions show flat-to-low price milk, maintaining efficiency is not just an option, but a necessity. “Looking ahead, we know costs are going up and government regulations aren’t lessening, so it’s a matter of how to do more with the same amounts of cows and how to get the most out of grains and forages,” says Keppen. “It all comes down to efficiency.”
Since 1985 PerforMix has offered liquid and dry feed supplements and livestock nutrition support and service from its home base in Nampa, Idaho, in the heart of the Treasure Valley. The company was originally established as — and remains — a subsidiary of Agri Beef Co., a comprehensive cattle ranching, feeding and processing company. “When the company first started it was to satisfy Agri Beef’s business and cattle partners,” recounts Keppen. “In 1985 we built the Nampa plant with a vision to expand. It wasn’t long before we were covering a good share of Idaho and Oregon.”
In 1995 PerforMix began to make moves further into the Pacific Northwest, setting up a location in Moses Lake, Washington. “We moved there to service Agri Beef’s feeding operations, as well as other local beef and dairy producers,” says Keppen.
New avenues for growth in dairy industry
While the beef business is good and is still a strong facet of PerforMix’s business, Keppen says the company hit a point where growth began to feel stagnant. “In 2010, an opportunity arose that felt like a good fit for us,” he says. “There was a dry mineral plant that was available and had a decent business around it called Provender. We bought Provender in 2010 and have since put significant capital into the feed mill. This is helping us answers the needs of our liquid supplement customers and other large dairies that might not feed liquids.”
Coming from a background in managing profit centers for feed mills and running the North American division of Diamond V, Keppen saw the opportunity to propel PerforMix to the next level. After a brief early retirement stint —“I quickly realized I was bored,” — Keppen joined PerforMix and sought to help the company progress further in the dairy industry. “I’ve seen it before with other companies, we had great products, but we hit a point where growth was capping out,” he explains. “We needed to take the story of our products and services to the end-user to help them better understand the value.”
“As part of our growth strategy, PerforMix made the decision to build a state-of-the-art liquid facility in Rupert, Idaho, in what’s known as the Magic Valley that is set to be online by early 2016,” says Keppen. “We were already established in the beef and dairy industries there. The opportunity there in the dairy business is huge — there are 500,000 cows within the marketing area of the new plant. And Idaho’s dairy farmers are some of the most progressive in the industry, so they’re looking for solutions such as ours.”
Improving the bottom line
On the beef side, PerforMix has in-house consultants that offer nutrition advice, but Keppen says the company has opted to work with independent nutritionists in the dairy business. “We work with consulting nutritionists to formulate solutions and we will bring our technical resources to dairy producers where needed,” he says. “We have really talented people with nutrition and dairy management backgrounds that know how to improve cow flow, reproduction and feeding systems.”
Another advantage PerforMix offers is the ability to custom blend liquid feed supplements with total suspension. “This means anything from a vitamin/mineral standpoint stays in suspension and it helps reduce shrink and improves the mix where dry mineral are falling or segregating out,” explains Keppen. “The liquid sticks to forages and grains better which really helps with consistency.”
Once the feed supplement formulation is determined, PerforMix handles all of the logistics to ensure products arrive in a timely fashion to the producer. The company has an extensive trucking fleet and a variety of trailer configurations that allow for flexibility in delivery. “Our fleet drivers play a huge role in assuring product goes in the right tank and the right time,” says Keppen. “They also monitor tank levels to assist our customer service team with timing of delivery of the next load.”
While most of PerforMix’s business is selling direct to large customers, the company is developing a dealer business with a handful of branded products including a high-quality protein block product called Rumax BoviBox. This supplemental protein helps animals digest fiber in lower-quality forages. “We combine the convenience and consistency of our Rumax liquid supplement with the flexibility of Cattleman’s Choice dry supplements to offer the best of both worlds,” explains Keppen.
In addition to having a high proportion of natural protein, Rumax BoviBox is a complete mineral supplement. It has a high level of organic copper and selenium trace minerals which are highly deficient in much of the Northwest. Supplementing these mineral is especially important during periods of stress such as late gestation, weaning and calving.
PerforMix’s Cattleman’s Choice mineral supplement line is also built for the region. Cattleman's Choice dry mineral supplements are a line of custom-formulated, free-choice dry minerals. This line is designed to be used when a protein supplement is not needed including such times as summer grazing, high-quality pasture regrowth, or high levels of alfalfa hay feeding.
“The Cattleman's Choice line has been formulated to complement the herd's nutritional program,” says Keppen. “These dry minerals are formulated by our trained nutritional staff based on the requirements of your animals, the nutrients needed and the specific challenges that your region presents in terms of animal nutrition.”
With a knowledgeable team dedicated to finding the right nutrition answer for each individual operation and a dedicated support staff that make it all happen, PerforMix Nutrition Systems LLC is delivering targeted feed products that help boost productivity and efficiency for a network of top-notch producers.