The Important of Mineral Supplementation During Breeding Season

In a beef herd, profitability is determined by several factors, including the total weight of calves sold, cost of maintaining the cow herd, percentage of cows bred that wean a calf, and the price received for calves. The most critical times to influence these factors are the two months prior to calving and through breeding. A cow’s nutrition during this critical stage of production also has a direct impact on the ability of the cow to rebreed in a timely manner.

Failure to manage the nutrition of the cow herd during these critical times can hurt productivity, and profitability. Supplementing the herd with important vitamins, minerals and proteins before calving and through breeding has been research-proven to improve a cow’s body condition and conception rates and, in turn, overall calf health and survival rates, making this an important time for supplementation.

“Research by the University of Nebraska with heifer offspring from cows grazing a dormant range, showed that in areas where protein was deficient in the forage, protein supplementation to the pregnant cow in late gestation resulted in heifer offspring that were heavier at weaning, pre-breeding, first pregnancy diagnosis, and before their second breeding season, as well as had greater pregnancy rates and calving 21 days earlier than heifers from non-protein supplemented cows,” said Kevin Glaubius, BioZyme® Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales. “These recent studies clearly show that there are areas where many beef producers lose productivity in the normal production settings that are never measured.”

It is important to make sure feed rations are formulated to meet or exceed the nutritional requirements of the cow during early gestation (roughly the first 60 days). While the particular vitamins and minerals fed during this time are very important, BioZyme stresses to its customers that it is also imperative to ensure that the proper amounts of energy and protein are supplied. These are needed to meet the increased demands during lactation and subsequent breeding.

Energy is probably the most important nutritional consideration in beef cattle production. Cows need energy to maintain milk production and to initiate and maintain pregnancy. Energy requirements increase significantly during the last third of pregnancy and while the cow is producing milk. Protein is the second limiting nutrient in most rations. Without adequate amounts of protein in the diet, daily feed consumption drops off, feed passage rates decrease and overall digestive efficiency declines.

Research has proven that feeding Amaferm, found in BioZyme’s highly fortified Concept•Aid product line, can increase energy production by 16% and microbial protein by 34%. In addition, Concept•Aid is formulated at 250% of nutritional requirements to ensure the highest producing 25% of the cowherd is not nutritionally challenged. Concept•Aid contains proteinated copper, zinc and manganese to ensure maximum availability to the animal.

Mineral supplementation may not replace all of a cow’s winter supplement needs, however, it will reduce energy and protein supplementation costs and the average number of days from calving to rebreeding. Supplementation should increase profit potential, increasing the total pounds of calves weaned  and leave producers more time to focus on their breeding strategies.

November 2016 – Letters from Lisa

Thanksgiving is all about thanks.

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a sparsely documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.” The age of this holiday tells us its relevance to all times and its purpose is extremely valuable in our present time.

At BioZyme®, our goal is to observe the purpose of Thanksgiving every day. When we think about the things we acknowledge with grateful hearts, we think of you and our working partnership with you. We appreciate each and every time you think of our brands, we appreciate your understanding when we don’t meet your expectations and we are humbled by your amazingness in your market. The last three years have been a phenomenal success for us–thanks to your efforts and commitment. And for that we are very thankful.

“As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

At BioZyme, we try to live by this quote in our commitment to increase market share so your sales go up each year. We work to do this by:

  • Creating and offering research-proven products that do what they claim to do
  • Investing in consistent, relevant marketing
  • Providing on-time, frictionless delivery
  • Handling customer concerns quickly and compassionately

If we are not living by this quote, in your opinion, please call, text, email or communicate to us, and we will thankfully get to work.


Superior Livestock Partners with BioZyme to Form Value-Added Program

The leader in livestock marketing, Superior Livestock Auction, has teamed up with BioZyme® Inc., to add the first ever nutrition-based program to its list of value-added programs. The VitaFerm® Raised and Gain Smart™ programs will add value at marketing for those consignors selling their calves through Superior.

“Most of our consignors are using a mineral program already, and it made sense to partner with a progressive company who thinks like we do when it was time to choose a nutrition partner to add to our value-added programs,” says Jason Barber, Superior’s purebred division manager. “Since most consignors already feed mineral, this doesn’t cost our customers a dime. If they are already feeding VitaFerm or start feeding Gain Smart, they are going to see healthier cattle that bring more money.”

Producers work hard for their profit, and it makes sense to partner with a leading nutrition company to see faster gains while receiving premiums at sale time. More information typically means more profit for the producer. Healthy cattle gain faster, and cattle that have been fed a BioZyme product will handle stress and transportation more effectively while acclimating faster to a new environment.

Barber says BioZyme was a natural fit for the value-added partnership since BioZyme is a progressive company that also likes to create value for its customers and moves quickly to put plans into motion. Another added advantage is many of the producers who market on Superior already feed a BioZyme product. Barber adds that the great staff at BioZyme, from its nutritionists, marketing staff and sales force is another benefit. The two companies have been building relationships between staffs since some summer meetings to provide education about BioZyme products to the Superior reps. And those relationships can only grow stronger as BioZyme dealers reach out to the Superior reps in the area to work together to educate the producers about the benefits of VitaFerm Raised or Gain Smart.

“We encourage our customers to do business with companies that do business with us,” Barber says. “This is a partnership that is going to work and is going to be a long-term partnership. If there is ever a chance for us to add value and create a premium when a customer sells cattle with Superior, we are all about it. It doesn’t cost the consignor anything extra. They just check a box on their contract.”

Make the Ask: Planning Producer Meetings

The crisp fall air is upon us; harvest in most parts of the country is in full swing, fall calving is under control, and there is a short break in stock shows. It is a great time for BioZyme® dealers to start planning and preparing for producer meetings.

Ask – Invite producers

First, as a dealer, you need to set a date, time and location for your meeting. Make sure it is on a day that doesn’t conflict with something else in the area that would diminish attendance, such as a sale or the state football playoffs that your local team is in for the first time in decades. Send out invitations so the producers get them a week or two in advance. And if possible, follow up that invitation with a phone call the day before the meeting.

“It is super important to call everybody you invited, even if you sent them a postcard,” says Dorothy Orts, North Dakota Area Sales Manager. “You won’t have a successful turnout if you don’t call and ask them to the meeting.”

Once you have a date set, be creative in picking a location away from your store. It makes them feel appreciated to see you meeting with them outside of the normal place they do business with you. Orts, and her counterpart in Oklahoma, John Jeffrey, agree that the meeting should be held at a restaurant or a small community building and in conjunction with a meal. Jeffrey says if the food is good, people will show up. And Orts has learned by experience to keep the room small for a more comfortable setting where everyone can hear. She says if the room is too big, the acoustics might suffer, and if producers can’t hear, they are not going to pay attention.

Ask – Encourage interaction

Orts likes to make the meetings interactive and asks questions of the producers to get them involved and relaxed. She then asks for any current customers to provide a testimonial about the BioZyme products, saying that most producers will share their passion at the spontaneous response. And she also makes sure everyone knows about the Amaferm® advantage.

Allow sufficient time for discussion after the meeting, as most speakers will stay to visit with producers. Both Orts and Jeffrey say what happens after the meeting is often just as important as what happens during. Jeffrey described a recent noon-meal meeting where just a handful of producers showed up. Jeffrey and the dealer sat down with them in a more conversational manner

and people stayed for nearly three hours to learn about the products and share ideas.

Ask – Collaborate with others

It is a great idea to plan a meeting with other groups or businesses with similar goals. Jeffrey says he has piggy-backed with local cattlemen groups or pharmaceutical companies to share costs. When working with a drug company, he says they showed research that mineral usage increases the effectiveness of vaccinations – sharing both messages at once. And with the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), it is timely to coordinate meetings with pharmaceutical companies.

Ask – Follow up

“You just have to ask,” Jeffery says. “You can’t sell something to people if you don’t ask them to buy it.” Jeffrey says when coordinating meetings with dealers, he likes to run a short special for those in attendance, which also encourages the producers to visit the store or place an order within the first week after the meeting.

Orts likes to send each meeting attendee home with a sample of Vita Charge® Liquid Boost® because it will likely save one life and help gain customers. Both area sales managers say to follow up and call those who attended.

“No two meetings are ever the same,” Jeffrey says. “Just be sure to ask for the sale. You never know if you will get a new customer that day or two weeks from now.”

Added Value Should Mean Added Profitablity

Having multiple product lines may allow a growing business to diversify risk and capitalize on its established reputation. Multiple product lines can also strengthen competition in its industry, while at the same time enhancing the company’s checkbook.

Certainly after reading that statement, everyone is interested in expanding their products or product line(s). However, while it may be beneficial to expand a product line or bring in a new product within a line, those benefits do not come without considerable work before the sales start rolling in.  Please note, any one of these 17 steps could cause the ones before it to be reevaluated making the process at times overwhelming.

  1. First, get an idea of what to expand.
  2. Determine the specific needs of customers in that market segment.
  3. Identify the product features that would be most attractive to them.
  4. Assess the market size and the competition.
  5. Create/formulate the product based on science and market research results.
  6. Get team buy-in.
  7. Figure out the best distribution channels to achieve the highest market penetration.
  8. Determine the price to make sure it will be competitive and profitable. (note: many times this step forces you to go back to step 5 or before)
  9. Test the product to determine its effectiveness.
  10. Create a unique value proposition.
  11. Decide how you’ll position the product in the market segment you’ve identified using that proposition.
  12. Make sure that doesn’t conflict with any other products, product lines or brands in your portfolio.
  13. Create the name and “look” to support the positioning.
  14. Create the marketing materials.
  15. Plan the initial launch.
  16. Strategize the actual marketing plan to support it after its launch
  17. Execute, execute, execute and PRAY. Pray the product is positioned and priced correctly, works correctly and sells in the time you predicted.

Of course you are not interested in doing this entire list, so how can making the decision of adding a new product or product line be made in a more simplistic approach? Consider the following:

1. Evaluate the product itself

  • Has the product been thoroughly tested?
  • Did the product deliver consistent results?

2. Identify and evaluate the target market

  • What are the ideal customer’s characteristics?
  • Is there a market for the product?
  • Is there enough of a market to support the product?
  • Does the market available to you have a place for the product?

3. Evaluate the competition

  • Who are the top market competitors?
  • How are their products the same or different?
  • What are their marketing techniques?

4. Consider the product from your customers’ viewpoint

  • What service or product do they choose currently?
  • What are the key differences that would compel customers to select your product over another company’s?

5. Evaluate launch readiness

  • If the launch is successful (and let’s face it – the reason you’re launching a new product is because you want it to be successful) can your company facilitate the increased demand?
  • Do you have resources for handling customer education, inquiries and needs?

In the end, if you do your homework and move forward with an analytical eye, your product or line extension will increase sales, help you reach new markets and build market share overall for your growing business. Go be a “rocket” star!

Tools to Target the Right Customers

Every successful partnership requires each partner to give 100% effort. That includes the new exclusive partnership that Superior Livestock and BioZyme® have entered to market VitaFerm® Raised and Gain Smart calves through Superior.

The newly formed alliance targeted to stocker and feeding operations requires that either VitaFerm or Gain Smart be fed 45 days prior to marketing calves on Superior AND through delivery of those calves. Since nutrition is a key factor to herd health, gain and stress relief, this is win-win for all partners in the endeavor – the cattle feeder, BioZyme and Superior.

“This is a big win for our dealers when it comes to marketing the new Gain Smart product,” says Alan Lee, BioZyme Director of Sales. “But it is a more important win for the producers, who should see the value of feeding our product twice. First, they will see increased gain and faster growing calves, and again when they market their calves through Superior, they should see the premiums as being part of this new value-added program.”

Promoting the value of a nutrition program and the Amaferm® advantage, is already a great marketing tool, especially when customers see the financial benefits penciled out. Your customers need to sell those calves, and if they aren’t already Superior customers, the value-added partnership is another great arsenal to add to your marketing plan. Superior is the leader in marketing cattle, and chances are your bigger producers already use Superior.   

One way that Lee suggests dealers can discover larger producers in their sales area is to watch the Superior Livestock sales or read their catalog online, to see who already sells their cattle via Superior.  Another benefit of this simple research might be discovering a new customer who doesn’t feed BioZyme products but sells on Superior.

“Every dealer I’ve suggested this to who embraced this, has picked up at least one new, big customer in the last two weeks,” Lee says. And he adds, if an alliance or group of producers is selling cattle, the BioZyme dealer can potentially add several more customers.

Reaching out to your area Superior Livestock rep is another way to build a customer base. Superior has nearly 400 representatives across the United States who work on commission of selling actual load lots of cattle. They are another great source when promoting the BioZyme programs. Superior reps and their telephone numbers can be found online at

“Through a collaborative effort between the BioZyme dealers and Superior reps, we want this to be a long-term partnership,” says Jason Barber, manager of Superior’s purebred division. “We want the dealers and sales staff to reach out to reps and consignors to network while educating the consignors about the importance of a great mineral program.”

Lee says the dealers need to be proactive in approaching larger customers, and the new Gain Smart program provides dealers with the great information to approach larger feeders and stockers with. “Gain Smart provides greater performance, increasing gains from one-quarter to one-third of a pound per day. So, not only will they see added gains, they will receive premiums when selling through this value-added program.”

Using Cost of Gain to Make Profitable Decisions

History shows that production profitability is closely tied to several key factors, one being cost of gain. Producers can use their records on specific input costs and gain calculations to benchmark their enterprises. Simply, cost of gain can be used to make good business decisions.

Management records indicate that feed costs can account for 50-70% of the cost of producing beef, and should include both purchased and raised feed. The cost of raised feed is computed using the opportunity cost of feed grains, hay, pasture lands and other feedstuffs produced by the ranch and utilized in the cattle growing operation.

Feed per unit of gain (feed efficiency) has remained a very important factor in producing profits or losses. Feed conversion or efficacy is typically assumed to be an indirect indicator of profitability. The calculation for feed efficiency is: total feed consumed ÷ (weight sold – weight started). Therefore, as the name implies, it is a simple ratio of feed divided by amount of gain or a ratio of average daily intake divided by the average daily gain. Feed efficiency is usually a fairly straight forward number to generate.

The next step is to link economics to biology. By using the feed cost instead of feed consumed, making an expression of feed costs per unit of gain, one has converted a biological equation to an economic indicator.

Total cost of gain can be divided into the compartments that make up the gain. For example, researchers and nutritionists agree that Amaferm® will increase average daily gains of stocker cattle about 0.2 pounds per day. This weight gain is in addition to the 0.2 pounds per day that will be realized from the mineral, trace mineral and vitamin supplementation in the Gain Smart minerals. With a total supplementation cost of about 12¢ per head, per day, the cost of gain for Gain Smart mineral is only 30¢ per pound. Cattlemen will always be drawn to supplements that efficiently enhance gains, lower the overall cost of gain and improve profits.

For more information, contact Twig Marston, BioZyme Technical Sales Field Manager at (816) 596-8792.

October 2016 – Letters from Lisa

Just like a trapeze artist must take a risk when letting go of one swinging bar to catch the next, growing your business year after year involves risk. This month I want to focus on the trust involved in taking those risks – much like that trapeze artist trusts that the next bar will appear just as he lets go of the one he is already clinging to in mid-air. Some risks are easy to execute but take a decent sized bank account while others are hard to execute but don’t take much money at all. I am going to rattle off a list of these options, and then you can decide which one to choose so you don’t need the net.

1. Carve out a new corner of your market
Expanding into new markets provides the advantage of building a larger customer base.

2. Partner with other businesses who are growing in your market
By forming strategic partnerships with other growing businesses that offer complementary products and services, you can cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship that will help both of your businesses grow.

3. Diversify your product offerings
A diversification strategy opens up new possibilities. You can diversify your product offering or your target markets. Think about the things that go along with the items you sell: boots, apparel, shavings and nutrition services for example.

4. Leverage a strong position with your existing core customers
The ability to leverage your existing customer base should be core to better engagement with new prospects and how you funnel them through the sales process more quickly. Don’t take them for granted—your existing customer base can be the key to advancing both marketing and sales activities that lead to significant growth.

5. Acquire or merge with other businesses in your market
Perhaps the most aggressive growth strategy is to buy a company that makes products related to yours. We’ve seen that a lot lately with tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon that continue to acquire smaller businesses. If you cannot acquire another business perhaps you can arrange to merge with it.

Choosing the best option for your business is hard work that involves risk. It is no different than the trapeze artists high above the crowd gracefully letting go of their swinging bar flying through the air being caught and then letting go again.

Author Henri Nouwen once had the opportunity to travel with the Flying Rodleighs, a troupe of trapeze artists. Their conversation inevitably turned to flying and how they could possibly do what they did. Nouwen summarizes risk: ͞

A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust that his catcher will be there for him.

So outstretch your arms; let go, and trust the option you select to grow your business.


Other Ways to Offset “It’s Too Expensive”

Learning is a complicated concept as everyone is unique in their own way, and learns in their own way as well. It is easy to give up when customers don’t react positively to the way you’ve positioned a product. You understand it… why shouldn’t they?

Unfortunately, we have to understand that all customers are different and different positioning tactics appeal to some more than others. Here are a few quick tips on conquering the “It’s too expensive” objection we often hear:

Divide into Daily Prices
For just 15 cents per head, per day, you can feed your cow the mineral program that will result in performance that pays.

Compare the Price to Something Tangible
Vita Charge® Paste gets livestock back on feed for less than the price of a Starbucks® coffee.

Increase the Perception of Value within the Product
Dyson has claimed 27% market share in the US vacuum cleaner space. They detail everything behind their products:

  • 5 years of prototyping
  • 5,127 prototypes
  • 1,000 Dyson engineers and scientists in Britain, Singapore and Malaysia
  • Engineers in disciplines like Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Turbo Machinery and Acoustics

Let’s do the same with BioZyme® mineral…

  • 60+ years of developing products
  • 160 published university research studies to prove how the products work
  • 350 PhD’s study the impact of Amaferm®
  • 12,000 cows each year participating in field trials for real-world proof

Introduce a Calculator

BioZyme has developed several calculators to help pencil out the value of the VitaFerm® mineral products. Take the time to go through these calculators with your customers. These calculators can be found at:

Offers Stats that Prove Others Believe in the Value

In 2011, 216,714 beef cattle consumed VitaFerm every day -or- 5,418 producers believed in its value

In 2015, 538,379 beef cattle consumed VitaFerm every day, so today the brand is trusted by over 13,459 producers and counting!

What’s It Worth? Let’s Do the Math

Typical Customer Rebuttal:
“OK, fine. I can afford a mineral program, but that
VitaFerm® stuff is just too expensive”

While the study at Kansas State University estimates mineral costs at $36.50 per cow, per year, it is true that VitaFerm will be approximately $56.74 if using our top-of-the-line VitaFerm lines, Concept•Aid® and Heat. That’s $20 more per cow. Before you walk away, see the breakdown below so you can fully understand how you and/or your customers can’t afford to NOT feed VitaFerm mineral.

What are More Weaned Pounds Worth?
According to Reinaldo Cooke, PhD, Oregon State University, supplementing cows with organic trace minerals led to weaning weights of 519 lbs. vs 466 lbs. for the control (no supplementation but were not mineral deficient), giving the cows with organic trace mineral supplementation a 53 lb. or $74/hd advantage, or a 28 lb. or $39/hd advantage over the inorganics. VitaFerm uses Optimins® for organic trace minerals in all formulas.

What are Even More Weaned Pounds Worth?


What’s One More Calf Worth?
A 2.5% increase in the calf crop (1 calf per 40 cows), at a 550 lb. weaning weight, would increase the average weight of the calves by 13.75 lbs., and at $1.40/lb., would increase the average revenue per cow by $19.00.

What is Keeping them Cool Worth?

  • 0.4 increase in average days open when beef cows experience heat stress (1.6 to 0 days across the USA)
  • 0.4 more days at 2.5 lbs. of gain per day a calf is on the ground, equates to $1 per cow, per year
  • Donor cows flush less when heat stressed. The typical flush is 8 eggs per cow. A trial on VitaFerm HEAT with 8 donor cows led to 105 eggs instead of the typical 64 in the year before.

What is Keeping them Grazing Worth?
The average producer feeding harvested hay has a per cow, per day cost between $1.25 to $2.00. More days on grass means less days of feeding harvested hay. This is difficult to calculate, so we will just keep this in mind while determining value.

What else can they say:
“OK, OK, OK.”

  • Optimins® Value: $39 more revenue for a heavier calf at weaning
  • Amaferm® Value:
    – $49 more revenue for a heavier calf at weaning
    – $19 more revenue for 1 more calf across the herd
    – $1 more revenue for less average open days
  • A 5 to 1 return before we even talk about forage savings!

The additional investment of $20 per cow translates to $108 more revenue per cow.

Click Here to Download the Understanding the Value brochure that includes all of this information in a format you can share with your customers.