An Investment in Nutrition Prevents Common Animal Disease

In a region of the United States where Anaplasmosis is a cause for concern in the cow herd, Bob Black doesn’t worry about his herd catching the infective blood disease that can decrease performance, cause weight loss, abortion and ultimately death loss. The fifth-generation cattle producer focuses on managing his herd’s immune system function and investing in a sound nutrition program. And in addition to ranching with his brother, he owns Elk County Veterinary Services at Howard, Kan., and has been a BioZyme® dealer for nearly 18 years.

The Blacks run a cow-calf operation in southeast Kansas where they concentrate on raising cattle with a high carcass quality to provide the consumer a safe and favorable eating experience. The brothers wean nearly 300 calves each year, and Dr. Black says he can’t remember treating any animals for Anaplasmosis since they have been feeding VitaFerm® products.

“We’ve been feeding VitaFerm for at least 25 years, and whatever we invest in pays off in the end,” says Dr. Black. “Amaferm does a great job of breaking down the forages, and the organic minerals keep the cattle’s immunity up.”

The cow herd on the Black’s operation eats a forage-based diet with minimal supplementation. However, the VitaFerm products they do feed offer maximum nutrition in key trace minerals of copper, zinc, selenium and magnesium.
In addition, Amaferm is a great resource to help break down the forages and convert them to energy.

Dr. Black has used LONGRANGE® to control parasites such as ticks that spread Anaplasmosis for the past three years. In addition, he manages their body condition score to keep cows between 5-6 BCS, with a goal of 90% conception rate. He says if the cows get too much condition, they lie around and don’t graze, and therefore are not as healthy.

“It all comes down to proper management and animal husbandry” Dr. Black said.

Although he has chosen to ward off Anaplasmosis by proactive management techniques, he does sell CTC to some customers. Dr. Black’s goal is to use his personal successes to demonstrate the Amaferm advantage to sell more BioZyme products.

“The uptick in the market the last few years has helped, but getting our foot in the door is the big challenge,” he said. “Once a client switches over, and they see the Amaferm advantage in their cows, they are usually hooked. We are seeing good conversion.”

Keep Records Now, Save on Fines Later

You invest a lot of time and energy helping your customers develop nutrition programs that help them put more dollars in their pockets. But, with the introduction of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), now is the time to make sure your records are in order so if you are audited, your checkbook doesn’t take a hit with heavy fines in the future. Have you filed with the FDA? Do you have a person in your dealership to track the directives? And did you know software programs exist to help you track sales of medicated feeds?

All distributors of VFD feed must notify the FDA prior to selling any feed or supplements. Any changes of feed dealership name, ownership or address must be submitted to the FDA within 30 days of the change.

Thsidebare only way you can sell VFD feed or supplements is with a complete written order from a veterinarian, similar to a doctor’s prescription. Once the order is filled, you must retain the directive and proof of sale/distribution. All records must be kept for two years, and be readily available to the FDA if requested for inspection/audit. The BioZyme® staff has created a sample form to make sure that you have a complete directive, and everything is in order before you sell any medicated feed. Visit the Online Dealer Center at and click on “Regulatory Center” to download the sample forms.

A simple Google search will result in several software and online options for feed distributors to use to track records when selling VFD feed and supplements. You can also create your own document in Excel to track sales and record the directives. However, according to Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales for BioZyme, an actual paper trail needs to exist, and dealers will need to have hard copies of directives on file, not just electronic versions.

Remember, staying on top of your record keeping now, can save you time, headaches and dollars in fines in the future. A proactive approach to good record management will hopefully prevent a check-writing reaction in the future.

A Coordinated Effort Will Help the VFD Transition

It’s pretty likely a majority of your customers have heard of the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) that went into effect January 1. If a livestock producer has read an industry publication, attended any type of producer meeting or even picked up some literature at his or her local farm store, he or she knows that the VFD is here. But, do the producers understand what VFD means and how to coordinate efforts with their veterinarian and feed dealer for a smooth transition?

“Bring up the VFD in conversation, and encourage producers to have an established relationship with their veterinarians,” says Kevin Glaubius, Director of Nutrition and Technical Sales with BioZyme®. Even though the VFD has been talked about during the past year, it is imperative to have a well-established Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) before your animals get sick.

“There have been a lot of changes in a short period of time,” Glaubius says. “Don’t wait until a health outbreak occurs in your herd to establish a relationship with a veterinarian.”

In addition to encouraging producers to create a working relationship with a veterinarian, Glaubius suggests educating producers about the importance of proper nutrition.

“Proper nutrition can help animals through times of stress to prevent sickness,” Glaubius says, adding that supplementing with the Vita Charge® Drench on arrival and a Vita Charge Stress Tub in the pen along with good nutrition in the bunk is a preventative measure against sickness during the weaning period that leads to improved animal performance as well.

Once the VCPR is established, the vet will write the directive, which the producer will bring to the feed dealer. Although the directive can be faxed or submitted electronically to the feed dealer, he/she must store a hard copy for two years.

Finally, the dealers need to make sure all forms are filled out properly before selling the medicated feed or supplement. Once paperwork is in order, the sales transaction can be completed.

“Be patient. Be proactive. Make phone calls. Work with your veterinarian as much as possible,”Glaubius suggests. He reminds all dealers and producers there will be a learning curve in the first few months of 2017, as the VFD regulations are new to everyone.

You can find a full list of frequently asked questions and example VFD forms in the Regulatory Section of the Online Dealer Center at In addition, any dealer or producer with specific questions should contact Dennis Delaney, Director of Inside Sales, at 816-344-5748 with questions.

Marketing the New Cow-Calf Mineral

It’s no secret that times are tough. Producers are constantly looking for ways to stretch their dollars. And luckily for them, BioZyme® is always developing new products with its producers’ best interests in mind while still utilizing its key ingredient, Amaferm®, in all products.

As BioZyme rolls out its new VitaFerm® Cow-Calf Mineral, producers will now have a lower-cost mineral option available to them during “belt- tightening” times or during times of the year when they choose to maximize savings.

“This mineral package was designed for the price conscious producer looking to lower their input costs,” said Alan Lee, Director of Sales – South. “But it is still a better option than other economy mineral lines because it contains Amaferm.”

According to Lee, many producers will sacrifice quality to buy the cheapest product at a local farm or box store. And in the end, those producers discover they get what they pay for. While the new VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral does not contain the same level of vitamin and minerals as all other VitaFerm mineral products, it does still exceed NRC requirements. The big ticket to marketing the VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral is to remind customers they will still see the Amaferm advantage when using this product.

“Producers can keep their cows on Amaferm at a lower price point,” Lee said. Lee encourages producers to continue feeding VitaFerm Concept•Aid® during the critical times of production like breeding and prior to calving to get the most return on their investment. However, he says due to the Amaferm being included in the lower cost mineral package, producers should still see increased appetites, initial gain and increased feed conversion from VitaFerm Cow-Cow Mineral in the down time.

The introduction of the VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral to the BioZyme line of products is a good way to capture new customers, according to Lee. He encourages dealers to find those producers who have been buying the $18-20 bags of mineral from competing brands and introduce them to this mineral and the Amaferm advantage. He says once they try this mineral, and see some small results, they are likely to try some other products, see big results and be hooked on the BioZyme products. He also recommends marketing this to less-progressive producers who don’t demand great results immediately. Lee adds that the price point of this new mineral option makes it a great product to have on hand, so fill the truck with it to take advantage of better freight rates.

“All dealers have those price conscious customers. This is a good product to put before them, but remind them, they do get what they pay for,” Lee said.

Two Ways to Maximize Profits

Listening to his customers’ goals and watching them learn from their experiences are two of the ways that Don Bush, manager at Powell Feed and Milling, tries to help his customers minimize expenses and maximize their profits. As a BioZyme® dealer in north central and northwest Arkansas, Don tries to use the proactive approach of reaching out to his customer base and identifying their needs.

“We try to get on the phone with our customers as much as possible to find out their goals and understand what they are trying to accomplish with their operations,” Bush said. They have an outside sales person who also tries to get to each of their eight retail locations weekly to maximize personal contact with the customers as much as possible.

The first way that Don helps his customers maximize profits is with one of his most popular products, the VitaFerm® 30-13% Protein Tub, which he says his customers appreciate as a complete mineral package.

“It offers a protein source that works really well in our part of the world, and it has a complete mineral package,” Bush said. “When compared to a traditional tub and bagged mineral program, it is more efficient. Research has proven that a higher percentage of cattle consume mineral on a regular basis when it is in a molasses-based tub versus a dry bagged mineral. So, more of the cattle get the mineral and protein they need, consistently. Consistency is very important in rumen health and efficiency. Amaferm® being part of the package is just like putting a supercharger on a good engine.”

Don says he is excited to market the new VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral as a second way to help his customers maximize their profits with a lower-cost option that still offers the Amaferm advantage. When his customers chose a lower-quality product, their cattle don’t perform to their expectations, and they soon realize that the Amaferm advantage saves them money in the long run.

“Amaferm is the key to the products,” Bush said. “The new VitaFerm Cow-Calf Mineral will give us a product to market to producers that offers cost savings without wrecking their cows. This mineral will allow producers to roll back when times are tight, and Amaferm is magic.”

Bush notes that there are multiple ways a complete mineral package saves producers money over time. With a product like Amaferm, producers see increased appetites, increased gains and more productive cows that breed back more efficiently. He adds that a good nutrition programs keeps calves healthy, which lowers vet and animal health bills.

“BioZyme has never had a low-cost option before, and this product should help those producers who want to save money,” Bush said. He hopes that more producers will take the proactive approach to implementing a quality nutrition program, even in tougher times. “This market has caused everyone to tighten their belts and cut costs. But a quality nutrition package will save and make producers money down the road.”

10 Ways to Thank Your Customer

While simply saying, “Thank you” is an essential part of good customer service, words don’t always carry the same significance as actions. It is important to continually strive to show your gratitude to your customers in fun and memorable ways.

We decided to feature these 10 ways to show appreciation to your customer. Each idea for giving thanks must be relevant, noticeable and sincere. If you focus on these simple gestures, your show of gratitude will be a huge hit with your customers.

  1. Write a Note
    There is still nothing more powerful than a handwritten note. It’s surprising how rarely this proven way of showing gratitude is actually used. Your note should be specific and personal and will be sure to brighten your customer’s day.
  2. Start a Loyalty Program
    Invite your most loyal customers into a VIP rewards program. Customers love the red carpet treatment, which is why prime and VIP membership programs have become so popular. Your rewards program doesn’t have to be complex; it can be as simple as offering customers an annual discount on their anniversary.
  3. Send a Treat
    Cookies are a winning idea – liked by all and easy to share. But consider your audience: if your customer is more health conscious, a fruit bouquet might be a better fit.
  4. Show You Value Feedback
    Reach out to customers to tell them how you have implemented their suggestions. There is no better way to communicate with a customer than to show you were listening. Let the conversation also be an opportunity to gather more feedback. You want customers to feel they have an open line of communication to you at all times.
  5. Offer a Surprise Upgrade
    The element of surprise is a powerful thing. Thank customers with a free spontaneous upgrade. You can pick customers at random to receive a free tube of Vita Charge® Paste or Vitalize® Recovery Paste if they buy more than $XX. Not anything that is advertised, just a nice surprise to say thank you and a great way for customers to try new products.
  6. Honor an Achievement
    Make your customers feel like they are a part of a big family. Recognize special events in their lives by sending small gifts or handwritten notes. The event could be a major birthday, conclusion of a production sale, etc. The thoughtful timing of your gift communicates volumes and is a gesture that won’t soon be forgotten.
  7. Hold In-Store Events After Hours
    Give frequent customers that VIP feeling with an invitation-only after-hours event in your store. Provide drinks and snacks, and use that time to introduce new products or answer questions about products you already carry. For an extra special treat, consider including your favorite local singing talent to setup in the corner of the store and entertain your guests. Note: this event could be considered an Open House or Producer Meeting. Talk to your ASM about scheduling and help with preparations.
  8. Give Some Swag
    Customers love promo items, especially those that can be reused like coffee mugs, t-shirts and caps. If you don’t already have promo items with your store logo, BioZyme® apparel makes great customer gifts and can easily be order by visiting the Online Dealer Center at
  9. Spend Quality Time Together
    There is no need to break the bank with a lavish gift to thank a customer. Schedule a lunch at your customer’s office/farm/ranch or invite them out as a time for you to just sit and listen. Going out of your way to meet people and hear about what they do every day could be a critical learning experience for your business.
  10. Excel at Customer Service Daily
    Nothing says thank you for your business better than a friendly, informed service representative. Make sure your sales staff is informed on the products and as ready to help as you are personally when answering the phone or working on the floor.

Show customers your thankfulness today by acting on one (or more) of these ideas or by incorporating your own.

Article Curated from HelpScout.Net

Customer Service Strengthens Relationships and Your Bottom Line

We don’t have to tell you the importance of customer service. You already know how vital it is to the success of your business. But did you know it is crucial to your bottom line as well? Businesses spend a lot of time and effort trying to cut expenses and increase profits. However, a December 2014 article on says that a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%. Therefore, companies need to focus a lot more on improving customer satisfaction.

The best part of increasing your customer satisfaction levels is that customers keep coming back. These retained customers cost less than new customers. Why? Because you aren’t spending marketing dollars trying to get them in your stores – services you’re already providing are convincing them to come back.

Just what is that returning customer worth? According to an online article on

  • Increasing customer retention by 5% can increase your profits up to 125%
  • Loyal customers are worth 10 times as much as their first purchase on average
  • Companies who make customer service a priority make 60% higher profits than their competitors

How to Improve Your Customers’ Experiences and Retain Them

  • Ask your customers for feedback. When you show that you care and that you’re willing to listen to your customers, they will appreciate it and want to give you their business. Really listen and try to implement their suggestions and
    feedback, and then show what changes you have made based on their suggestions.
  • Offer a good mix of products. Make sure you have the products that your customers use the most on-hand for the time of year and the animals’ nutritional development.
  • Keep your store easy to navigate. Keep your aisles clear and set up a good flow. Keep like or complimentary products together so your customers don’t have to go from store corner to store corner to get the two products they came for.
  • Train your employees to handle complaints better. Negative interactions spread to twice as many people as positive interactions. If an employee handles a complaint well, the chance of the dissatisfied customer spreading his or her discontentment decreases.

Customer service – it is something we strive to perfect each day, but now that you know it can help your profits, be sure to give a little extra attention to the customers. Your customers will surely notice, and your bank account will too.


Listen to Customers to Know Their Needs

Kari Schultz of Spring Canyon Feeds knows how important it is to listen to her customers as part of the keen service she provides. And she doesn’t let their words fall on deaf ears. She takes what she hears to BioZyme® to make sure her customers have what they need so they don’t go buying feed at one of her competitors.

“It’s nice because BioZyme does listen to us and our concerns,” Schultz says. “I try to bridge that gap between the company making the product and the producer using it because if we don’t have the right products, our customers will go elsewhere.”

Schultz recalls an instance where several of her customers requested a mineral tub with a different formulation, including higher levels of magnesium to prevent grass tetany during springtime grazing. Her goal is that the BioZyme R&D team will have this ready to go by next spring so her customers in Eastern Colorado will know that when they speak, Schultz and the BioZyme staff truly do listen.

It’s not just the challenges that Schultz’s customers share with her. She had one first-time customer tell her how pleased he was with Concept•Aid® after he had 100% conception rate on his two-year-old heifers, an affirmation that Schultz was sure to share with BioZyme and other cow-calf producers wondering about the product.

As an additional resource, Schultz has created a customer information card that she keeps handy for each of her customers that has important information such as herd size, breeding season, calving season, forage availability and other questions she might regularly ask to help customize a feeding program. She says the cards help her know important information about each customer and has allowed her to begin making customized feeding plans for her customers based on their individual needs and other available resources. She says the cards also help her with inventory control by keeping her in the know about her customer needs by time of year so she can have the right product on hand.

Although listening to her customers is just one side of the communication stream, Schultz says she has built trust with many customers because she too is a producer and does a lot of research on her own time.   

“Not all products work in certain circumstances, but we have experience and can show the customers first-hand how to make products work for them,” Schultz says. “Because we are producers and BioZyme backs the products, we have built trust with our customers.”

Schultz adds that those dealers who are not producers should take advantage of the opportunities to learn from and listen to their customers. She suggests digging deeper than a casual conversation – walk the bunkline with them, drive a pasture with them and ask them about their forages, and ask what your customer really wants and needs when it comes to a nutrition program.

A customer information card similar to the one Kari uses is now available for you. Visit the Online Dealer Center at and go to Marketing – Request Center – Marketing and Merchandise Requests to get yours today.

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!