Keep Her Bred Through The Heat Of Summer

Cattle producers go to great lengths to do whatever it takes to get their cows bred. But what about after? Keeping a cow bred, especially during the summer months, can be equally as challenging.

Typically, if a fertile bull breeds cows at the correct time, fertilization rates should nearly reach 100%. However, normal single-service conception rates run anywhere from 60-80%. The 20-40% difference must come from embryonic or fetal loss. Loss of pregnancy can result in longer calving windows, lower weaning weights and less profitability for producers. Oklahoma State University conducted some of the first research on the implications of heat stress on pregnancy rates. Those studies found that when cattle were bred at cooler temperatures, but then exposed to moderate and severely hot temperatures, their pregnancy rates were decreased by as much as 50%. Furthermore, they found that the surviving fetuses were smaller in heat-stressed cows and were more likely to be lost later in pregnancy.

Cattle can experience heat stress once the ambient temperature outside reaches 70 degrees or higher. This means that their upper critical limit for temperature is lower than that of humans. Humidity also can accelerate the implications of heat stress because of their inability to dissipate heat effectively. Therefore, stress can increase pregnancy loss well into the second and third trimester. For spring calvers, calves are weaned and cows are worked in what is typically the hottest months of the year. In the case of fall calvers, these females may calve earlier than expected due to prolonged periods of heat and drought during the third trimester. Be sure to give special considerations to bulls as well during the summer months. Heat stress can affect spermatogenesis (sperm production) and won’t show up until 45 to 60 days post heat stress.

Other factors such as fescue and fescue toxicosis can compound the effects of heat stress. The endophyte found in fescue, which can ultimately lead to fescue toxicosis if proper management isn’t implemented within an operation, limits a cow’s ability to dissipate heat because it reduces blood flow to the skin. If cows and heifers are exposed to diseases they don’t have the proper immune defenses against, the addition of stress from excessive heat can leave them virtually defenseless against sickness. Heat stress decreases grazing and feed intake and in drought situations, malnutrition and resulting dust will result in increased respiratory illnesses and potentially loss of pregnancy.

To help alleviate the implications of heat stress and help keep cows bred, producers can provide a multitude of management techniques to lessen the effects of heat stress.

  • Always provide enough cool, clean drinking water. High temps can double water intake. Increased urine output can deplete bodily mineral stores, so be sure to provide a high quality mineral source at all times.
  • Ample shade will provide relief from heat stress without too many animals gathering in a small area and compromising air flow.
  • Make sure all buildings have adequate ventilation, especially if cows are confined.
  • Wetting via sprinklers or hoses can effectively cool cattle. But pay attention to droplet size; misters just add more humidity to the air.
  • Good fly control can go a long way. To combat flies cattle will bunch and lower air circulation, resulting in elevated heat stress.
  • Avoid working cattle during the hottest hours of the day. The earlier in the day, the better.
  • Depending on the region of the country in which you reside, incorporating more heat tolerant genetics can improve the end product value or overall profitability.

Producers invest a lot of time and resources to get their cows ready for the breeding season. Significant heat stress can result in loss of pregnancy, and bottom line, open cows don’t result in profitable operations. Go the extra mile to lessen the negative impacts of heat stress and help keep your cows bred during the summer heat!

April 2018 – Letters from Lisa

Engagement is needed from everyone for success – employees, customers, dealers, partners and the organization. The inset definition clearly shows that engagement can mean a lot of different things. And while April is Bob’s and my anniversary month, I do not consider myself any kind of expert on a formal agreement to get married. I am also routinely late, so understanding an arrangement to do something or go somewhere at a fixed time is not up my alley either. And my Mom always reminded me while growing up that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Therefore, just the mention of a fight or battle leads me to want to quit writing about that type of engagement. So, the only definition left is the action of engaging.  We all know I believe ACTION is the key to everything so engagement when it means action is right up my alley. To be engaged is to be fully absorbed and enthusiastic to the point one is easily and innately self-motivated to do the positive action needed for success.

A recent Gallup study indicated that when their clients actively pursued engagement, success soared to a ratio of 9:1 from 2:1, engaged to unengaged. Perhaps that’s why engagement’s use in the inset graph is moving up.

If engagement is so crucial to success, why do organizations pursue it so ineffectively? The answer is that becoming actively engaged is hard work—work that many cannot see affecting their bottom line on any kind of a time line. With this in mind, engagement as a successful business strategy takes a major commitment to ensure all (yes all) of the following exist:

  • Belief in the organizational vision and the success it will provide from every angle of the organization, but especially from the top,
  • Trust that is built by trusting others. This requires a basic belief in people, a belief that people are essentially trustworthy,
  • Accountable performance measures,
  • Communication that aligns actions with the overall business goals,
  • An effective recognition and reward system that involves verbal and/or written acknowledgment as well as a physical reward,
  • Frequent, clear and specific feedback that focuses on what is being done well and what needs improvement,
  • Leaders who are personally interested in and care about their team, and who elicit their input and opinions,
  • Integrity,
  • Team work,
  • An inclusive passion for WOWingness (internal & external).

Engagement is needed from everyone for success, but don’t diminish your role as the leader. Consultant Keith Ayers stresses that the role of great leaders is to get people excited about and committed to their organization’s vision. He explains: “Leaders are either increasing engagement, or they are decreasing it. There is no middle ground.” Don’t let yourself get stuck in the middle!

Dealer Spotlight: YOU!

We know that Amaferm® is the heart of each of product that BioZyme® makes and markets, but it is the extensive network of dealers that is the true heart of our business. Without dealers our products would not be able to get into the hands of so many customers and make such a large impact on the animal nutrition industry.

With nearly 1,000 dealers spread across the country, surely there is a dealer close enough to help a cow-calf producer, an equine enthusiast or even the young person getting started with his or her first junior livestock project. The dealer network is one of our best assets, and without YOUR dedication, drive and direct relationships with so many end-users, we’d be just another supplement company.

As dealers you are the ones who have built strong relationships with our customers. You know their families, their operations, and their needs. We hope you always feel comfortable talking to us about new needs we haven’t thought about or ways to improve our products based on what the customers need and want.

Dealers provide personalized service. Yes, we strive to provide customer service every day. However, we can’t be everywhere at once. With dealers like you to provide service prior to and after the sale, you make a difference, and provide more than just a product. The service might be educating the customer about what is the right supplement to meet his or her goals. You might pull forage samples to have tested, or you might offer local community support through a cattlemen’s organization or the local youth rodeo. Local dealer support is important to you as a dealer and to us as a company, but we can’t do it alone.

Dealers are truly the heart of our business, but they are also the faces of our company. When your local customers think about ordering a pallet of Concept•Aid® or picking up some Sure Champ®, they aren’t thinking about the scientists who initiated fermentation of the Amaferm or the person who loaded that pallet back in Saint Joseph, Mo., they are thinking about you – their trusted BioZyme dealer who they have a relationship with.

It is our goal to make sure our dealers are as much as part of the company as anyone. That is why we are continually looking for ways to provide you services and information to make you more efficient in your businesses. From tools like this newsletter to the Online Dealer Center to your Area Sales Manager and the Master Dealer Training Program, we hope you take advantage of all the resources provided to you.

Stephen Wilds And Brian Funk: Attention To Detail Is Key For Mixing Products, Prepping Orders

Imagine a mixing container that can hold up to 6,000 pounds and measuring system so precise that it notifies you if your recipe ingredients are either too little or too excessive. This equipment and software, the 3-Ton Compound Double Ribbon Mixer and Beta Raben Batching Software, are what Stephen Wilds, Mixing Operator at BioZyme® Inc., uses each day to make the high-quality products that you market to your customers.

Stephen has been the second-shift mixing operator for nearly one year and said that close attention to detail is given to every batch of product mixed.

“If we mess up, the product is messed up, so we must be very diligent whenever we are putting ingredients in,” Stephen said. “Getting the correct amount and getting the correct ingredient is very important. The Batch Report pulls all ingredients except the hand-adds, and our scale is so precise that it tells you if you have too much or too little that you’ve added by hand. I have to certify everything is accurate. It’s mixed up and sent over to the bagging line.”

Although that run-down of tasks might seem simple, it really is quite complex. Stephen reviews the run list each day to make sure he has the ingredients needed to make all the products that need made for that day. Then he starts production of product, which is all driven by sales as warehouse space is limited. The mixer holds up to 3 tons per batch, or the equivalent of 120 bags per batch.

Stephen says he typically makes multiple products per day, but if he is making all the same product, he can sometimes mix as many as 30-35 batches per day. Once the product is mixed, it moves to the bagging line. BioZyme invested in a state-of-the-art fully-automated Concetti bagger two years ago, which can bag, load and wrap and pallet at a rate of 1,200 bags or 24 pallets per hour.

Once the product is made, and dealers have placed their orders, Brian Funk starts pulling the orders together. He checks the orders each morning when he arrives, prioritizes the orders by due date and makes sure there is inventory to fill each order. Then he starts “picking” or putting each order together so it is ready to ship once the trucks arrive to take the BioZyme products to the dealers.

Brian typically fills smaller or mixed pallet orders first thing in the morning before the delivery trucks start arriving to ensure accuracy on the mixed pallets that he must hand pack. Once trucks arrive he said it is easier to work with full pallet orders – those that contain 50 bags of the same product.

“It usually gets pretty hectic, but I stay very organized,” said Brian, who has been with the company nearly three years.

He typically fills 15-20 orders per day, depending on order size. He said he has picked as many as 31 orders in one day. Truckload orders are 17-18 pallets each.

Attention to detail and accuracy are top priorities for both Stephen and Brian, but they also appreciate the respect the management gives them to do their jobs.

Sam Norton, Director of Plant Operations, commends both Stephen and Brian for being self-motivated workers who do their jobs well. He also said they spend a lot of time cleaning when there is down time, which doesn’t go unnoticed, as many who have toured the plant have commented on the cleanliness of a supplement plant.

“We all work hard at getting the customer what they ask for, what they need and what they are paying for,” Sam said. “We can’t have a bad day because if we have a bad day in production, we all have a bad day. We do everything as efficiently as we can, and we are always looking at ways to be more efficient.”

Brian reminds the dealers to always check their orders for accuracy when they get delivered. He said even though he works to make sure every product and the correct quantity is sent to the correct destination, sometimes with multiple trucks arriving at the same time, there is room for human error.

From research and fermentation to drying, mixing and picking, there are a lot of people that keep our company running. We hope you have enjoyed getting to meet just a few of the behind-the-scenes folks that are the heart of our company.

At The Heart Of Keeping Biozyme In Gear: Garret Glaubius

Garret Glaubius consistency and accuracy keys to amaferm® production

Consistency and accuracy are crucial to putting out a product that livestock producers across the United States have come to expect from the BioZyme® brands. The heart of our product, Amaferm, is produced in St. Joseph each day, and Garret Glaubius in Amaferm Production, keeps a watchful eye to make sure that the best product possible is produced.

He mixes two liquids, one of those the Aspergillus oryzae that Tyson has fermented, with wheat bran and then dries the mixture to no more than 10% moisture to produce Amaferm. Garret said the outside weather elements play a role in what he does each day due to humidity and moisture in the air.

“I call it feeding the beast,” he said.

Throughout the day he makes changes to the parameters and fan speed to keep the moisture in check, never letting it get above a specific level where mold will begin growth. Ideally, Garret said he likes to run the dryer at a rate of 1,200 pounds per hour, producing 10,000-12,000 pounds per day. However, that all depends on the weather, as he pumps in outside air to help dry the product, and if there is high moisture in the atmosphere, that will bring the rate down to 1,000 or 1,100 pounds per hour.

“We are consistently working to get better,” Garret said. “We try to do the best we can in everything we do.”

He said some of the technology they use allows them to continually track moisture, and the moisture reader collects 30-60 data points every second, but he feels there is always room to improve.

Garret enjoys the diversity of working at BioZyme, saying there is a new challenge each day. He also likes to challenge himself to keep the dryer running at maximum potential while still putting out a quality product. He also said the employees at BioZyme make it an enjoyable atmosphere.

“Everyone here is helpful and friendly, and it is just a good environment to work in,” he said.

At The Heart Of Keeping Biozyme In Gear: Tyson Vorderstrasse

Tyson Vorderstrasse microbe development sets schedule in fermentation plant.

For Tyson Vorderstrasse there isn’t a typical work day or an 8-5 shift. The Director of Fermentation for BioZyme® oversees the growth and development of the cells that make up Amaferm® and AO-Biotics®. And although the fermentation plant only runs one shift per day, there isn’t a “normal” routine for each day. What needs done today, must be done today because if it doesn’t get done, then tomorrow won’t happen.

“We are flexible on our hours because microbes grow 24/7; they don’t go home,” Tyson said, “They have got to have what they need when they need it.”

Tyson has an extensive background in microbiology and the fermentation process. He grew up on a farm in south central Nebraska, and always took an interest in science, including the mechanical side of science. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology-Health Science Emphasis with a Chemistry minor from Missouri Western State University, and his senior year of college was given an opportunity to intern in a lab of a fermenter operation in microbiology. He said out of four interns, he was one of two offered full-time jobs, and thus began a career in fermentation.

Fermentation is really the initial step in developing the Amaferm, the key ingredient to every product that BioZyme markets. But fermentation doesn’t just happen.

Each week Tyson sets a schedule of what needs to be produced for the week, mixes and sterilizes media for the next batch, prepares and steams lines for the harvest, assures accurate water filtration, and makes sure the totes are ready to contain the blocks that will be harvested. There is also extensive data entry and records to keep. And of course, maintenance and cleaning the equipment is of utmost importance.

So, how big is a “batch” of Amaferm? Currently BioZyme is home to two 10,000-liter tanks. According to Tyson, each tank is the equivalent of 2,800 gallons or nearly 20,000 pounds. He said this summer they will add another tank, but this one will be 15,000 liters.

From fermentation to drying to bagging, it takes approximately five days to produce a batch of Amaferm.

With 3 ½ years with the company, Tyson says he enjoys the process that he is involved with each day, and the ability to be heard in a smaller company. He said having a hand in setting up the process and knowing it works and the ability to make suggestions on improvements and adjustments makes his job enjoyable.

“The work force and the leadership are very dedicated to the company. You matter, the workers matter and the outcome matters,” he said.

At The Heart Of Keeping Biozyme In Gear: Ignacio Ipharraguerre

Ignacio Ipharraguerre works to make products better for the users.

BioZyme Inc., takes pride in the research-proven products that it offers. And that research is taken very seriously by the Director of Research and Innovation Dr. Ignacio Ipharraguerre. Ignacio said he has two responsibilities within BioZyme. His primary function is to provide leadership and oversight to the research, development and innovation of the various product lines. He also provides technical support and strategy on market development to the International Division.

“We are gaining knowledge that helps us understand how to use our products better and how end-users will get the best response. We look for a consistent response because we want the products to work today, tomorrow and the next day,” Ignacio said.

He said that 2018 is a year of ambitious efforts with a focus on a growing portfolio of research projects. He said the research portfolio has two parts – the internal part that is tangible and exists within BioZyme and an idea or technology portfolio that exists outside of the company.

Internally, Ignacio spends time guiding product testing to evaluate how each one will work and what information will need to be provided to the customer. He also spends time working with the other staff to research what the needs are for new products in the future.

Most of his time is dedicated to research, not only internally, but also working with external sources helping find outside contacts that BioZyme can create partnerships with on their research and to discover what is happening in the industry.

In addition to working on research and development on current and new products, Ignacio also leads analytical research for improving and monitoring the fermentation process. Through a partnership with the Missouri Western State University Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator, lab space and equipment are available for the analytical research BioZyme conducts for additives like Amaferm® and AO-Biotics®.

“We are continually working to improve formulation and quality control of the fermentation process,” Ignacio said.

Currently, he is leading numerous research projects for the company that focus on animal health and nutrition, which are conducted in collaboration with various universities in the USA and Europe.

“We try to anticipate what our customer base will need in the future by thinking outside of the box or ahead of the wave,” he said. “We want to be able to answer those needs in an efficient and cost-effective matter.”

Ignacio has been working on BioZyme research for about 3 years, previously at the University of Kiel in the northern part of Germany. While he still is affiliated with the University’s Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, he now resides in the USA where also works closely with the sales team and product development team to answer any questions they have about the products or how they work.

Ignacio received the foundation for his agricultural training in Argentina and earned both his master’s and Ph.D. in Animal Science with an emphasis in Nutrition Physiology of Dairy Cattle from the University of Illinois.

He was the first researcher to study the impact of BioZyme’s products on intestinal health at the University of Kiel and was excited about the tremendous potential that products derived from Aspergillus oryzae offer to help animal health and performance. He also appreciates BioZyme’s ambition for the future as a growing company.

“I enjoy the family-based values of the company and that it cares for its people and its community. It has a big ambition for the future,” he said.

March 2018 – Letters from Lisa

Who makes a Company great?

According to Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” “Companies that make the change from good to great have no name for their transformation—and absolutely no program. They neither rant nor rave about a crisis—and they don’t manufacture one where none exists. They don’t “motivate” people—their people are self-motivated.” These facts became clear as Jim Collins and his research team completed a five-year project to determine what it takes to change a good company into a great one. They systematically scoured a list of 1,435 established companies to find every extraordinary case that made a leap from no-better-than-average results to great results. How great? After the leap, a company had to generate cumulative stock returns that exceeded the general stock market by at least three times over 15 years—and it had to be a leap independent of its industry. In fact, the 11 good-to-great companies that were found averaged returns 6.9 times greater than the market’s—more than twice the performance rate of General Electric under the legendary Jack Welch.

The surprising good-to-great list included such unheralded companies as Abbott Laboratories (3.98 times the market), Fannie Mae (7.56 times the market), Kimberly-Clark Corp. (3.42 times the market), Nucor Corp. (5.16 times the market), and Wells Fargo (3.99 times the market). One such surprise, the Kroger Co.—a grocery chain—bumped along as a totally average performer for 80 years and then somehow broke free of its mediocrity to beat the stock market by 4.16 times over the next 15 years. And it didn’t stop there. From 1973 to 1998, Kroger outperformed the market by 10 times.

What Collins found was that in each of these dramatic, remarkable, good-to-great transformations, the same things were found: There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process—a framework—kept each company, its leaders and its people on track for the long haul.

Note, it takes a company, its leaders and its people to go from good to great…

A company – A great company works on what it is passionate about, what it can be the best at and what makes it money, not at just what makes it money.

Its leaders – leaders are just ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results, guided by determination to do whatever needs to be done to make the company great.

Its people – the “it” is the key. It is such a small word, just a couple of letters, but between the “i” and the “t” is a lot of choices and a world of opportunities. It says everything about the people in a Company.

What makes our company great?  YOU! There are many YOUs in our family. I use the diagram to the left often to share how all of YOU contribute to the success of what we do. Without each of YOU and the passion for your contribution, good to great is just a book. Thank you for all you do.  Because of you and what you do, I believe the best is yet to come!

Dealer Spotlight: Kennel Supply LLC

Like all dealers, Jon Stidham believes in the products he sells, and he has used them first-hand for more years than he’s sold them. However, Stidham, owner at Kennel Supply LLC, is a specialized dealer that carries one product line – Vitalize® Canine Products.

Kennel Supply is a specialty business that started 10 years ago and became a BioZyme® dealer at the same time. The company sells to tracks, kennels, zoos, cat complexes and circuses, and pet owners with a majority of their business consisting of raw meat that they ship across the nation to customers for their animals.

“Ninety percent of my business is selling raw meat into the dog racing world and people who want to feed raw meat to their pets and animals, and of course if you’re going to feed raw meat, you need a product like Vitalize to help break down and absorb the nutrients in the meat,” Stidham said. “Vitalize is an important part of my business so I can upsell when people get on the raw diet.”

Stidham, who is also a dog breeder, explains that there has been a movement in the past few years to move away from processed dog food and start feeding dogs more raw meat.

“People are seeing their pets live longer and happier lives on a raw diet as opposed to cooked, processed dog food that has additives and things that are not natural to their diet,” he said.

Since carnivores eat raw meat in the wild rather than grazing in fields or eating vegetables, more people have grasped the concept. And Kennel Supply has capitalized on the opportunities that exist to supply a product that is in high demand.

As only one of a few raw meat distributors in the country, Kennel Supply gets its meat from a plant in Redgranite, Wis., that primarily harvests older dairy cows that would be undesirable for human consumption. Stidman explains that the meat is still safe for animal consumption and tested regularly by the USDA. The meat is packaged in smaller tubes for smaller operations, or in 30-pound slabs for bigger kennels, accommodating their customers’ various needs.

Stidham told of race tracks that order by the semi-truckload, or about 42,000 pounds, of raw meat every 4-6 weeks, noting why complete nutrition is so important when feeding several thousand dogs per day.

“The gut is important for nutrition absorption and adding the Vitalize optimizes the absorption of nutrients from the meat. The meat promotes muscle development, especially in the puppies and the dogs working at the track. Vitalize is a part of the complete diet for puppies, juveniles and adults. The only time our dogs don’t get it is when puppies are nursing, and their eyes aren’t open yet,” he said.

The product speaks for itself, according to Stidham, and he has never had any product complaints from his customers.

“People know and expect what they are getting with Vitalize. I have a very loyal following of customers who use the product, and large breeders who use the product comprehend the importance of nutrition, so they get the importance of Vitalize as part of the raw diet,” Stidham said.

For more information about Kennel Supply, visit kennelsupplyllc.com.

Information Boosts Confidence

Knowledge is power. The more information you have about anything, the more confidence you will have to talk about that product. The more confidence you have, the more enthusiasm you will project, and enthusiasm is contagious!

The above statements are true if you are talking about roping horses, fishing boats or livestock nutrition supplements. Matthew Hudson shares the following in an article on Balance.com, “Seeing someone completely enthusiastic about a product is one of the best selling tools. As you generate excitement for the product, you remove any uncertainty that the product may not be the best solution for that customer. The easiest way to become enthusiastic is to truly believe in the product. Remember, the first sale you make is yourself; the second sale is the product. If they believe in you, they will believe in the product you are selling.”

Many dealers use BioZyme® products, so they have first-hand knowledge and enthusiasm to share with customers and potential customers. However, other opportunities still exist for you to enhance your product knowledge, and therefore share your enthusiasm about the products.

The Master Dealer Program is a great way to expand your product knowledge and help build your confidence about products and programs you might need some additional information about. The online training modules cover a variety of topics, including the overall BioZyme company information and the Amaferm® advantage as well as all the individual product lines.

“When I started the classes, little did I know the outcome would be so great – from learning about nutrition, how to increase sales and the magical ‘Amaferm.’ As they say, knowledge is power. I am thankful to be part of the BioZyme family,” said Yolanda Novack, Master Dealer from Novack Feed & Grain in Lankin, N.D.

Once a dealer successfully completes the training modules and carries at least four of the product lines, they become recognized and marketed as a Master Dealer. It will receive a special designation on the Dealer Locator page on the website, signage with the Master Dealer designation will be provided to the store; and employees who complete the training will be given a special jacket with the Master Dealer logo on it.

BioZyme works hard to give their dealers every opportunity to learn and grow with the company. The Master Dealer program is just one example of the resources created to ensure dealers have access to both people and tools necessary to grow and flourish. And the more employees who complete the Master Dealer training from each location, will experience

more enthusiasm, and therefore should increase their sales.

“The Master Dealer program gives you all the knowledge and understanding you need to be a successful BioZyme dealer or sub-dealer. I truly believe it ties everything we do here at BioZyme together, our values, our brands, our key ingredients, our products and our services offered to our incredible dealers and sub-dealers,” said Ailee Langdon, Events and Training Coordinator at BioZyme. “One of my favorite things I have heard from Lisa Norton is, “take the time, find a way.” Take the time and find a way to enhance your knowledge and grow your business and complete the Master Dealer Program today.”

Dealers with more than one employee interested in completing the training should contact Langdon directly at 816-596-8782 and she will give that employee access to only the Master Dealer Training modules on your Online Dealer Center. Every employee who completes the training will receive a special jacket.