Remembering Bob Norton

It is with shock and sadness that we announce the sudden death of BioZyme® Inc. CEO Bob Norton. He passed away April 13, 2022.

Bob was a driving force behind BioZyme, and he encouraged everyone to be, and do, their best.  He was a fine, generous person and his spirit will forever be the foundation of our great company.

Bob started with the organization in 2000 after a lengthy career in the meat packing industry. As CEO, Bob oversaw the activities of the employee-owned company, headquartered in Saint Joseph, Missouri, and worked closely with the President and COO to monitor growth both domestically and internationally. Although day-to-day activities had transitioned to the President and COO and the leadership team several years ago, Bob remained the ultimate team leader and innovation champion. His lasting legacy and philosophy will remain the guidepost for BioZyme.  Business is strong and will continue to grow.

The Saint Joseph native enjoyed giving back to others, aviation and was active in the Veterans Airlift Command. He was also passionate about the future of agriculture and has been recognized for his contributions by being inducted in the Honorary Angus Foundation. He previously served on the Certified Angus Beef® Board of Directors. He was a promoter of the National Junior Hereford Association, currently serving on the Hereford Youth Foundation of America Board.

Bob epitomized the BioZyme motto, “care that comes full circle,” in all he did and with everyone he met. His smile was infectious, his handshake firm and his words sincere.

The BioZyme Incorporated offices and operations will be closed on Tuesday, April 19 until 1 p.m. The memorial service for CEO Bob Norton begins at 11 a.m., at Wyatt Park Baptist Church, and will be live-streamed via

Backyard Boost® Defense now comes in two sizes!

Introducing an 8 oz bottle for easier handling, samples or smaller flocks.

Backyard Boost® Defense is a liquid supplement for all classes of poultry that promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery to help support digestive health and promotes a healthy inflammatory response.

Still available in 16 oz bottle for bigger flocks.

Two Minutes this Month: February

A new year is upon us, but the same challenges exist if you’re in agriculture; land values are high, feed costs are high, and if you are a farmer, seed and chemical costs are going to be higher than ever this spring. However, those involved in U.S. production agriculture continue to persevere and produce the world’s safest food, just like BioZyme focuses on producing safe, accurate products. 

New this month, we’ll start highlighting some news from across the ag community that you can read in a quick two minutes.  

Cattle slaughter was down in December, and overall declining cattle numbers are projected to reduce cattle slaughter by 2.5 -3% in 2022 and lead to a 2.5% decrease in beef production for the year. However, drought could change the timing by forcing more liquidation and slaughter sooner and delaying the decrease in production until later. 

Mother Nature cannot play nice; she either sends excessive rains and storms to parts of the country or drought continues to wreak havoc elsewhere. The U.S. Forest Service along with other government agencies are partnering to help eliminate the spread of wildfires moving forward. This 10-year plan initially will target some of the highest risk areas, including the Pacific Northwest, the Sierra Nevada Range in California, the front range in Colorado and the Southwest. 

The BioZyme brands were represented in January at both the Cattlemen’s Congress in Oklahoma City and the National Western Stock Show in Denver. In its second year, Cattlemen’s Congress boasted strong open cattle shows with great sales, many sponsored and supported by breed associations after a successful first year, as a pivot show when the National Western cancelled during the height of COVID. The new stockyards at the National Western are very impressive, and the NWSS staff was very exhibitor friendly this year. Quality junior market shows among the species make Denver a special place in January, with the junior market auction better than ever. Sales in the new auction arena in the Yards were strong and though attendance was slightly off this year, foot traffic at the BioZyme booth was tremendous. 

Effective Action: Producer Meetings Offer Support

Producer meetings are an integral part of your business for several reasons. They provide information, allow for camaraderie among people
of like minds and interests and perhaps most importantly, they give dealers the chance to offer support to their customers.

People like to know that they are appreciated. Furthermore, customers like to know that they are valued as a customer when taking their business to a particular company or brand. Beyond the appreciation factor, customers want to know that support will be available to them after the sale.

That’s where producer meetings add value, they are the continued support after the sale and the beginning of a great conversation that will start the support prior to a sale (see Know Your Customer for more). Read up on three ways that a producer meeting can offer support.

Discover Customer Needs

One of the best things about a producer meeting is that you gather your customers together collectively and find out their goals and needs at the same time. If you are in a drought area, many will obviously have the same concerns. Some customers will have unique goals that you will need to address individually, but coming together in a meeting setting, providing a meal and inquiring about your customers’ goals for the year shows that you care, and you appreciate them.

Exchange Ideas

Since you have this group together, encourage them to share ideas. This shouldn’t be a problem; it’s just a larger gathering of their local coffee shop chatter. Remember, if you have potential customers at your meeting, it is a good idea to have some of your most progressive customers prepared to speak about the products that work for them to help reach their goals. After all, most producers want to be like the guy or gal that is highly respected in the area for having a successful operation. Make sure what these spokespeople have to say is genuine and doesn’t come across as rehearsed, or it could be a turn off.

Introduce New Products

Finally, make sure you talk about any new or improved products that you know are coming down the pipe or any new services you will be offering, especially if they will help your customers reach their goals. Be sure to share the key benefits, any key ingredients and any research that you are aware of. Of course, if it is a product that includes Amaferm®, it is always good to provide a refresher on the Amaferm advantage.

Customer support and appreciation goes a long way. It can often be the difference between repeat customers and unhappy customers. Make sure to host a productive producer meeting that shows that you are available to your customers. Show them the support they are looking for and watch your business grow!

Know Your Checkbook: Leadership Skills Help Make the Sale

Leadership is not a one-size-fits all approach. Some leaders are quiet, more in the background workers and some are more aggressive. However, to succeed in sales and have growth in your company it takes leaders with particular skills.

“I believe that leadership is genetic, people are born with those skills, but they can hone them in, grow their skills over time,” said Jackson Umbarger, owner of Roy Umbarger & Sons in Bargersville, Indiana. Umbarger shared what he feels makes a sales team successful when it comes to leadership traits.


Communication is vital to sales. “Answer your phone when someone calls, and if you don’t answer, call them back,”
Umbarger said.

Although that might seem like pretty simple advice, it is sometimes overlooked, especially in an era of so many ways to communicate and with so many calls coming in. Keeping a call log in a notebook is an effective way to make sure you’ve got all your phone calls, text messages, Snap chats responded to, and orders processed without forgetting that one missed call that came in between your last customer stop and your kid’s basketball game. Because Umbarger’s sales team consists of two very unique individuals who communicate differently and are in separate phases of life – one is an early riser who doesn’t mind making calls at 6 a.m., and one would like to talk to customers after the kids’ bedtime – Umbarger at one time developed an app for customers to reach out to the sales team whenever they needed to, and in turn, the sales team could return the communication to the customers on their timelines.


Since leaders look different and have different skills, collaboration is a must. As Umbarger points out they might have sales reps divided by areas or species, but when the heavy hitter needs to be called in for a particular species or product, it is best to work with that person to make the sale.

“Leaders work together. They work for what is best for the team,” he said.

Their team also works together, especially when introducing a new product, to develop the talking points they will discuss, talk about what they don’t want to say and make sure the sales team is on the same page, so every customer and potential customer hears the same thing.

Product Knowledge

Product knowledge is imperative for any successful salesperson. That is why Umbarger makes sure his sales team is properly trained on any new products that they introduce to customers. Training the sales team is of upmost importance. That is when they develop talking points and share those with the rest of the company that might need to talk about the products, so everyone has accurate, consistent product information.

For BioZyme products, make sure you use the information available to you on the Online Dealer Center and online to familiarize yourself with the products.

Belief in Product

“We are not order takers. We sell products we believe in and don’t offer multiple products lines. We want to have a story to tell every time,” Umbarger said.

He said leaders need to have a conviction for the products they are representing. While his sales team might not have direct, personal experience with every product, they have relationships with customers who have had positive experiences and have shared those so the salespeople can share those experiences.

Finally, Umbarger said skilled leaders should not need to be micromanaged. “They know I have their back, and they have mine. The customers will let you know if you someone isn’t doing their job,” he said. Leadership. It doesn’t look the same for everyone, but it is a good combination of communication, collaboration, product knowledge and believing in the goods or services you are selling. Combine those traits, and your leadership skills will shine.

Asking Questions Shows You Care

Are we in the nutrition business or the people business? The question
might be best answered with “both.” We won’t sell much nutrition if we don’t first know about the people or customers who are taking care of the animals who need it. We need to know our customers’ needs and understand exactly what they are trying to achieve.

The best way to get to know your customer or a potential customer is to have a conversation with him or her. Discover what goals they have set forth and listen. You will likely need to lead this conversation because most people, especially in agriculture, don’t like to talk about themselves or share too much information. Form your questions more like a conversation than an interview, seeming more natural than just a list of predetermined questions you have with hopes to make a sale. People don’t always know what they want. However, they usually know what they don’t want. Use these 10 questions to help you start a conversation to attract new customers to your business.

  1. When it comes to (segment of industry person is in) what is your
    biggest challenge or hurdle you face when trying to meet your
  2. Which of your needs are not currently being met?
  3. What products/services do you value the most?
  4. How can the products/services you use be improved?
  5. What is one area of your business you need to improve on? And how can I help you make those improvements?
  6. What features of a product/service make you annoyed?
  7. Would you be willing to invest more in a product/service if you knew the ROI would be greater than what you are currently experiencing?
  8. What opportunities or benefits are you willing to pay more for?
  9. At what price does my product or service provide great value to you?
  10. Have you ever thought, “if only a company like ours could do [BLANK] for me, life would be so much easier?” …Tell me about BLANK and how you would find it useful.

Once you have a conversation started, genuinely listen to the potential
customer’s answers. Does it sound like you have a product or service
that is needed by this person at this time? Great! Then it is time to
start talking about your products or services to make a sale. Don’t
talk about products or services that aren’t relevant but show that you
sincerely care and respect the person’s needs and desires by telling
them how you can help their operation. The number one thing that
attracts new customers is showing respect and that you truly care about
the customer, their goals and their animals.

Letters From Lisa – February 2022

When You Fuel Your Passion, Care Comes Naturally

Passion sneaks up on you and whispers in your ear. It moves you to speak, act, move, create.

Passion is what you’re naturally drawn to, what manifests in your life over and over again, what keeps you up at night and spurs you out of bed in the morning.

Passion is simply the work you love to do. You’re deeply committed to doing this work and doing it well. You get a lot of joy out of it, but it will also come with a lot of struggle and effort—and you know the whole time that it’s worth it.

Passion is high emotion AND high devotion.

Passion is what fuels the best work, not money.

Passion is what motivates us to do the things we love. It is that strong desire that allows you to create something extraordinary—the fuel that keeps the fire burning.

The most certain way to fuel your passion is to connect with and bring value, meaning and joy to the lives of others. So, the more you give, the more you get back. At BioZyme®, we like to call this “Care that Comes Full Circle.”

“Care that Comes Full Circle” is a philosophy that believes that if you truly care for someone or something, that care will eventually come full circle back to you. Or in other words, there will be a natural boomerang effect. However, remember that most boomerang manufacturers guarantee that their boomerangs will return if thrown according to the instructions provided.

Perhaps we need instructions as well to ensure our care comes full circle. I believe these instructions would start with telling us to find our passion, fuel it and then watch this special type of care come naturally.

Naturally meaning if we take care of the animals, they will take care of us by ensuring we get to eat or feel unconditional love. Naturally meaning if we take care of our customers, they will remain loyal, which allows us to continue to have the resources to research new technologies for them. Naturally meaning if we take care of our vendors by communicating and staying loyal to them, they will help us during these horrible supply chain shortages and challenges. And last but certainly not least, naturally meaning if we take care of our employees by being understanding, good communicators and supportive they will passionately fuel the care we are after naturally throughout the company.

BioZyme has always been focused on caring about the producer by helping add value so he/she can see and measure improvements in the herd. “We always promoted healthier animals, but it was never really written it down,” said 40-year retired employee Dennis Delaney. “Although we all (employees) have a livestock background and care about animals, the true passion, compassion and love for animals came into BioZyme’s philosophy when Lisa Norton came to work here.”

I greatly appreciate these words from Dennis, but I hope my leadership drives this same type of care not just to the animals, but also to all of you.

I recently watched a movie (yes it was Hallmark) where a boss told a writer that the weakness in her work was that she had a “wall between your head and your heart.” I thought that was a perfect question to end this article. Do you have that wall? That wall makes it very hard to fuel your passion enough that care comes naturally.

February 2022 Changes


  • Due to BioZyme additions at both Stockyards and Easton building locations and the resulting limited space for storage, customer orders will need to be picked up within two days of the ship date requested by the customer, which is reiterated upon the receipt of the email notice that your order is ready. We appreciate your cooperation during this time and hope we can count on your support without moving to more extreme measures.


  • At BioZyme, we are continuing to experience logistics challenges for our ingredients and materials, such as our packaging, which are resulting in both shortages and increased costs. In addition, we got word last week that many of our bulk ingredients will be under a severe shortage until Q2 of 2022, and if they are available, can be expected to cost 200% more. We are working tirelessly to overcome these challenges to keep pricing under control and continue to deliver quality products quickly, but it is getting harder and harder.


  • We are currently testing a new fullfillment process on our tubs, and as soon as the test is proven successful, all orders for tubs will be fulfilled directly from the manufacturer. Please watch your email in the coming months for more information about this change.
  • As of January 1, 2022, BioZyme® requires a minimum order of 2.5 tons. We will also no longer be mixing pallets for VitaFerm and Gain Smart products. Pallets may be mixed for Vitalize, DuraFerm and Sure Champ products. These changes are being implemented due to the ongoing challenges we are experiencing with reliability and availability of LTL shipping. Distribution partners are available for smaller and mixed pallet orders with coverage in over 30 states. If you need help working through these partners, please contact your Area Sales Manager or the Outreach Support Center at (816) 596-8785 or


  • As of January 1, 2022, new MAP pricing went into effect for several of the Page 2 products. Separate communication with the updated pricing was sent by both mail and email in November. If you did not receive this information, please contact Jennifer Miller at


  • Starting February 1, 2022, Vitalize® Blazin’ 32 oz bottle packaging will be updated from a 32 oz twin neck squeeze bottle to a 32 oz pump bottle.
  • Starting February 1, 2022, Backyard Boost® Defense will be available in an 8 oz size.
  • Potassium level change:
    • 19% of the potash market is supplied by Nutrien (BioZyme’s supplier). Jeff Tarsi, Nutrien’s senior Vice President, stated the company has secured less product than usual because manufacturers have less available. The weather and natural gas are to blame. The Texas Arctic blast in February and Hurricane Ida in August disrupted US production.
    • This severe shortage of potassium chloride has caused us to have to make changes in the formulas for many of our products this month. Don’t worry; animals get potassium naturally from forage and rarely need more than 1% added to their diet. The following outlines the changes we are having to make:
    • No changes:
      • VitaFerm Conserve® products
      • All high mag products
      • Gain Smart® Stocker and Wheat products
      • Vitalize® High Performance & Protein Pellet
      • Sure Champ® Ration Builder
  • Products fed year-round will be reduced to 1% including:
    • DuraFerm® Sheep & Goat Concept-Aid® products
    • VitaFerm® Cattlemans Blend
    • Vitalize® Equine Free Choice
    • Sure Camp® Cattle
    • VitaFerm® Concept-Aid® beef products will change depending on the forage they are assumed to be fed with:
      • 0, 8 and 10 are reduced to 1% since they are typically fed with more mature forages or high grain diets
      • 5 the potassium will be removed entirely as it is fed with good quality forage
    • The VitaFerm® HEAT® products will have the potassium removed entirely since summer forage provides enough potassium to meet beef cattle requirements.
    • Gain Smart® Balancer RU1600 will be reduced to 1% to meet requirements since it is primarily fed with grain supplemented with higher potassium corn byproducts and oilseed meals.

Effective Easy Breeding with VitaFerm® Concept•Aid®

How much is one more calf worth?
When it comes to the cow-calf producer each live calf is added profit to his or her bottom line. That is why it is so important to help them determine which VitaFerm® Concept•Aid® formula to use and educate and encourage them to begin feeding that formula at least 60 days prior to calving through breeding.

Because there are so many formulas available of the VitaFerm Concept•Aid, we have developed several tools to help you educate your customers on their differences and help them decide which is the correct formula for them.

A short video about each formula is available online if you click on the product tab. Each video is about one minute and highlights the features and benefits of each product. These are ideal to share on your own social media or on a dedicated screen within your dealership as well.

Spec Sheet
In the same online tab as the videos and in the Online Dealer Center under the product information, you can find a spec sheet about each product. This will outline specific nutritional information and feeding rates in a simple, easy-to-follow format. These are in a downloadable format and easy to print.
They make a great quick reference to keep on hand.

VitaFerm Concept•Aid Product Navigator
This five-question quiz is a simple way to help producers discover which formula is best suited to their management scenario and resources. After the producer answers questions about feed availability and production goals, a formula will be suggested to them. You can help them adjust accordingly with your product knowledge.

It is important to emphasize to your customers that not only does the VitaFerm Concept•Aid assist the cow herd during breeding, it provides the cows great nutrition year-round and provides them added absorption of nutrients they need from the feedstuffs and forages available to them.


Be sure to understand each of your customer’s individual challenges to help them achieve reproductive success and profitability in their herd. Is their calving window longer than they would like? Too many open cows due to poor breed back? Low-quality forages available due to extreme weather patterns this past year? Find out what they are facing and recommend a VitaFerm Concept•Aid for them.

Challenge: Poor breed back rates leading to more open

How to Relevantly Position VitaFerm Concept•Aid: Reduce your risk by investing in the Concept•Aid mineral program to maximize your reproductive efficiency. Leverage the power of organic trace minerals, high levels of vitamin E and selenium to promote optimized fertility and quick reproductive tract repair to ensure a faster breed back.

Challenge: Constant weather challenges led to tightened budgets, and often times, mineral and supplementation programs were cut leading to thin cows, which resulted in poor conception rates and longer calving seasons.

How to Relevantly Position VitaFerm Concept•Aid: Reduce your labor and length of calving season with the help of Concept•Aid. You can trust the Amaferm® advantage to deliver more energy for reproductive success while elevated vitamin E levels lend to faster reproductive tract repair and quicker breed back to shorten your calving window, helping to maximize your efforts.

Challenge: Irregular weather patterns have resulted in low-quality forages and winter pastures.

How to Relevantly Position VitaFerm Concept•Aid: Don’t let winter grazing limit your performance. Let Concept•Aid help maximize digestibility and absorption with the power of Amaferm! Choose the phosphorous level that suits your forage best to help promote milk production and higher calf weaning weights.

Challenge: Soft markets and fewer calves on the ground
will require higher weaning weights to differentiate and stay profitable come sale time.

How to Relevantly Position VitaFerm Concept•Aid: Allow Concept•Aid products to deliver optimal digestive health and nutrition through the power of Amaferm resulting in performance that pays. Through increased absorption and elevated levels of
phosphorous, you can expect an 11% increase in calf weaning weights above the national average (Source: VitaFerm Reproductive Success Report)