If this is your first year to attend Dealer Retreat, there will still be an opportunity to come tour BioZyme headquarters.
We are very excited to announce that the first-ever Vita Charge focused American Rancher is set to air next Monday on May 28th! This show will serve as an excellent testimonial to education potential customers on the benefits of Vita Charge Drench and Stress Tubs at weaning.
The focus for Vita Charge in this episode is the ability to have healthier calves all while reducing labor costs and medicine costs.
The family in this episode, Thaler Land and Livestock, uses our products in all stages of production and truly believe in the Amaferm Advantage.
The most recent episode of The American Rancher featured VitaFerm® customer, J&S Cattle Co of Bastrop, LA. In it they discuss the challenges of raising cattle in a region with extreme heat, humidity and an abundance of flies and how VitaFerm HEAT helps.
VitaFerm® HEAT® is a line of vitamin and mineral supplements for beef cattle used to reduce heat stress during temperatures of 70 degrees and above, or anytime cattle are grazing fescue. Contains the Amaferm® advantage and Capsaicin, both research-proven to lower body temperature, which can improve conception rates by maintaining pregnancy. Includes garlic, a natural insect repellent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sure Champ is taking things to the EXTREME in 2018 and we want to tell you all about it. Watch the webinar below where, Blaine Rodgers, Show Livestock Business Development and Field Support, will discuss the new Sure Champ line up coming this spring.