Cattle Business Weekly - Family Business Awarded Honor

Agri-Best Feeds, Inc. committed to agriculture

by Cody Vallery-Mills

This fall, Agri-Best Feeds of Montana was awarded the Family Business of the Year Award from Montana State University in the new business category.

Irv Haidle started the company in 2006 and since then has grown the business into a true family affair with sons, son-in-laws and grandsons working for Agri-Best.

The main stay of the supplement company has been SweetPro products for livestock. Irv tested SweetPro products on his own herd for two years before deciding to endorse and sell the supplement line. His first test was to put cattle in a dry lot setting with eight big round bale feeders and either the SweetPro supplement block or a different brand’s supplement.

What Irv found, was the cattle consuming the SweetPro product didn’t go through their hay as fast. In fact, Agri-Best has proven a 25 percent forage savings for producers when they incorporate their supplement block with a forage diet.

Irv also saw his weaning weights improving and one client has seen a 100 percent conception rate in his heifer herd with 80 percent of them being bred in the first cycle.

The benefits livestock producers have received from using products Agri-Best carriers has helped the company grow in sales to $2 million in 2009 with over 70 dealers and service available in an 8 state area.

Agri-Best bases their business and product on three different areas.

  1. Animal Health and Performance – offer a complete health and performance package to animals.
  2. Forage utilization – help animals, “harvesters”, better utilize forage.
  3. Producer profitability – provide producers with a product that helps maximize forage and improve the bottom line.

The award received from Montana State University recognized this commitment. The award Agri-Best received read: “In recognition of your personal testing of the product; in recognition of your positive impact on the livestock industry in Montana; in recognition of your rapid growth, impressive share of the market, and approaching profitability; in recognition of your involvement in multiple generations early in your development.”

The Products

SweetPro is a complete supplement for all classes of livestock and horses containing a complete package of vitamins and minerals (50% chelated, which makes it very bio-available and easy for an animal to utilize). What begins to separate SweetPro from other livestock feeds is that the company utilizes distillers grains (DDGS and CDS – complex carbohydrate ) in the product as the carrier (no molasses – simple sugar or grains – starch).

What really separates SweetPro is the digestive aide, ProBioTein. ProBioTein is a proprietary blend of fermented wheat, oats, barley malt, and flax (wide amino acid profile) containing yeast and enzymes. The result of the use of the SweetPro products is an improvement of forage TDN by 25%.

“Where we shine is in the savings of 25 percent of forage,” says Scott Anderson of Agri-Best. “When hay is $90 a ton and you are saving 25 percent of it, the supplement is basically free.”

The company also carries Redmond Natural Trace Mineral, a mined sea salt for livestock with 50+ trace minerals in crystalloid form.

Crystalloid minerals completely dissolve in liquid so it is the most bio-available form of minerals that easily pass through animal and plant cell membrane. The synergy of these minerals help improve the animal’s health and performance, better utilize the minerals that are in the forages, and improve profitability by saving money on high cost mineral. Anderson says animals will back off their free choice mineral by up to half after being on Redmond.

“Both product lines affect the bottom line positively. Both on the forage saving side and the production side with increased weights, conception rates and decrease in disease,” says Anderson.

Agri-Best is committed to informing those involved in the agricultural industry and have created informational webinars to accomplish this. This fall a webinar series was launched featuring professors representing five universities, a medical doctor, and a three time National Finals Rodeo qualifier with topics focusing on cattle, horses, soil, and human health. All webinars are free and open to the public and can be registered for at and clicking the register button. To learn more about Agri-Best visit, call 866-601-6646, or stop in for a visit at their corporate headquarters 33N 15th Street (former Pierce Packing building) in Billings, Montana.