QLF Menomonie mill focused on service, quality

The facility is the Liquid Feed Category winner of the American Feed Industry Assn./Feedstuffs Feed Facility of the Year award program for 2019.

Sarah Muirhead, Editor, Feedstuffs

January 23, 2020

3 Min Read
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With its eye on the future and another expansion planned, the Quality Liquid Feeds Inc. operation in Menomonie, Wis., is poised for growth and working toward the next generation.

The facility is the Liquid Feed Category winner of the American Feed Industry Assn./Feedstuffs Feed Facility of the Year award program for 2019.

The Menomonie plant, constructed in 1984, is one of 17 in the QLF network of manufacturing facilities. It has been managed by plant manager Nick Brandon for most of the past four plus years, including most of 2019 until he moved to the company’s Muskogee, Okla., facility. Brandon’s replacement is Jake Detwiler. He took over the Menomonie plant in November.

“What makes QLF outstanding is the excellent customer service we provide,” said Brandon. He noted that they are available for customers of every sizes, from small operations all the way up to large corporations.

In 2018, a nearly $600,000 infrastructure project was completed at the Menomonie plant that is helping the team with its customer-focused vision. That improvement focused on increasing ingredient storage capacity, containment and handling and production process efficiency while expanding custom formulations to meet individual customers needs.

The newly installed tanks and piping that were added as part of the 2018 upgrade are designed to work in all of Wisconsin’s seasons. Process controls have been added that are compatible with future automation. The completed project allows for an even larger-scale second phase project that is in the final approval stage. The second phase of the project would be focused on an expansion of the production site and addition of a new office building.

The current facility produces an annual tonnage of 70,000 plus tons with 75% being for dairy cattle. Six- to 24-ton batches are commonly run manufactured out of the Menomonie facility. Brandon said they are generally all customized.   The Menomonie plant operates two shifts a day

QLF has its own fleet of trucks and trailers. “We feel it provides for a better experience for our customers when we do our own trucking and hauling,” said Brandon. He noted they are able to service the entire QLF regional sales area with company-owned trucks and QLF drivers.

At QLF, employee safety and health begin at the top and that is why the company relies on its employees to adopt a strong commitment to both through their active involvement in the company’s safety and health program. Monthly safety training is held to ensure an ongoing effort to maintain a safe working environment. There is a total of 10 employees at the Menomonie plant, two of which are maintenance employees, one clerical and two supervisory.

Training is another commitment that QLF makes. Each team member is provided with the education and understanding to perform job responsibilities and adhere to company policies and procedures with the goal of supporting the manufacture of safe, quality feed.

All QLF employees, including new, full-time, contracted and temporary employees as well as maintenance personnel, are trained in good manufacturing practices and job-related responsibilities.

Weekly meetings are held within the facility to allow for employee feedback and questions as well as a way of keeping the team informed and involved.  Employee pizza days are held to create camaraderie among employees and allow for some downtime while at work.

“It’s all about promoting an environment in which employees can take ownership of their work, along with pride in what they do.” “We all understand our products aid in the profitability of our customers and we have to make them right the first time and every time.”  Brandon said. 

QLF, headquartered in Dodgeville, Wis., is a family-owned, American company that has been serving customers for more than 42 years. It is a nationwide, innovative leader in the development and manufacturing of liquid feed supplements.

QLF has grown over the years from a primarily Midwestern marketer of liquid feed supplements to a full-line liquid feed and cooked low-moisture block organization that serves the animal feeding industry nationwide. 

In addition, QLF manufactures and markets a premium line of products to enhance the appearance, palatability and performance of specialized texturized feeds primarily for horses, calves and show animals. QLF also markets and distributes quality cane molasses directly to feed manufacturers.

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