FFA Alumni members tour businesses in the Fond du Lac area
At least 150 of the attendees at the recent Wisconsin FFA Alumni convention in Fond du Lac enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about businesses serving agriculture including Milk Specialties Global that turns whey, once a waste product of the cheese industry, into specialty protein for the health and nutrition market.
The company has three divisions including nutraceuticals, human nutrition and animal nutrition products. The human nutrition products are manufactured in Fond du Lac.
The Fond du Lac plant takes in 100 semi-truck loads of liquid whey every day. The whey passes through miles of stainless steel pipeline on its way through the process of creating protein ingredients for the rapidly growing sports nutrition and weight loss segment of the food and beverage industry.
Their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Fond du Lac is the largest protein-producing plant in the U.S.
The management office of the company are in Eden Prairie, MN. Other plants are located in Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota and there are also research and manufacturing operations in New Holstein, Adell and Boscobel in Wisconsin.
Milk Specialties Global also includes an animal nutrition division using specialty dairy ingredients in the formulation and processing of animal nutrition products as well as a line of milk replacers, ration supplements and rumen-inert fats.
The company exports a great deal of their production throughout the world including to Asia where there is growing demand for dairy proteins and carbohydrates.
OTHER ALUMNI EVENTS
The FFA Alumni group also toured Agromatic, Inc., a company that began more than 110 years ago in 1898 as Klinzing Manufacturing in St. Cloud. August Klinzing earned more than 15 patents with his various inventions such as manure carriers, stanchions, cow drinking cups, and barn cleaners.
In more recent times the company has taken the trade name "Agromatic" and has been run as a division of the A.F. Klinzing Co. which was owned and managed by Dave Hoppman for more than 38 years.
In 2010, Agromatic was purchased by a long-time employee, Dean Birschbach who started with the company as shipping manager and later moved into territorial sales manager.
While the company is based in Fond du Lac, there are dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Products today include a silage packer, stall mats for cow comfort, milking parlor mats for people comfort, ventilation fans and curtains, stalls, gates and chutes, parlor systems and walls, feeding and bedding equipment, and manure handling equipment.
When the Alumni group returned from the tours they had an opportunity to take part in one of many workshops offered to help alumni work more closely with their local FFA chapters and school districts.
Workshops included things like social media in agriculture, agriculture career networking and leadership development. Presenters included the state FFA officer team, agriculture instructors and Regina Oldendorf, the Wisconsin FFA Alumni executive director.