A growing worldwide need for food, along with changes in consumer demand, research initiatives, and technological advances are a few of the issues the agriculture industry faces in the 21st century. Fortunately, agriculture was built on a foundation of innovation and is not an industry to shy away from challenges.
Winnipeg, Manitoba-based EMF Nutrition has strived for an innovative approach since the beginning. In 1969, retired military serviceman Peter Friesen founded the company, previously known as East-Man Feeds, where he introduced premix feed into the Western Canadian marketplace. The company serves customers in the swine, poultry, beef and dairy industries across Western Canada as well as in the United States.
The latest development materialized in 2013 when Alltech, a global leader in animal health based in the Lexington, Kentucky area, acquired the business following a long and successful partnership. At that time, the company rebranded to EMF Nutrition while remaining focused on the values of customer service, innovation and quality. Alltech is comprised of four main divisions: the feed division, animal nutrition and health, crop science, and food and beverage, which showcase the wide reach of the company.
As of 2015, EMF Nutrition employs 125 people across 10 facilities in Western Canada, with annual company sales reaching $70 million.
BLUEPRINT: The new wave in animal nutrition
EMF Nutrition launched a new feeding program called BLUEPRINT on the swine side of the operation in September 2013. The program later expanded to other species in April 2014.
“The BLUEPRINT nutrition program unravels the genetic codes of how nutrition impacts gene expression in the animal and provides a customized feeding program to meet an animal’s performance potential,” says Matt Einarson, managing director for EMF Nutrition. “We look at growth, immunity, and digestion and can customize specific mixes to individual farms and animals. Livestock nutrition today is more important than just protein, fat and fiber. Feeding an animal exactly what it needs, all the way down to the cellular level, results in better health, increased performance and improved profitability.”
BLUEPRINT has solidified EMF’s reputation as a leader in animal nutrition. Each program is fully customized to deliver optimal results based on the needs of each producer’s livestock. All products are driven by research, where the latest technologies – incorporating the team’s understanding of nutrigenomics and epigenetics – are applied to ensure that young animals have a healthy start on-farm and continue to thrive throughout their lifecycles.
EMF Nutrition prides itself on fostering relationships with customers and the team makes service and quick response time a priority. “The feed industry is extremely competitive,” Einarson explains. “Price is a factor in decision making, but we strive to differentiate with innovative products and a commitment to superior customer service.”
Planting seeds for the future
EMF Nutrition routinely seeks out opportunities and partnerships that increase its services and product offerings. In 2013, a crop science division offering soil and plant health products was established. This addition further diversified EMF Nutrition in the marketplace.
“Our operation integrates the concept of providing solutions that will introduce improved nutrition to the plant which in turn yields better quality nutrition in the feed,” explains Einarson. “This approach allows us another way to best unlock the genetic potential of the animal.” Team members assist customers to manage plant health from the ground up by monitoring soil quality and crop performance through technology and nutritional support.
The crop business has proved quite successful with growth in the hundreds of percentage points, and continued progress is projected for the coming years. “This venture is an important adjacency for our business and we intend to continue our commitment by building a dedicated agronomy team,” Einarson said.
Standing out in the crowd
EMF Nutrition frequently looks for new ways to challenge the status quo in the agriculture industry.
As a member of Alltech’s feed division, EMF Nutrition has access to educational resources, such as the Alltech Young Scientist Program and Alltech Ambassador Program. The Alltech Young Scientist Program, now in its 11th year, is the largest university-level competition in the world focused on agriscience. The Alltech Ambassador Program allows students to participate in recruitment events and company functions.
In the modern agricultural market, companies need to have a solid understanding of the digital landscape in order to effectively communicate and engage with consumers. An important component of EMF Nutrition’s marketing plan was to update the online content that was already in place and to implement additional channels such as a blog, titled Feed for Thought, which was published in January 2015. The results have been overwhelmingly positive and this strategy has proven a worthwhile undertaking.
EMF Nutrition strongly believes in the power of marketing through education and creates as many opportunities as possible for customers to access new information. Producer meetings are a key avenue by which this is accomplished and the company is committed to providing relevant discussion topics and offering engaging speakers at each meeting. The capstone of this principle is Alltech’s annual international conference, a global event bringing together speakers and participants across the agriculture, food, science, nutrition, business and beverage industries.
On Sept. 19, 2015, EMF Nutrition embraced several of its passions to engage with the community, have fun and support a local charitable organization all at the same time when it introduced a brand new event to the public called Beer and Bites Manitoba. This new festival highlighting the craft beer industry, including those from Alltech’s food and beverage division, featured nearly 50 beers along with local food vendors and live entertainment. The event was a resounding success, which proved that even unchartered territory can be conquered.
A dedication to innovation, customer service and quality, coupled with a desire to constantly evolve, has proven to be a winning formula for the company and its employees. Standing out in the crowd is encouraged at EMF Nutrition.