Why Innovative Livestock Services?
Innovative Livestock Services is the child of two great parents. Ward Feed Yard was a grass roots company founded in 1962 and owned by its employees, cow/calf operators, stocker operators and cattle feeders. Great Bend Feeding was a family held corporation owned by the Murphy Family. These two companies combined to form a dynamic company poised to drive the future of agriculture by applying their best practices philosophy in the areas of sustainability, environmental stewardship, animal care, and food safety.
Evolution: Two Companies, One Mindset
The relationship dates back to 1988. Lee Borck and Roger Murphy had a common challenge. The cattle they were trying to sell were being discounted. This problem was not based on quality, but due to location. Solution: figure out how to create more value for the packing industry to differentiate the companies from everyone else. This began the relationship that became today?s partnership. When faced with adversity, identify the problem, design the solution, and then implement that solution. During this evolutionary process, a common mentality was discovered and a working relationship was built.
The Beginning: Acquisitions and Growth
In 1999 the two companies began a journey of value creation. Looking at all of the dynamics within modern agriculture, how does a group move forward into the next century? The answer: Eliminate the things that don?t work, and do more of the things that do work. A principle that is simple in its philosophy, yet difficult to implement. One of those positives was already being done well: value creation, but there were many other practices worthy of replication. Food safety, environmental practices, business practices, and customer relations are all easy examples. The first acquisition was a result of the two companies desire to better serve the agriculture industry and consumer by creating more products that fit this profile. Ultimately, the betterment of industry is the goal and the processes are the engines that get us there.
What We Are Today
We are the result of high quality production and business practices combined with our ability to satisfy our customers needs and wants. This is proven by the number of consumer driven programs that we participate in, as well as, the industry recognition that we have from meeting our high expectations. These are standards that we have set for ourselves. These are standards that we hold ourselves accountable to at every level, every day of the year. Currently we are the 11th largest cattle feeding company in the United States and also farm approximately 27,500 acres in Kansas and Nebraska. We also are owners of companies that provide services for ourselves and for other industry members. We own an alfalfa pellet company (Alfalfa Pellets, LLC) that provides quality pellets that are used in supplements for all livestock operations. We own a fuel company (Agri-Fuels, LLC) that delivers fuel to our own entities and to farmers and commodity trucking businesses. We own feed box and manure spreading manufacturing company (MMI International) that provides efficient equipment in both feeding operations and environmental compliance. We own an environmental compliance company (GK Environmental Services, LLC) that utilizes our own manure product so that the natural fertilizer component is reused to help produce crops and improve production.
When it comes to the future, no one's crystal ball works perfectly. What we do know is that we have built a company that will withstand the difficult times and thrive during the good times. When you focus on quality, the environment, job performance, and efficiency, good things will follow. We are proud to say that our future is bright and our vision is clear. We are ready to move into the future.