Care that comes full circle. Those five words are the are the value statement that drives animal nutrition company BioZyme® Inc. each day. Although “care that comes full circle” has not been in writing since the company’s beginnings in the St. Joseph, Mo., stockyards district more than 70 years ago, caring for animals and helping livestock producers have always been priorities, and continue to be so today.
“We’ve always been focused on animal efficiency and helping the producer add value so he can see and measure improvements in his herd. We promoted healthier animals, so animal husbandry was a given, but never really written it down,” said 40-year employee Dennis Delaney who has seen the growth and changes in the company over the decades. “Although we all (employees) have a livestock background and care about animals, the true compassion and love for animals came into BioZyme’s philosophy when Lisa Norton came to work here.”
BioZyme was first started by a former Cargill sales person, Larry Ehlert in 1945, when he purchased the St. Joseph Feed & Supply Company. In 1958, Ehlert started the “System” as a logical and economical means of benefitting those farm and ranch families involved in the livestock industries. The key component to the Vita Ferm System was an ingredient called Amaferm®, an unheard-of direct fed microbial, that is now the key ingredient in every BioZyme product.
Dave Gallagher, 39-year employee knew Mr. Ehlert personally, as Gallagher’s grandfather and Ehlert were good friends. He recalls the company founder teaching early employees to sell the Amaferm advantage first and then the mineral package.
In an early BioZyme advertisement, Ehlert is pictured with a Hereford cow and a headline that reads, “I can’t tell the cattle what they need. I’d rather have them tell me.” And since that early advertisement, BioZyme has grown its product lines to include high-quality supplements across species from dogs, horses, hogs, poultry, goats, sheep and cattle in all stages of production.
One of the growing product lines where the care that comes full circle focuses on both the animals and the people is the Sure Champ® line of supplements. Sure Champ was first developed in the early 1990s due to a response from the customers who wanted a convenient supplement they could use on their show cattle. According to Delaney, Sure Champ was one of the first show supplements on the market, and although it didn’t receive any special marketing or promotion initially, its popularity flourished when marketing efforts were focused on the product, specifically at breed junior nationals and on social media.
BioZyme President and Chief Operating Officer Lisa Norton said the Sure Champ line has evolved over time to include products for sheep, goats and pigs in addition to the cattle to help those livestock prep to win in the show ring. Furthermore, she hopes as those exhibitors work to prepare to win in the show ring, the skills they are gaining every day will help them prep to win in life.
“Prepping to win in the show ring is very important, but prepping to win in life is more important. We need to continue to help young people take what they learn in the ring and with their livestock projects and help them apply that to the business world,” Norton said.
Feeding Sure Champ products every day helps your animals excel in the ring. Feeding the supplement helps their digestive health, increases feed and water intake and keeps them performing to their maximum potential. Being involved in livestock projects every day teaches young people skills, responsibilities and values they will use throughout the rest of their personal and professional lives.
Sure Champ and BioZyme have a history of working to help young people succeed, and that is just part of the care that comes full circle that Norton has instilled in the company and its product lines. Through sponsorships at youth livestock shows and leadership events, internship and ambassador programs, Norton realizes that the young people involved in youth livestock projects are the next generation of leaders and it is important to her to see them succeed.
“We need to work to make sure that the tons of amazing young people associated with the Sure Champ brand are amazing in the work place. Their passion is coming from livestock, and they need to grow their confidence to take the reins and be an advocate. ,” Norton said.
When you feed Sure Champ every day, you are making sure your animal stays in good health and is show-ring ready. Young people need to be show-ring ready too. The biggest difference in life, their “ring” is the workplace, and the “judge” is their employer. Norton noted, if an animal isn’t ready it isn’t going to win, and if a person isn’t prepared, he or she likely won’t succeed either.
In an effort to continue to help exhibitors prep to win in the ring, Sure Champ works to create products and opportunities to help animals and people constantly improve. The show industry is driven by change and products for animal health are no different. Last year, Sure Champ introduced several new and improved products including Sure Champ Spark®, Sure Champ Extreme with Climate Control, Sure Champ Cattle and Sure Champ Ration Builder.
“Mr. Ehlert always put people and livestock first. And when Lisa came on board, those both became more focused and pointed priorities,” Gallagher said.
Yes, what started as an animal nutrition company to help cattle producers maximum profits while keeping their animals healthy has evolved into a company that helps all species remain healthy, achieve success and do so while their owners learn valuable skills. If we take care of the animals, they will take care of the people, and that is care that comes full circle. EVERY. DAY.