Last week Wednesday my son and I went to Wallenstein Feed & Supply. Since my hubby works at a feed mill he wanted us to go check out what they do here. He would have loved to go but couldn’t due to work issues.
I should have written this post last week when all the information was fresh in my mind but life is what it is right? I will simply have to do the best I can. 🙂
It was just a small group of us from the co-op that went, but we learned a lot about the making of farm animal feed in south-western Ontario. This mill is highly automated. Runs at least 50 trucks from as close as Wallenstein to up north.
Before we started the tour we all had to put on safety vests, a hard hat and a headphone. Some sections of the mill are quite loud, so having the headset means we can still hear each other.
Off on the tour!
Wallenstein Feed & Supply has four mills in one area, well okay.. they might only have three active. I think they had torn down one mill and are looking at building the fourth. We were mostly shown around mill four.
We learned they have a few different trucks. Some trucks come with panels that can be moved to accommodate different size orders, and other trucks come with prebuilt storage areas.
When trucks come in with supplies the load needs to be tested before it is accepted. This year they need to be particularly careful because corn is carrying high levels of vomitoxin. This toxin is dangerous to give to pigs (causes them to not eat and to have stillbirths or spontaneous abortions) so they need to be careful. The mill my hubby works at can only take to 4% but Wallenstein Feed & Supply has three different levels for it. The higher levels require more work as they need to be diluted and used differently.
Testing the feed
Depending on the mill the men work 8 hour or 12 hour shifts. As I was watching the men work I saw clothing incentives, business perks etc pass along the screens. They all seemed like decent incentive programs and who doesn’t like $’s off places you would go away? A business treating it’s employees right.
The opportunity was given to watch a skid of feed by bagged. Two people, and a few machines and the job was done quite quickly.
Our last stop of the tour was to see how a trucker loaded his truck. He gets his part of the puzzle from the office that organizes the shipments. He needs to take a sample of every feed he puts on his truck and that sample is kept, I think she said for three years, so that if a farmer has a problem with the feed it can be tested by them or an off-site lab.
The green circles mean open/empty bin, and the rest of the colours…. no one was really sure what they signified for the rest of the buns. It is known the one of those colours means medicated and another means that a vibrator is attached to the bin. Otherwise all we know is the truckers understand the system. 🙂
It was a good, very educational and interesting tour.
Other agricultural field trips: