MFA embraces new techniques and thinking as sponsors of livestock handling demo

There’s a reason MFA, Inc. takes pride in serving as the Western Farm Show’s Primary Show Sponsor for the eighth consecutive year. It’s because MFA embeds itself in agriculture, taking the pulse of growers, producers and ranchers. Then addressing their needs each day.

This year, MFA delivers on its commitment to agriculture by bringing the annual Stockmanship and Stewardship Low-Stress Livestock Handling Demonstration to the Western Farm Show. The demo, featuring Ron Gill, Ph.D., Texas AgriLife Extension specialist, is part of MFA’s mission to share technology and techniques that make the job of feeding and caring for livestock more efficient and safer for the producer.

This year, Gill will demonstrate the positive impact of understanding cattle behavior and using that behavior to enhance livestock handling. In addition to sharing basic principles of cattle behavior, Gill will focus on ways to significantly reduce the use of antibiotics and shrink when the cattle are moved to market. The Stockmanship and Stewardship Low-Stress Livestock Handling Demonstration takes place on Feb. 24, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Scott Pavilion building adjacent to the American Royal Complex.

Gill has been providing technical expertise to livestock producers in beef cattle nutrition, management and livestock handling techniques for more than 23 years. His tips can improve cattle performance, health and even handler safety.

“Many producers are diversified and produce forage, grain and livestock, so it just makes sense to share an event that enables livestock producers to look at handling livestock from the livestock’s point of view,” said Mike Spidle, MFA’s director of Sales, Livestock Products and Feed Marketing. “The benefit of live demonstrations is that producers can see livestock handling theory in action. There truly are simple techniques that can improve any livestock operation without a big investment. There are many great ideas to take home from this event.”

Just like Gill, MFA comes to the Western Farm Show with many great ideas. In the livestock sector, MFA recently developed a new technology that allows livestock producers to raise healthy livestock with little or no antibiotic use. Known as Shield Technology, it comes standard in many of its feed products. Shield Technology is all-natural and helps control oxidative stress in livestock. MFA has seen all livestock species benefit from the product.

MFA is a Midwest-based regional farm supply and marketing cooperative serving more than 45,000 farmers/owners in Missouri and adjacent states. The cooperative’s 145 MFA Agri Services Centers, combined with 24 locally owned MFA affiliates and approximately 400 independent dealers, deliver products and services to help farmers succeed.

“The Western Farm Show presence in Kansas City is a logical fit for MFA. Our customer base covers all of Missouri, plus northern Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma and the eastern half of Kansas, along with the southern part of Iowa,” Spidle said. “We have a lot of customers that attend this event. It’s also a good chance for us to meet producers who don’t do business with us. It’s a good opportunity to let people know who MFA is and what we can do for their farming operations.”

Furthering highlighting its dedication to all aspects of agriculture, MFA and MFA Oil Company recently opened a loop-loader grain elevator in Hamilton, Missouri. Operational in time for harvest 2017, it gives MFA access to sell into new grain markets, including export markets. Aside from its usefulness as a stand-alone facility, it provides MFA a way to keep grain storage open at smaller facilities throughout the region. It’s designed to be a high-speed, load-in and load-out for long-term storage. To date, MFA has shipped 13 trains with 110 cars each. One train filled with corn holds about 435,000 bushels.