Adapt and overcome: Ag businesses partner to manufacture hand sanitizer amid COVID-19 pandemic

If there is one common trait among people in the agriculture industry, it is the willingness to come together and take action in a time of crisis. Dusty Turner, owner of MasterHand Milling, and Kaleb Terlip, owner of American Premiere Equine, are doing exactly that to help fight COVID-19.

MasterHand Milling and American Premiere Equine, parent company of OE Nutraceuticals, have combined resources to manufacture hand sanitizer. Through the Defense Production Act, the group was approved to produce sanitizer using a World Health Organization formula. The product, branded as MasterHand Sanitizer, is being manufactured in MasterHand Milling’s Lexington, Nebraska, facility, which is registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

“We are all at war with this virus and we all need to look at what we can do to help,” Terlip said. “The ability of these two companies to unite our resources and act at lightning speed makes me proud to be part of this initiative. Our everyday businesses revolve around people, so our goal is to get sanitizer to the folks who need it and knockdown this virus to get back to our normal way of life.”

A primary goal for Turner and Terlip was to sell the sanitizer at a fair price amid the chaos and price gouging caused by COVID-19. MasterHand Sanitizer is available at retail for $0.50 per ounce online and through MasterHand and OE retailers. Wholesale purchasing is also available to approved businesses and organizations.

Both businesses have been impacted by economic shutdowns during the past weeks. American Premiere Equine manufactures supplements and other products for the equine industry, which has seen nearly all major events canceled. MasterHand Milling’s day-to-day business is producing cattle range cubes using distiller’s grains provided by the ethanol industry. Today, many of the ethanol plants in the U.S. have slowed or stopped production.

“This venture not only gives us an opportunity to help fight this pandemic, but it has allowed us to keep our employees working, and to support the ethanol industry we and so many American farmers rely on,” Turner said. “It all comes full circle and we’re going to work together across the board to find our way back to normal. Together, we’ll make a difference.”