FBN launches animal health and nutrition program
Farmers Business Network has added an animal health and nutrition platform to its portfolio of services and products, and announced it has acquired the Prairie Livestock Supply businesses to provide more choice for independent livestock producers and more competition for their business.
The launch of services and products for livestock producers is a natural extension of the company’s mission, says Charles Baron, cofounder of FBN and the company’s vice president of livestock.
“What’s important to FBN is to help farmers maximize profit potential across the breadth of the farm. For many of our members, livestock is just as important as crop production,” he says. “Well over half of our 24,000 members have livestock. We want to be able to support and help them in the exact same platform.”
Based in Worthington, Minnesota, and bringing decades of excellence in animal health and nutrition, Prairie Livestock Supply adds to the FBN portfolio:
- Prairie Livestock Supply: A leading pharmaceuticals supplier for swine, beef, dairy, and poultry.
- ProPig and ProCattle: A feed and nutrition services provider.
The acquisition adds a team of 40 professionals, including veterinarians, animal health sales specialists, and nutritionists with expertise in swine, beef, dairy, and poultry. FBN members in select states can now also access clinical veterinary services for beef cattle, swine, and dairy through a partnership with Southwest Veterinary Services, a new offering made possible by the acquisition.
Livestock Producers at a Crossroads
Livestock producers need more options for pharmaceuticals, feed, and products to maximize profit potential and sustainability, Baron says.
“Independent family livestock producers are at a critical crossroads,” Baron says. “Improving both the producer economics and environmental sustainability of livestock is the best way to ensure farms are family-run for generations to come. FBN is now uniquely able to do both.”
Baron says the company has spent several months developing the FBN Animal Health and Nutrition platform.
“We’ve been able to find farm savings of 5% to 20% on feed, and up to 50% on pharmaceuticals,” he says. “Every dollar counts in these markets.”
Launching FBN for Livestock Producers
FBN’s multispecies livestock platform now provides farmers with an array of transparently priced, high-ROI products and services.
The FBN Pharmacy has a full line of animal health pharmaceuticals and supplies from branded and generic manufacturers, which gives producers control to choose the products that best fit their operation. Animal health products are supported by a team of veterinarians and shipped direct to the farm in 41 states and counting.
FBN’s broad and growing feed portfolio includes transparently-priced dry feed, liquid supplements, lick tubs, and nutritional services for beef cattle, swine, and poultry — available in select states. Bulk and bag feed is delivered direct to the farm with 0% interest financing available to those who qualify.
FBN Finance and FBN Insurance are available to producers for financing inputs and purchasing livestock insurance.
Lastly, through its partner, Southwest Veterinary Services, FBN members will be able to access full clinical veterinary service capabilities for dairy, swine operations, and beef cattle, as well as access to autogenous vaccines.
A New Future for Animal Health
FBN and Prairie Livestock Supply are coming together to reimagine what animal health and nutrition looks like in the 21st century. The animal health and nutrition division will be built on the same FBN core principles:
- Independence: The FBN platform is brand-neutral and FBN’s veterinarians, pharmacists, and nutritionists help producers find the name brand or generic products that best suit their needs and maximize ROI.
- Price Transparency: Feed and pharmaceutical pricing is historically veiled and riddled with complex rebate structures. FBN prices are fair and upfront.
- Community: Being a Farmers First network means that farmers and ranchers can participate in network analytics, exchange ideas in the FBN Community, as well as purchase from FBN.
“The combined capabilities we can now bring to the table can help solve the most complex animal health challenges, whether it’s for a 100-head or 100,000-head operation,” says Steve Dudley, CEO and veterinarian at Prairie Livestock Supply. “We are excited to extend our network of producers, veterinarians, manufacturers, and technologists as we bring more choice and transparency to livestock operators nationwide.”
FBN will not provide veterinary services typical of a rural veterinarian. However, acquisition of Prairie Livestock Supply means livestock producers will be able to receive consulting veterinary advice from a team of consulting veterinarians.
“Veterinary medicine is at a crossroads right now in many places across the country,” says Brian Dorcey, DVM and head of veterinary strategy at FBN. “It can be difficult to recruit a high-quality practitioner to some areas of the country. Our practice has a long history of using technology and data pools to provide technical support from a distance.”
Using Data for Strategic Decisions
As it has for crop producers, FBN anticipates that data collection in livestock will help producers make more economic decisions for their operations.
“We’ve been able to help crop producers use their data to get better financing, insurance products, and other financial tools,” Baron says. “We’ve had ranchers reach to us with spreadsheets and decades of records, because they’ve heard what we can do with data.”
In the livestock world, the technology used on the farm is at a much earlier stage of development than the cropping world, although there is more data in the dairy, swine, and beef feedlot operations. However, as more data is accumulated about drug efficacy, performance efficiency and gain efficiency, and nutrition data management, Baron anticipates FBN can help producers fine-tune profitability.
“Being part of a network creates the opportunity for better disease tracking to identify management inefficiencies for livestock producers,” adds Brian Dorcey, DVM and head of veterinary strategy at FBN. “Data can be the core link between animal health, nutrition, and performance in the future,” he says.