The Knox family has been involved in cattle feeding for more than 60 years. With ever shrinking financial margins within the feeder business, small feedlots - such as ours - are placed in a position of greater disadvantage.
When AgSun first opened, all the research was indicating that use of steam-flaked corn was about $20/head more efficient than the dry-rolled product. Cattle buyers also preferred the improved quality of cattle being fed a steamed product.
As a couple, Phil and Sharron were seeking a way to increase a value-added production for both their corn crop and the fed cattle. Therefore, production of steam-flaked corn seemed a logical answer. Due to the small size of our feedlots, it was not economically feasible to have a flaker. The idea of feeding flaked corn was presented to other smaller feedlots and dairies in western Kansas. With the commitment of several to purchasing the product, the idea for AgSun, LLC was becoming a reality.
By combining Phil's economic background with the feed technology input of a friend and fellow K-State graduate, the design and building of the mill took place. Much of the mill and grain conveying equipment is stainless steel construction. Installation of a soak tank provides better quality flakes and a lower cost use of water instead of expensive additives. The computer operating system is unique and was far more advanced than any other mill in existence at the time of construction.
AgSun, LLC allows our business to be vertically integrated. Starting with many acres of production, the corn is processed by the steam flaker. This feed becomes part of the ration fed at both our private and commercial feedlots. We are charter investors in U.S. Premium Beef and the National Beef businesses for the marketing of the cattle. This integration has proven to be a good combination of activities.
Another goal for beginning this business was to provide employment and to help bring families that might also increase student numbers for the school system in the small community of Brewster.
After 12 years of flake production under the same manager and with good employees - we remain excited to have AgSun, LLC as part of our family enterprises.