Barber Mill earns high honor

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 14, 2009

Southern States’ Barber Feed Mill in Cleveland has been named Feed Mill of the Year for 2009 by the American Feed Industry Association.
It was the second time in the past three years, a Southern States feed mill has been named best in the nation.
The Barber mill also won the award in 1998. This year’s honor marks only the second time in the 25-year history of the competition that a single mill has received the top award more than once.
The Southern States mill in Park City, Ky., won Feed Mill of the Year in 2007.
The award is co-sponsored by AFIA and Feedstuffs magazine. The program is designed not only to recognize overall excellence in feed manufacturing operations but to encourage overall improvement in the feed manufacturing industry.
A new grading system, instituted in 2007, provides valuable feedback to every plant that enters the competition. Increased safety, quality, regulatory compliance, operating efficiencies and overall industry awareness of food safety are promoted, and as companies compete, their operations continue to improve and the overall image of the feed industry is enhanced. More than 100 mills throughout the U.S. submitted entries in the 2009 competition.
Southern States’ Barber feed mill manufactures more than 90,000 tons of feed a year, with about 60 percent bagged and the remainder in bulk feeds.
“I’m proud of this award,” said mill manager Mark Whitaker, “but I’m equally proud of all our employees. We’re a team that works together and helps one another to improve daily. We all just want to do the right things for our customers, and when you have that kind of attitude combined with strong corporate leadership, good things ó like this award ó happen.”
According to Bill Monroe, manager of Feed Mill Operations for Southern States, the company has participated in the annual awards program for many years, “but it always recharges our efforts when the industry recognizes one of our mills as the best in the nation.”
“Southern States is proud of Mark and the entire staff at Barber Feed Mill,” said President and CEO, Tom Scribner, “and we would like to thank the American Feed Industry Association and Feedstuffs magazine for this outstanding recognition of quality and commitment to our customers.”
Established in 1923, Southern States has more than 300,000 farmer-members. As one of the nation’s largest agricultural cooperatives, the Richmond, Va.-based firm provides a range of farm products, including fertilizer, seed, livestock feed and pet food.