Feed costs are the largest expense in raising pigs today, so carefully analyzing every opportunity to get the most out of every ration at every stage in a pig’s life is key to profitability.
Tri-M Farms, owned and operated by brothers Greg, Mick and B.J. Madson, have found benefits for both performance and the bottom line by working with Pipestone Nutrition.
The brothers own and operate Tri-M Farms about 30 miles northeast of Worthington, Minnesota. They are the third generation of the farm, and credit their parents Reuben and Marcy Madson for building a strong foundation and inspiring them to continue the farming legacy.
“They worked hard and were quite successful and made farm life look appealing to us three brothers,” said Greg Madson.
Reuben raised and sold breeding stock, and was a founding member of American Pig Development Company stock company in the late 1970s. His focus was on raising high health pigs and maintaining good facilities. Marcy continues to manage the financial books for all of the Tri-M entities, said Greg.
Each brother had owned and operated their own farrow to finish facilities until 2000, when they formed a family corporation and transitioned to raising wean-to-finish pigs. Together, they operate wean-to-finish barns along with raising crops about 30 miles northeast of Worthington, Minnesota.
“Everyone has their own area of specialization — I take care of the baby pigs, Mick runs the feed mill, and BJ focused more on the crops and finisher pigs” said Greg. “It has worked well for us.”
The farm receives 4,500 pigs from Pipestone’s Goose Lake sow barn every six weeks. The brothers’ operation is vertically integrated. They raise all the corn they need for pigs and operate their own feed mill site. They also haul pigs to market themselves and are partners in the WholeStone Farms processing plant.
The brothers continue to look to the future, as some members of the fourth generation are beginning to work on the farm.
The Madsons had worked with Pipestone for veterinary services for several years before starting to work with the Pipestone Nutrition team. “One of the big advantages is that we are able to get the most updated and trial-tested diets at direct pricing,” said Greg. “Pipestone is always testing diets and sharing that information with us.”
Tri-M Farms raises the corn and soybeans for their pigs’ diets, with all supplements and additional ingredients supplied through Pipestone Nutrition. In addition to updating diets for pig’s weights and growth stages, they are adjusted for seasonal changes. “It keeps us on the cutting edge, both in updated research and the way that we are able to purchase ingredients,” he said. “It puts us in a position to be efficient, and it all helps the bottom line.”
The Madsons also work with Pipestone for recordkeeping, which provides a one-stop shop for tracking the information they need for their operation, said Greg.
“When I think of Pipestone, the first thing I think of is world class people,” he said. “They are positioning us to be as competitive as we can possibly be to exist in today’s market and into the future.”