By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
What do you do when 10 percent of your market goes away?
If you’re smart, you adapt.
Sandy Hansen-Wolff, owner of AgVenture Feed & Seed in Watkins, is indeed smart. And she’s adapted many times over as the market and circumstances shift. That started in 2003 when her husband of just a year died of cancer and left her with a nearly bankrupt business about which she knew very little. She made the transition from insurance agent to business owner, learned all she could about the feed business, and worked hard to turn things around.
Since then, she’s seen many ups and downs in the market, and shifts in farming itself. Nothing like the past few years, though.
Last year alone, 10 percent of dairy farms in Minnesota closed for good. This was a good time to act on something she and her team had been pondering for awhile: how best to create new products that address new ways of farming?
Two years ago she had a spark of an idea: adding essential oils, like those she used at home, to animal feed. This could help solve a few challenges at once: natural boosts to animal health, an economic boost to farmers, and building a stronger future for both AgVenture and its customers.
Hansen-Wolff found a company that had been producing essential oil-blended additives for feed companies for more than a decade. They formed a partnership, and the AGsentials line was born. AgVenture now carries proven, time-tested feed for both beef and chickens with essential oils as part of the formula. The AgVenture team can help you determine how AGsentials may benefit your animals, and your bottom line.
The words that come up most often as Hansen-Wolff describes her new venture are “cutting edge.” She and her team want to help their customers, especially small farms, expand or shift their business models. Cutting edge is necessary, she believes, to meet the needs of agriculture in the future – and to make help assure that there is a future in agriculture.
With the success of AGsentials so far, Hansen-Wolff sees an expanded market to distribution channels, urban markets, and other retailers.
The team remains strongly grounded in their community. Ten percent of AgVenture profits are given back to the community through local charities, fundraisers, schools, and more. This is a commitment that few make, and even fewer can keep. AgVenture does this, quietly and in the background, to make sure that the community in which they and their customers live and do business can remain healthy and vibrant.
Hansen-Wolff has received numerous accolades along the way to becoming a cutting-edge entrepreneur. But it’s the success of her customers that truly feeds her soul. And her passion is contagious; she is an in-demand motivational speaker.
“We want to build a company of the future, to help farms who want to thrive in the future!” says Hansen-Wolff.
If anyone can do that, it’s the AgVenture/AGsentials team.
You can learn more at http://agventurefeeds.com.