How Rio Nutrition Tangibly Impacts Production
Published on Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:44pm
How Rio Nutrition Tangibly Impacts Production
By Steve Weisman
The last thing that a rancher wants to do is leave money on the table…(or pasture!) You know, there are only so many ways to make money. Obviously, you can’t change the weather, and you can’t change the markets. However, there are still ways to improve profitability according to Trevor Greenfield, owner of Rio Nutrition. Rio Nutrition, located in Redwood Falls, MN, offers a full range of lick tubs and bagged loose minerals: highly concentrated with a low consumption and a strong focus on improving digestion.
It is very apparent that Greenfield totally enjoys what he and his company do, working with ranchers to help them improve their bottom line. “We can optimize the resources we have-the land base, the forage and genetics. At Rio Nutrition, we work directly with ranchers across North America by focusing on helping improve production, profitability and sustainability through nutrition and digestion. It’s all about how we can help ranchers in terms of production…production of pounds of beef. Simple.”
Some interesting history
Greenfield reflects on the company’s history. “In the early days, Rio Nutrition was like so many other dealers out there. We were selling antibiotics, feed medications and vaccines in a 15-mile radius. We were nothing more than a me-too operation. We wanted to bring value to the industry, we wanted to become a partner to the rancher.” Greenfield knew he wanted change…the question was how?
At first, it was like a brick wall, and it seemed that he could not find the answer. That all changed in one day. “I still remember sitting in this one-car garage looking out at the corn field beside our property. I was frustrated with the business, and frustrated with myself. I wanted change; I wanted to get on the same side of the fence as the rancher. As I gazed out the door, my mind went back to my high school days, and I remembered learning about human digestion (which had always intrigued me). It was like a light came on. I looked over that field, which now seemed vibrant and full of life, and thought there had to be a way…maximizing digestion…helping ranchers get more out of their existing resources…this was the way I could bring value to the cattle industry. It was as if a whole new world had opened up to me.” Greenfield explains.
Greenfield believes that these past 13 years have been an incredible journey. The journey they are on today, the road they are going down, started right on that summer day in a wood-floored, one-car garage…a journey that has made an impression on countless ranching operations across North America. “What started as a single digestion ingredient in our recipes has evolved into a 16-component digestion powerhouse. The sulfates and oxides in every recipe were replaced over the years with what is now a 100 percent protected trace mineral (copper, zinc and manganese). While many things have changed along the way, our commitment – one that stemmed from that vision in that one car garage – has never changed,” he adds with a twinkle in his eye.
How Rio Nutrition can impact production
In working with ranchers over the years, it is clear that the cows have done the talking…the Rio products have demonstrated three very tangible ways in which production can be increased or impacted:
Improving fertility and increasing conception rates. More cows bred means more calves and pounds of beef to be marketed in the fall. A rancher from Hudson, South Dakota expresses pleasure with his conception results. “100 percent calf crop! Getting that good mineral into them is key for us!”
Tightening up the calving window – the time period of calving. The goal is to move more calves from the third cycle up to the second cycle, or calves from the second cycle to the first cycle. This means 21 more days of extra gain on that calf to market in the fall, which means more pounds of marketable beef. The bottom line is, it is about making the rancher more money. A rancher from Youngstown, Alberta responds, “Just over 600 cows to calve…30 days into calving we already had 530 calves on the ground!”
Put gain on those calves through the summer. “By helping the mother better utilize the grass, she will produce milk at peak production,” Greenfield says, “and that enables the calf to grow and gain weight at its optimum genetic potential.” A rancher from Kaycee, Wyoming, has this to say. “Our ranch started using Riomax® about a year ago, and we got 50 pounds extra on the calves last year”. Meanwhile, a rancher in Colorado did his own ‘test.’ He divided his ranch into two sections (East/West) for a pasture season and compared the Rio program to a standard range mineral. There was an undeniable increase in weight gain with the calves on the Rio program, with the Rio calves weighing in 53 LBS heavier than the other group. So while that might be an extreme example, it tells volumes. Even if you crunched numbers on more conservative weight gain such as an extra 20 LBS, it directly impacts your production and your marketable pounds of beef.
How the Riomax Lick Tub works:
Every lick tub contains two key components. The first component is Nutrizorb, which is a digestion tool that helps cows better utilize the forages that they eat. It includes a variety of prebiotic and probiotic strains, multiple enzymes and Riomune 5-component yeast. There are 16 key ingredients, all designed for effective improved forage breakdown and increased nutrient extraction. Greenfield notes, “University studies have proven that Nutrizorb actually increases the digestibility of forages, with results showing a significant increase in the total digestible nutrients (TDN). This means we can get more mileage out of existing resources, which helps extend pastures and puts off the need to begin feeding cattle…in other words, more days without the expense of feeding cows. Nutrizorb helps weight gain in calves and maintains cows in top-notch body condition going into winter so you don’t end up playing the catch-up game.
The second key component is Esqort™. This is Rio Nutrition’s unique blend of protected trace minerals, a combination of zinc, manganese and copper. The synergy of multi-bond chelates and crystal trace minerals provides uninterrupted supply of key trace minerals into the bloodstream. For the rancher, the fact that these minerals get to the small intestine, which is the absorption site, is hugely important according to Greenfield. “This is big news for the rancher. It means those key trace minerals get to where they need to go – the bloodstream. The science of getting minerals into the bloodstream is foundational to impacting fertility, breeding performance, immune status and overall health. Naturally, the science works!”
Getting Rio products right onto your ranch
Ranchers really appreciate the company’s ability to get products direct to the ranch. All Riomax® lick tubs and Riogrande loose mineral are sold from the head office, which allows the rancher to deal directly with Rio. What this means is a certified Riomax® consultant will be working with the rancher every step of the way to ensure the right product to fit each rancher’s needs right through to monitoring and managing tub placement and consumption. “By dealing direct, we will give you the support and service that the ranching industry deserves,” says Greenfield.
Greenfield is adamant about the success of the direct delivery system. “With the Local Ship Ranch Direct delivery system, we have what it takes to be across the United States and Canada. Our freight network is efficient and geared to be the essential link between our family operation and our valued customers. The good news for the rancher is this: We will ship the order ranch-direct, from 1 ton all the way up to semi loads. We really make it easy for ranches of all sizes to work with us.”
Rio Nutrition’s guarantee
Rio Nutrition offers its customers a 100 percent risk free consumption guarantee. CostGuard™ Consumption Guarantee provides a risk-free, watertight cost protection to the customers. It is a consumption guarantee so that if the intake on the Riomax® lick tubs is higher than the specified amount on the tag, the rancher will be provided with free product to compensate for the over consumption. Thus, the rancher can plug in the cost to feed the product – upfront – and then stick to the budget. No surprises.
A rancher from Wyoming sums up his trust in the guarantee like this. “If they say it’s going to cost 13 cents – it will cost you 13 cents.”
The Rio Team: Taking care of the customer
Greenfield is both proud and grateful of the people that make up the Rio team. “The Rio team is no ordinary group of people. The team shares the same passion and drive and the ‘why and how’ we can help people in the ranching industry every day. At Rio Nutrition, we’re passionate about service. Everything in every department revolves around our customers”
The “aftercare” customer support program is Rio Nutrition’s commitment to service. “The ethics and principles that this business grew on are still alive and well,” adds Greenfield. Even after the sale, there is follow-up with the customer to check on how the product is working, the herd performance, and simply to show that we are different. We care.
“We want ranchers to enjoy a painless, simple, hassle free experience with our company. And most of all,” he adds emphatically with a somewhat serious tone, “when there are only so many ways to make a buck in the cow business, ranchers just can’t afford to leave money on the table…or pasture!”