YORK, NEB. — Farmer-owned cooperative Central Valley Ag (CVA) will transition its Duncan, Neb., feed mill to an antibiotic-free facility that provides higher-value feed products for multiple species to meet growing consumer demand.

The Duncan mill currently produces supplements, minerals and complete feeds for poultry, swine and beef. After the process of switching to antibiotic-free is complete, the mill will be able to produce higher-value, antibiotic-free feed for multiple species, CVA said in its May 3 announcement.

“The consumer, not only in the US but around the world, has stated very definitely that they do not want antibiotics in the food products that they’re buying,” said Robert Turek, senior vice president of feed for CVA. “They prefer antibiotic-free for themselves and their pets, which are part of their family.”

CVA produces pet food in one of its mills, mostly for pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. However, as the need for antibiotic-free feed grows and already at production capacity, CVA decided to switch a second mill to antibiotic-free. Adding the Duncan mill will increase the cooperative’s antibiotic-free capacity by 10 times.

When the transition is complete, the products produced at Duncan will meet human food grade standards, CVA said.

“We have to clean every single nook and cranny out of the whole mill,” Turek said. “There are stringent certifications and practices we have to meet in order to be labeled as antibiotic-free. They require regularly scheduled, third-party audits to verify we have met these certifications before the mill is able to start producing feed.”

Based in York, Neb., CVA has locations in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas where it provides products and services in grain, agronomy, feed, and energy. It is the 40th largest grain handling company in North America, according to Sosland Publishing Co.’s 2023 Grain & Milling Annual, with 44 million bushels of licensed storage at 22 locations.

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