Whitehead Farm Supply
Owners: Fred and Terri Whitehead
Location: LaRussell, Mo.
History: Whitehead Farm Supply started in 1963 by Fred’s father after LaRussell, Mo., lost its local feed store to a fire. Like many of the farmers in the area he became frustrated with travelling as far as Springfield, Mo., to get needed feeds and supplies and built a new feed mill and farm supply store. Around 1976 his dad made him a proposition. He said, “My father came up to me one day and said he’d kind of like to slow down. We were interested in doing something different from what we were doing so we bought it.”
The original feed mill is still the core of operations on Main Street in LaRussell’s downtown, but Fred and Terri have upgraded it with more warehouse space, adding an additional truck scale, and other upgrades that allow the family business to keep pace with today’s demands
Products: Fred and Terri offer a vast array of prepackaged feeds and supplements filling the nutritional needs for chickens to cattle and pretty much everything in between. Feed can also be brought direct to the customer’s farm in bulk. They are also quite proud that the business still offers custom grind and mix of feeds. Aside from regular feed supplies, the Whiteheads provide some of the basics in farm supply ranging from hardware to medication. The Whiteheads also offer gasoline and diesel more as an added customer service. Prices for their products are displayed right in the store on a large wall display just above their mid-20th century Coca Cola machine. “There are times when someone comes in for a particular product and if we don’t have it we make an extra effort to get it,” said Fred.
The Business: Being an owner-operated business since its start in the 1960s Whitehead Farm Supply continues to operate with the concept of being a good businessman really means being a good neighbor. “We try to do what we say we’re going to do. It kind of goes along with something we’ve had on our bulletin board for a long time that says, ‘We will operate with integrity even when nobody is watching,’” explained Fred proudly.