Owner: Michael Watkins
Location: Brighton, Mo.
Family: Wife, LaTeresa; daughters, Kaitlin Goodman, Mattie Watkins and Laramie Watkins
History: Michael Watkins, purchased Missouri Livestock Supplements in 2018 from Larry Lane, who founded the company in the mid-1980s.
“I’ve been in the livestock industry my entire career,” Michael said. “I traveled a lot and I always wanted to do something of my own. I worked for a company that sold Larry some product, and I was in here one day when I asked him what his plan was. I told him if he ever wanted to sell to let me know. A year and a half later, we bought it.”
Products: Missouri Livestock Supplements began with a lot of cooked tubs focused on supplementing fescue forage. Michael said one of the biggest concerns in the Ozarks is fescue, which he called a double-edged sword. Fescue is a great forage, but the endophytic fungus can cause weight loss, low conception rates and lameness in cattle.
The Forage Booster line battles against the adverse effects of fescue, and the Pasture Advantage line takes advantage of some new technologies in the fight against fescue-related issues as well.
In the spring of 2019, the company began to offer its Profit Builder line, which includes products that contain live probiotics, as well as Availa 4, Agrimos, AP5 and natural garlic.
The supplement tubs also contained added vitamins, minerals and proteins needed for overall cattle health.
“The tagline here has been ‘Results in Every Tub,’ for a long time,” Michael said. “It really is and you have to continue to strive for efficiency. We look at things that can make a difference in the forages and how we try to feed it. It makes the cows milk better, cows have better condition, and the calves grow better; it all works together. We want to prevent problems in a herd.”
Missouri Livestock Supplements are mixed and cooked at the Brighton, Mo., facility.
“It’s a true Ozarks product,” Michael said. “We put it all together and the cooking process makes that tub hard, so the intake is controlled by what they can lick in a day, so it’s a physical limiter. The cooked molasses makes them want to go eat it. We offer something a little more rounded than straight mineral. We can also add the protein and the energy cows need.”
Future: Michael said he plans to continue to grow Missouri Livestock Supplements.
“We want to strive to meet the needs of cattle producers,” he said. “This industry is growing, so we have to keep a hold of the past and look to the future. We will have a lot of mouths to feed in 30, 40 years, and we think beef and Missouri Livestock Supplements are going to be a big part of that.”