Location: Rolla, Mo.
Owner: Frank Barnitz
History: For years, longtime cattleman Frank Barnitz sent his cattle out to be backgrounded. Over time, he thought he would keep the calves on his farm.
“I figured we could do just as good a job as anyone, so we started backgrounding in 2001 at our smaller yard,” Frank said. They soon began developing and backgrounding cattle for other producers.
Neighbors then started asking about the feeds the Branitz family used in the feedyard. Frank said that opened the door to offering custom mixed rations.
“In 2015, we built a bigger backgrounding yard and a feed mixing facility that was designed to feed the backgrounding yard, and we would sell some feed on the side. That morphed into a lot more custom-blended commodity feeds. We’ve been doing that since and have been fairly successful ever since.”
Products and Services: Networth Feeds & Feeding has one bull and personal heifer development yard that can house about 500 head. A second yard is strictly for heifer development and steer backgrounding, with a capacity of 1,000 head. They background about 250 bulls a year, 500 heifers and approximately 2,000 to 3,000 steers. Bulls and heifers typically return to the breeder following their stay in the yards.
“We do sell some bulls through private treaty to local buyers, but for the most part, they go back, and the owners market them themselves or through various sales,” Frank explained.
Frank said cattle come into the yards prefer they be weaned and pre-vaccinated. Typically, cattle come in at about 450 pounds.
“They will stay here until they are weighing close to 800 pounds, then we work with our customers to send them to different feed yards that we have relationships with to feed the cattle and for them to retain ownership and sell the cattle as fat calves on the rail. We get them the individual carcass data back, and then they can start making management decisions on what they need to do to make improvements if anything.”
On the feed side of Networth Feeds & Feeding, Frank said the customer base continues to grow each year.
“We have had steady growth, which makes it more manageable,” Frank said.
Frank said their most popular mix is a corn, dried distillers grain and soybean hull feed that is custom blended for each customer.
The Barnitz family recently purchased the Rolla Farmers Exchange Coop.
Rolla’s Farmer’s Exchange offers livestock feed, hay, animal health supplies, seasonal items, and many other products.