National Hog Farmer Staff Writer Kevin Schulz (red shirt) presents the Osborne team with a commemorative print from the 2017 World Pork Expo, honoring them as this year’s recipient of the Producers’ Choice award. National Hog Farmer/Sarah Muirhead

Fast Start Feeder gets producer backing

New Product Tour Producer's Choice Award: Osborne Fast Start Feeder

Not all products in the New Product Tour can make the list of finalists — only eight of the 31 nominees made the final list.

Even more elite is that only one product can receive the Producers’ Choice Award, as people could vote online prior to the World Pork Expo or cast a ballot during the show at the National Hog Farmer booth. Osborne’s Fast Start Wean-to-Finish Feeder came out as the fan favorite.

Osborne’s Fast Start Feeder is an answer to the age-old problem of designing a feeder that is capable of feeding newly weaned pigs, and yet prevents the excessive feed waste that occurs as pigs grow.

The Fast Start Feeder combines gravity-flow feed delivery with mechanical-flow feed delivery, which saves feed and ensures freshness. The conversion of the feeder from gravity to mechanical flow is done automatically by the animals, without human intervention. This automated feature allows pigs to grow from wean to finish on a single feeder without adjustments, labor or wasted feed.

Producers benefit because the labor required with the constant monitoring and adjusting of traditional gravity-flow feeders is substantially reduced. Once in mechanical-flow mode, pigs — not gravity — operate the feeder, keeping feed waste so low that nearly all feed disappearance can be equated to consumption.

On receiving the Producers Choice Award, Jim Hindman, Osborne’s marketing representative, said, “As an employee-owned company, receiving this award is really important to all of our employee owners.”

Amy Conrad, sales and marketing manager with Osborne, agreed, saying that “this award is validation that we developed a product that producers want.”

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