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2017 Innovator of the Year receives recognition
by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · March 23rd, 2017

Consumers Supply Distributing Co. (Wholesale), located at 6000 Linn Aire Ave. in Marion's Industrial Park, was chosen as the 2017 Innovator of the Year by the Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO). The company was picked for installing an impressive new robotic palletizer in its Marion facility in July of 2016. It is something unique and also improves job quality and efficiency, said MEDCO President Nick Glew.

And "it doesn't get tired," Rick Stevenson, CEO of Consumers Supply, said of the palletizer. It is "efficient and reduces the chance of employee injury." Before the palletizer, the job was very manual, thus "all palletizing was by hand." The new system "eliminates a lot of back-breaking work," he said.

The company was founded in 1956 in Sioux City, Iowa, and is a "distributor of animal livestock feed and ingredients to feed mills, farm stores, and other segments of livestock production."

They acquired Marion's 126,000- sq. ft.Wholesale Feeds facility in 2010. "Our facility is certified by the Facility Certification Institute (FCI), a feed industry standard to ensure feed and food safety; we are certified by the American Feed Industry (AFIA) Safe Feed/Safe Food Program, and are also a HACCP certified facility." [Consumers supply distributing LLC]

The 32-employee Marion team distributes between 75 and 100 tons of product per day, and half of their force are professional semi-truck drivers, while the other half work in the office, in packaging, and in the warehouse, Stevenson said.

According to their website, they are a "premier wholesale distributor of products and services for farmers and ranchers." Some grain and minerals come from as far as New Mexico, but most are Midwest products, Stevenson said. In addition, they also have an animal products line (Country Vet Naturals), "including horse feeds, pet foods, show feeds, and pet treats" made in Sioux City.

The company does not receive product directly from the farm and some of the businesses they work with are ADM and Cargil.

The fleet of 16 semi-trailer trucks distribution runs out of Marion from Interstate 35 East. They distribute throughout Iowa and into Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and everything in between, Stevenson said. Fairfax Greenhouse & Landscape Inc. carries a good portion and Linn-Coop purchases some products when needed.
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