By Scott Bidroski
Some familiar faces around Sheridan County have began a new venture.
Kent and Kayti Schwarting have purchased the former Otte Feeds and hope to continue the long standing tradition of fulfilling the feed needs for local producers.
The building that sits on the south edge of Gordon has housed a feed store since Marv and Naomi Businger founded Businger Feeds. It was then purchased in 2006 and renamed to Otte Feeds. The Schwartings purchased the business on February 10, 2021.
James Craven will be the acting Manager and will oversee deliveries. Joni Elwood will continue her role as Office Manager and Sales. Traci Hollibaugh will handle Outside Sales, and Barry Toczek will remain on staff in Sales.
Elwood, Hollibaugh, and Toczek all had previously worked at Otte Feeds.
For owner Kent Schwarting, his ties to Sheridan County run deep. Schwarting graduated from Gordon High School in 2002 and is a fourth generational rancher in the area.
“Being a generational rancher, I know that every livestock operation is different and has different needs when it comes to feed,” said Kent Schwarting. “It’s not a one size fits all. So we are excited to get out there and talk with the producer and see if we can meet their livestock needs and ultimately help their bottom dollar,” he added.
Craven Feed is proud to offer feed products from ADM, Hubbard Feeds, and Masterhand Milling. These include a full line of products for cattle, horses, swine, dog and cat food, and show feed.
The horse feed is constantly changing and expanding, as Craven hopes to offer more variety to the equine industry.
Craven Feed also has free delivery of their small animal feed, including their dog, cat, and chicken products. They also have options for bigger deliveries, owning a semi-truck that can be utilized.
Craven Feed’s slogan is; Where nutrition and science match every Craven.
Nutritionist consulting is available for all Craven Feed customers. Local producers can use these free services to have an expert take a look into what they are needing to improve their operation.
“We are not just a feed dealer, but a feed consulter. There are so many things ranchers do not know they have in their back pocket for free that can help their operation,” said Kayti Schwarting. “That’s what we would really like to get out. Anyone can sell mineral but can anyone sell mineral with intent and purpose, that’s where we come in,” she added.
Craven Feed is hoping to add more retail options for the local producer, to make their business a one shop stop for everything producers need.
A big step in that direction is the purchase of the former Bomgaars building. Craven Feed will purchase the building in the near future, pending a satisfactory appraisal. They look forward to expanding their retail options and adding more storage for new products.
“People do not realize how much math goes into feeding cattle. It’s not just loading up the feed wagon and driving down the lane,” said Kayti Schwarting. “When you do it with intent, your profit margins go up!”
Craven Feeds is located at 428 S. Main Street in Gordon. Their office can be reached at (308) 282-0699. More information can be found at their Facebook Page titled Craven Feed.