She brings the nutritional and dairy expertise we need to succeed
Jack and Dick's Feed and Garden
- Working with Cargill for 38 years and counting
- Evaluating HerdFirst® through on-farm feed trial
- Utilizing Facebook and Twitter to help the business stay relevant
Ed Hookham has spent the last 38 years working in some way with Cargill. His first job out of high school, he worked 10 years at a Cargill plant. The next eight years he sold Cargill feed while working for a local feed store. After that he has spent the last 20 years selling Cargill feed through Jack and Dick’s Feed and Garden, which he owns and operates with his wife, Mary, and oldest son, Matt.
At Jack and Dick’s, they carry everything from Cargill milk replacer to dry cow mineral. “Cargill offers a complete line of all species feed and that allows us to work with and meet the needs of a wide variety of customers,” says Ed.
Beyond feed, Ed, Mary, and Matt value Cargill for its resources and technical support. “The technical knowledge that we need to keep selling dairy feed is something we can’t do on our own,” explains Ed. “Knowing the best way to balance a dairy diet, is where our Cargill representative fits in. She brings the nutritional expertise and understands the technical part of our dairy feed business.”
Cargill's consultant, meets with Ed weekly to evaluate inventories and discuss dairy nutrition.
“I’ve noticed they really take pride in their high level of service and relationships they have with their community and their customers,” she shares. “They are definitely a ‘people first’ business and know the ins and outs of their customers, employees and community members.” She enjoys her relationship with the Hookhams and finds it rewarding to work with a family that wants its dairy farm customers to grow and succeed just as much as their own business.
Ed is constantly finding ways to improve his customers’ businesses along with his own. Recently, he partnered with Cargill and a local farmer to perform a feed trial. In this case, it was Cargill’s HerdFirst Starter feed. They performed a side-by-side comparison of Cargill’s HerdFirst Starter with a competitor brand of calf starter, and Cargill’s product beat it in a close match-up. In comparison, calves had a higher average daily gain and a quicker transition from weaning. Now, Ed carries the HerdFirst Starter in store and shares the results with other dairy customers. In addition, Jack and Dick’s carries Cargill feed products for lactating, close-up, and dry cows, and offers custom milk replacer and lactation cow products from Cargill
Since taking over Jack and Dick’s, the Hookhams goal has been to maintain what they are doing. “We have a base of customers who have been doing business with us since before we owned the store,” says Ed.
Their dream going forward is for Matt, their oldest son, to takeover. Matt shared that he would love to see the store continue to provide good long-term employment for employees and provide great services for customers.
Matt explains, “The plans and goals moving forward are a moving target. With the way the ag industry has been evolving, we have to evolve with it.”
Social media is one-way Jack and Dick’s is staying relevant. The feed store’s “social media manager” is Jackie D Holstein, a life size fiberglass cow, that sits outside their storefront. You can find her posting everything from new products at the feedstore to anything ag related on Facebook and Twitter.