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Southern States FeedMaster Program


Since our creation in 1923, Southern States Cooperative® has striven to be at the forefront of agricultural advances to benefit our customers and farmer-members. We have the expert products, tools and advice to help those who like to get their hands dirty. With this in mind we developed the FeedMaster training program to enable our employees to be better equipped to answer questions about feeding animals that they receive from customers on a daily basis.

Kicked off in 2007, FeedMaster is a comprehensive feed training program offered to employees who work in retail locations and with customers on farms.

"FeedMaster provides a knowledge base that allows Southern States employees to be identified as the preferred source of feed nutrition, feed solutions, and the supplier of choice," explains Rich Schneider, FeedMaster Program Coordinator. FeedMaster schools are offered at basic and advanced levels for livestock and horses.

Top industry professionals and university professors from all over the country are invited to speak at these courses. "One of the program's greatest accomplishments is the relationships we have developed with our land grant universities," remarks Schneider.  "Bringing cutting edge information straight from the universities to our employees allows us to help our customers better."

"No other feed company offers the type of quality training for its employees that Southern States does," says Jessica Lohman, Southern States Commercial Livestock & Equine Marketing Manager. Many of our employees use FeedMaster certification as a stepping stone to receive their American Registry of Professional Animal Scientist (ARPAS) certifications. 

"I often tell people that getting your FeedMaster and PAS certifications from Southern States are on par with getting a 4-year animal science degree," Lohman continues.

ARPAS certification requires more than attending one of our FeedMaster schools. Our employees must also have hands on experience, make a concentrated studying effort and pass the certification exam. To date, Southern States employees have obtained over 80 ARPAS certifications.

Once certified, employees must obtain 16 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) a year to maintain certification. Our FeedMaster schools provide employees with the additional yearly credits they require. "The FeedMaster schools are some of the best organized and conducted continuing education courses I have ever been privileged to take part in," says Tommy Barron Feed Sales and Technical Representative, ARPAS certified in Beef, Dairy, Equine, Feed and Feed Management. "To have so much knowledge and experience from all over our service area in one place, and to discuss what we see and how we handle different situations is almost like another school within a school. I really look forward to them each year!"


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