Irv Haidle, the founder and president of Agri-Best Feeds, the 2010 Montana Family Business of the Year, died Sept. 30, 2011, as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Broken Bow, NE. Haidle was in Nebraska promoting the SweetPro and Redmond Natural Trace Mineral products, and was on his way to the national SweetPro distributor’s conference.
On Sept. 28, Irv, his wife Marilyn, and Agri-Best nutritionist, Dr. Abe Scheaffer, were heading to an appointment at the Adams Feedlot. Due to low morning sun glare on the windshield and lack of familiarity with the road, they missed a stop sign at an intersection and collided with a flatbed pickup. All three were transported to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE, while the driver of the other vehicle was treated and released from the Broken Bow hospital. Scheaffer underwent arm surgery and sustained broken ribs, but has since been released from the hospital. Irv’s wife, Marilyn, has had multiple surgeries on her right leg.
Irv’s siblings, children, and grandchildren were able to make it to the hospital before he died. Family meant so much to Irv, and it was only fitting that the family be with him at the time of his death. Irv’s faith in Jesus Christ was the most important thing to him, which he lived out in every aspect of his life. God’s peace and comfort has filled his family based on God’s promises, Irv’s example, and experiencing the outpouring of love from people all around the world.
Irv introduced Agri-Best Feeds and the SweetPro line of products at the NILE show in 2006, after two years of trials, using the products on his own cattle. SweetPro claimed that mature cattle on SweetPro would consume 25 percent less forage and still perform as well or better. This seemed to be “too good to be true” to Irv, so he conducted a few trials on his own ranch in Prairie County to test its claim. He put mature cows on test in a dry lot with eight round bale feeders, with the supplement that he had been using, and monitored the days that it took his cattle to consume the hay. He then replaced his supplement with SweetPro, refilled the bale feeders, and in a six-week timeframe, the hay lasted 28 percent longer. He duplicated the trial two years in a row. With this experience he began to seek to understand the reasons this product performed so well.
By the spring of 2007, the demand for the product had expanded in volume and in area, so Irv had to decide if he was going to keep his business as a large dealership that he could handle himself, or set up a distribution system that would make the product available anywhere in Montana. Irv talked with his family and decided to form a family corporation that he would lead to put the systems, structures and marketing into place to meet the current and future needs – Agri-Best Feeds, Inc. was born.
By the end of 2009, Agri-Best had expanded to include four full-time employees, over 70 independent dealers in seven states, and over two million dollars in sales, as well as adding the Redmond Natural Trace Mineral product line to their SweetPro product line. By the summer of 2011, Agri-Best Feeds had earned the exclusive marketing rights for the SweetPro products in Montana, Wyoming and most of Nebraska.
While Irv’s death was unexpected, Irv lived his life in such a way that he has left behind a legacy of faith and honesty that will continue to impact his family, friends, and ag business for many years to come.
The memorial service for Irv will be held in Billings at Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweetwater Dr, December 30th at 11:00 followed by a lunch and sharing time. A block of rooms for the special rate of $65 a night have been set aside at the Kelly Inn (406) 248-9800. Please call and make reservations ASAP if you wish to spend a night or two and ask for the Haidle Memorial rate.
Source: Agri-Best Feeds
Posted by Haylie Shipp