In the heart of operations, Nick Schultes ensures SoyPlus, a globally recognized dairy feed ingredient, has consistent quality. For nine years, he has been employed at the SoyPlus manufacturing plant in Ralston, Iowa, serving as Production Operations Lead for the last year.
“We produce a high-quality protein feed from soybeans produced by our members to feed to dairy cattle all over the world,” Schultes explained. Soy oil is a byproduct that is produced during the production of SoyPlus. The oil is then processed into biodiesel by REG, continuing to add value to the soybeans that are produced by our members.
The SoyPlus plant runs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Each twelve-hour shift produces nearly 500 tons of SoyPlus. “The sheer volume of product that is produced at our plant is impressive. This would not be possible without the work of our entire team keeping our operation running smoothly,” Schultes shared. The team celebrates their record producing shifts with a meal or when the weather is nice, they enjoy a golf outing.
“My favorite part of my job is knowing the impact our work has on the rest of the world,” noted Schultes, “Our product allows the cow to easily digest the protein in the feed.”
The soybean meal produced in Ralston, Iowa is transported all over the world by truck and rail. “We have product that is shipped to Saudi Arabia, we really do have a global reach,” Schultes expressed.
Schultes shared that people often think that his career in a manufacturing plant can tend to be monotonous, but at the SoyPlus plant, there is always something different going on. “No day is ever the same. It seems like you are always learning something new,” he said.
Landus Cooperative also provides opportunities for continuing education. The education reimbursement provided by Landus Cooperative helped Schultes complete his bachelor’s degree. “They helped cover a portion of the cost of my classes and books. That was huge.” noted Schultes. Another benefit he shared about working for Landus Cooperative is the starting salary for new employees is the greatest in the area at the SoyPlus plant.
“What we do is amazing. We are always learning something new and can see the impact our work has on the rest of the world.”