To expand its services, ag tech firm MetaFarms Inc. has acquired Swine Management Services LLC. SMS is an independent swine consulting company founded in 2002 by Ron Ketchem and Mark Rix, based in Fremont, Neb. It serves producers across North America and Australia.
“With the addition of SMS and their experienced team, we’re able to consolidate and enhance our benchmarking tools,” says MetaFarms CEO Chad Becker. “The addition of SMS’ capabilities will give our customers the ability to better leverage the insights of our platform.”
The SMS approach leverages data to help swine producers dig deeper into their production insight to gain a competitive advantage in the ever-more complex world of swine production. The Swine Smart Sow Analysis System, for example, helps hog producers make decisions based on 25 years of historical production insight.
Benefits to producers
“MetaFarms built a successful business focused on gaining production insight and actionable recommendations based on detailed swine production data,” Becker says. “Accurate, standardized, transparent production benchmarks are a need that’s becoming more critical in livestock production. Combined with MetaFarms product offerings, we can give swine producers the best solutions to support their business goals.”
SMS will join the MetaFarms family and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, while continuing to provide all its current analytic and consulting solutions to the swine industry. “The SMS team looks forward to partnering with the MetaFarms team to bring a new level of technological sophistication to managing swine data,” Ketchem says. “The partnership will allow us to continue to increase our focus on helping swine producers be more productive.”
The transaction closed Sept. 30. “Current SMS customers will see no disruption to their existing services and will continue to receive world-class customer service from SMS and MetaFarms teams,” Ketchem says.
SMS will continue operating from its headquarters in Fremont. Ketchem will serve as general manager of SMS and Rix as director of operations for SMS.
“With more data being collected across all aspects of production and continued focus on health, nutrition and animal well-being, we will continue to support SMS to ensure scalable, robust data platforms,” Becker says. “We look forward to extending SMS insight to more producers in North America and worldwide, as well as expanding the focus of the insight to the entire swine production lifecycle.”
National Dairy Board announces scholarship winners
The national dairy checkoff has awarded 12 academic scholarships to college students enrolled in programs that emphasize dairy and who have shown potential to become future industry leaders. Three of this year’s winners, each earning a $2,500 scholarship, are from Iowa. They are Iowa State University students Cynthia Hamlett, Brianna McBride and Jessica Schmitt.
The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, through Dairy Management Inc., which manages the national dairy checkoff program, annually awards the $2,500 scholarships to 11 students. In addition, the NDB awards a $3,500 James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship to one outstanding recipient.