Feed producers typically blend raw materials and additives to their products. As a feed distributor, you can choose from complete feeds - those that provide all daily required nutrients for the specified animal - or supplements and concentrates. Feed is usually produced in pellets, meal type or crumbles. The feed producer purchases products from the manufacturer and then sells the feed to retail companies.
Choose the kind of feed you want to distribute. You can distribute such feeds as horse feed, dog food, cat food or cattle feed, or you can choose to specialize in one animal or type of feed. Companies such as Purina Mills, Cargill, CP Group Thailand and Conti Group Companies, Inc., are a few of the larger feed producers. You can work with multiple feed producers if you want to distribute a variety of brands. Most producers will provide you with a catalog so that you can select specific products for your business.
Obtain office supplies. Purchase computers, phones, a fax machine, Internet access and shipping supplies.
Obtain storage space. Some feed requires a controlled environment. Feed products should not get wet. Allow yourself some room to grow as your business expands. Storing feed in bulk may be easier with a silo. If your manufacturer ships feed in individual bags, get pallets on which to store them. Protect your products from rodents and varmints by keeping lids sealed. Use containers that cannot be chewed through.
Obtain a reliable van or truck. Your vehicle should be capable of transporting large amounts of product. Budget for truck insurance and fuel. A pallet jack will help you move pallets around in your storage area.
Promote your business. Distribute fliers and business cards, and run ads in newspapers and on websites. Go to local feed and farm stores with your promotional materials. Stop by cattle and horse farms as well as local pet stores with business cards and other information.
Some states require you register as a commercial feed distributor. Contact your state’s Department of Agriculture for details. Computer software may help you and your staff keep track of business functions such as shipments, purchase orders, inventory and sales.
If you choose to import or export feed, make sure you know the rules regarding such practices.