Work Hard – and Smart – to Lower Cowherd Input Costs in Tough Times

Published on Thu, 09/29/2016 - 1:20pm

By Maura Keller

From their headquarters in a “one-horse town” in Southwest Minnesota, the passion that Rio Nutrition has for the beef industry is, quite simply, bubbling over. As a family-run operation, that is totally rancher-centered, the company has a very unique team of individuals, all of whom are excited to come to work every day and are eager to positively impact the industry in which they are privileged to work.
Rio Nutrition emerged from humble beginnings 15 years ago in a small garage in Vesta, MN. Founded by Trevor Greenfield, the company has grown exponentially to become a leading provider of cutting-edge nutrition products to the beef industry, covering all of North America.
Today, Rio Nutrition offers a full range of lick tubs and bagged loose minerals; highly concentrated with a low consumption and a strong focus on improving digestion.
“What drives our team and what drives our business is not traditional motivational speeches and hype,” says Trevor Greenfield, owner and director of sales and marketing at Rio Nutrition. “What drives us is a deep satisfaction and sense of reward as we help ranchers across North America—helping them get more profits out of their ranching business.”
For Greenfield and his enthusiastic team of 22, their daily tasks are so much more than just selling feed or “peddling” product. Rather, Rio Nutrition is all about the relationship they have with each customer—working closely with ranchers to understand their challenges and pain points and to get a grasp of their goals and what they are trying to accomplish, and then to align with these, including real tangible things such as breed-up rates, weight gain on calves, forage utilization and reduced input costs.
“We are just ordinary folks who are eager to help ranchers get to where they want to go,” Greenfield says. “We help ranchers with key issues such as the profitability and the sustainability of their ranching business.”
Rio Nutrition has a very unique culture. Not only do they live and breathe helping ranchers and being more of a partner, but also they are a group of people who truly enjoy their jobs. They are in a position where they can shine and have fun while simply doing the right thing by the rancher.
“We give people who work at Rio Nutrition the opportunity to develop personally and get that great sense of reward and accomplishment in life,” Greenfield says. “As the founder, I love to be surrounded by this passionate team of people who embrace the vision I had so many years ago in a one-car garage. It is so rewarding to hear stories back from customers as to what they’ve seen and how their ranching business has been positively impacted.
Currently, Rio Nutrition is working closely with ranchers as they address the issues they face as coming into fall and winter.
“Right now, during the fall and early winter, our focus is on helping ranchers better utilize their forages, better utilize the resources they have on hand,” Greenfield says. “In doing this, we are helping to maintain the condition of these cows going into the winter, so we are not forced to play the ‘catch up’ game. Rather, we are ahead of the eight ball. We help these ranchers do it cost effectively, while avoiding high-priced supplements and expensive protein. We are working smart and that’s where our technology helps ranchers get more out of less, extracting more out of every mouthful. This is especially important during these tougher times facing the ranching industry.”
Greenfield stresses that now is the time for ranchers to find ways to run more efficiently and squeeze more out of what they already have in terms of resources, land base, and genetics.
“That is where ranchers are really seeing the difference,” Greenfield says. “Going into winter and having those cows in good condition by priming them up for winter. We always say the cheapest source of protein for the ranchers is what they already have on the ranch—the grass, the hay.”
Where Rio Nutrition comes into play is by helping on the digestion, so in effect, the first trimester hay can act as a third trimester hay, by taking the digestibility of that hay to the next level. It is not magic. It just works!
Rio Nutrition’s Nutrizorb Digestive Enhancer offers a powerful synergy of Riomune yeast, enzymes and probiotics—enabling your livestock to get more nutritional “mileage” out of your existing forages. Simply put, Nutrizorb helps unlock the forages so the cattle can absorb more nutrients, There are 16 key ingredients in the recipe, all designed for effective improved forage breakdown and increased nutrient extraction.
“It gets you more out of less,” says University of Minnesota’s beef professor, Dr. DiConstanzo, who has done studies on the product.
“Nutrizorb is an absolute game changer. It changes this protein game so that rather than direct supplementation of protein, we are embracing indirect supplementation of protein by getting more out of the forages. Nutrizorb helps optimize every single mouthful. The minerals are completely digestible, which means it gets into the blood and impacts the health and reproductive performance and overall health of the animal.”
In addition to working closely with their clients in identifying areas of need, the team at Rio Nutrition is never satisfied with a point reached. Rather, they embrace a continuous improvement mentality that results in exceptional products and customer service.

“We are always looking ways to bring more value to the table and bring more convenience to busy ranchers,” Greenfield says.
As a result, Rio Nutrition is thinking outside the box with their sled tub, called the Range Rocket, a 250-pound sled which is pulled behind an ATV. This lick sled, which offers a drag and drop option and gives you the convenience of no lifting and no wastage, allows ranchers to pull the product out to remote locations, large pastures or open terrain.
“Like everything else, we’re all about listening to our customers,” Greenfield says. “As a result of the feedback we’ve received, we also have recently introduced a brand new tub refill program.”
With this program, Rio Nutrition offers a 125-pound edible, biodegradable tub, two of which are in the Range Rocket sled. They can also be used without the sled and are easier to handle.
“Everything in our innovation is the result of ranchers, who give feedback and offer suggestions and input,” Greenfield says. “It helps us develop ideas and solutions for the industry and truly results in a rancher-centered approach. Everything we do is about the rancher and creating a buying experience that’s simple, frictionless, painless, and helps the rancher’s profitability.”
As the founder, Greenfield extends a personal invitation to any rancher to give Rio Nutrition a try. “We would love to help you and even simply have a conversation to understand what Rio Nutrition can do to make a difference to your profitability. What we do best at is listening and understanding, and aligning with ranchers and their needs, including what they are trying to get done and how they can become more profitable. We want to help ranchers save money, but more importantly we want to help ranchers make money.” So again, the message from Greenfield is a simple one, “Let us help you out, especially through tough times.”
To learn more about Rio Nutrition, visit