Celebrating 25 years of service in Killduff, Iowa
Killduff Feed & Grain has been in business for 103 years, having started as Fleck Feed & Grain in 1918 and using “one of the best, most modern mills in the county” to manufacture its own feed under the Fleck name. But when Bob Van Soelen starting working at the dealership in 1963 as an accountant, they had started to expand into cattle feed and began selling another brand. That brand quickly got bought out by a string of larger companies and, ultimately, a national chain. So when he bought into the dealership in 1970, Van Soelen decided to turn exclusively to Kent Feeds for his customers.
“When you have those sales acquisitions of bigger and bigger companies they always say nothing’s going to change but it always does,” Van Soelen says. “Kent is a family-owned company in and of itself which we liked. And the quality has never ever changed.”
Van Soelen sold Fleck Feed & Grain in 2005 to Don and Sharri Huyser, and it became Killduff Feed & Grain. The name may have changed but important things have not: they are still “sticklers for quality feeds,” dedicated to customer service and – Van Soelen points out happily – the place to gather for coffee every morning.
“We were always famous for the bullpen,” he says of the informal area in the office where a pot of coffee was always ready for the regulars each day. “That’s still going on – just customers coming in and hanging out. It makes me happy that 15 years after I left, the feed store is still active. It’s still a fun place for people to connect, and go through a lot of coffee!”
Today, David Samson manages the store, which still sells mostly cattle feed – followed by sheep, goats, equine and poultry. Even as he attended Iowa State University and majored in agronomy, Samson always knew Killduff Feed as a family. His father has worked for decades with the Huysers on their row-crop farm. Kent, he says, makes up more than 90 percent of the store’s inventory.
“When people get Kent products they know what they’re getting,” Samson says. “Kent is the stronghold that we rely on for all of our proteins and vitamins. Because our customers rely on it too.”