History

The story of how we got here

History

Kent Nutrition Group was formed in 2010, combining the quality traditions of Kent and Blue Seal into one unified division. Since then, we have focused on serving commercial livestock producers, equine and small pet owners, and lifestyle enthusiasts through the Kent and Blue Seal brands...

1868

H.K. Webster Company is founded by Henry Kingman Webster when he sets up shop in a gristmill along the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts, focusing on quality horse feeds.

1868 Blue Seal 1

1910

Dean K. Webster, son of the founder, introduces the name Blue Seal for its horse, poultry, and dairy feeds and later installs a “batch” mixer in the H.K Webster Co. warehouse for the mechanical blending of feed products. 

photo of Dean K. Webster

1924

Blue Seal installs a molasses mixing plant, the first in New England. This year also marks entry into the wholesale and mixed-car feed and grain business. During this time, the third generation of Websters — Dean Kingman Jr. and Walter Neal — join the company.

1927

Gage A. Kent develops Baby Beef, the original “Feed Without A Filler” using only quality ingredients, and begins manufacturing at a mill in the central Iowa farming community of Indianola. 

1927 indianola

1928

Blue Seal hires a poultry nutrition specialist who authors the Blue Seal Poultry Manual. The company soon adds a dairy nutritionist, who goes on to compile the Blue Seal Dairy Instruction Manual. Their expertise is made available to customers.

photo of researcher with chicken

1936

After fire destroys the Indianola mill, Kent moves his feed enterprise to Muscatine, Iowa on the banks of the Mississippi River. This allows the company to take advantage of the economical river transportation.

1936 muscatine 1 1

1941

The Quaker Oats plant in Richford, Vermont, is acquired to manufacture Blue Seal products. Sales increased by 50% the first year.

1937 Blue Seal 1

1950

The fourth generation of the Webster family — Dean K. III and R. Kingman “King” — became active in the company. 

photo of Kingmans

1952

Kent constructs a modern feed manufacturing plant in Muscatine to meet increasing Midwest demand.

1952 FirstKentPlanGroundBrkg 768x605

1955

Kent Feeds buys the first acres for a Product Development Center where feeding trials are conducted by a staff of nutritionists and farm management specialists to evaluate ingredients and new feed formulations and provide research-proven products to producers.

kent 1955

1964

The first Blue Seal “Satellite Mill” was constructed for unpelleted poultry feeds. Satellite plants could be operated by a single person (the bulk truck driver) and were completely automated, from unloading of ingredients to loading of finished feed.

1964

1966

Kent introduces Flav-R-Ized Pig Nuggets, an improved version of its famous Pig Nuggets.

1972

Gage Kent’s son, James H. Kent, assumes leadership of the company after his father’s death.

photo of Jim and Gage Kent

1976

A new Blue Seal logo is introduced and Blue Seal launches remodeled company-owned “Feeds & Needs” stores to provide its animal feeds and foods as well as lawn and garden and other products to New England customers. 

1976 Blue Seal

1979

Throughout the ’70s, Kent introduces a series of research-based feeding programs and systems to improve the performance of animals and the profitability of livestock producers, including the +1 Sow Feeding Program, All-American Pork System and Stage 4 Beef Feeding System with PNP (Protected Natural Protein).

1987

Kent Feeds introduces the industry’s first and only unconditional 6-Ton Money-Back Guarantee on its quality animal nutrition products.

1988

More than 100 years after its start, the H.K. Webster Company became Blue Seal Feeds when it was acquired by Varied Investments, Inc., the predecessor of Kent Corporation in Muscatine, Iowa.

Blue Seal logo

1994

Blue Seal moves its offices from Lawrence, Massachusetts to a new facility in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

1994 Blue Seal 1

1995

Kent launches an advertising and public relations campaign called “Enjoy Pork Often” in 14 states to help support a sagging pork industry. 

1995 EnjoyPork 1

2004

The Blue Seal manufacturing facility in Bow, New Hampshire is awarded 2004 Feed Mill of the Year! “Safety Is a Way of Life” for the employees running three shifts, six days a week. The 63-year-old plant operates at more than 90% capacity. Nine Blue Seal plants supply over 1280 stores in the Northeast. 

2004

2010

Blue Seal Feeds of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and Kent Feeds, Inc. of Muscatine, Iowa, merge to form Kent Nutrition Group, Inc. (KNG). KNG was created to bring out the best in these two highly successful regional feed companies.

Kent Nutrition Group "combo" logo

2014

The Blue Seal plant in Hagerstown, Maryland is awarded 2014 Runner-Up Feed Mill of the year. To ensure food and feed safety, the Hagerstown plant is certified in AFIA’s Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program. Applicants were evaluated based on feed safety, overall awareness of food safety, quality, regulatory compliance and operating efficiencies. 

2014 Blue Sea

2015

Kent Nutrition Group introduces a new modified regional brand strategy making Blue Seal the KNG brand in the Eastern United States and Kent the KNG brand in the Midwest.

2015 KNG Map 4

2016

The KNG manufacturing plant at Rockford, Illinois, is named “2015 Feed Mill of the Year” by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) and Feedstuffs newspaper.

2016 Rockford Plant Crew 768x698

2016

KNG acquires Deluxe Feeds, with locations in Sheldon and Ireton, Iowa. The facilities will provide more products and services to customers in northwestern Iowa — one of the most densely populated livestock production areas in the world. 

2016 DeluxePlantCOLOR 768x576

2017

A new, state-of-the-art swine research facility opened at the Kent Nutrition Group Product Development Center. 

swine research facility

2017

Kent Corporation, parent company of Kent Nutrition Group (KNG), makes an $8 million commitment to the new Grain Science and Feed Mill facility at Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. 

2017 Gage Kent 1

2018

Gage Kent and Jimmy Kent were invited to join President Trump and Vice President Pence at the “Made in America” product showcase at the White House.

2018 Gage Kent Vice President Pence Jimmy Kent 1

2018

Kent Corporation, parent company of Kent Nutrition Group (KNG), opens the Kent Innovation Center on the Research Park campus of Iowa State University (ISU) in Ames, Iowa. 

2018 innovation center 1

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