Feedlot Health Management Services Ltd., a beef industry consulting practice in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, and Supreme Livestock Services of Jordaanpark, Heidelberg, South Africa, have merged to operate together in South Africa as Feedlot Health Management Services-SA. The managing director for FHMS-SA is Dr. Andy Hentzen.
Bovine Veterinarian asked FHMS’ Calvin Booker, DVM, and FHMS-SA's Andy Hentzen, DVM, BSc, three questions about merging a beef veterinary consulting business across continents.
Bovine Veterinarian: What was the impetus behind joining forces for this business venture?
Calvin Booker/Andy Hentzen: Both SLS and FHMS are always on the lookout for diversification and growth opportunities that will enhance shareholder returns and bring enhanced value to their customers. From the SLS perspective, the merger represents an opportunity to use the FHMS individual animal data collection and management systems (and access the data-based knowledge that goes with it) in South Africa feedlots, which will bring tremendous value to SLS customers and diversifies the SLS service offering. FHMS has been developing its systems for over 25 years and it will be more efficient to build from this experience and adapt it to the South African system than to start from scratch. From the FHMS perspective, the merger represents an opportunity to grow its business, diversify its client base, and learn more about feedlot production in non-North American scenarios, which will ultimately translate into knowledge and value for its existing client base.
BV: What differences or similarities between Canadian/U.S. feedlots and South African feedlots do each of you think you can capitalize on to serve clients?
Booker/Hentzen: In general, feedlot production systems in South Africa and Canada/U.S. share more similarities than they do differences. Examples include feeder cattle procurement strategies, prevention and control of common feedlot diseases, management of groups with diverse phenotypic characteristics to optimize production, and cost-effective nutritional programs. There are some obvious differences between the existing production systems, including the occurrence of diseases and production challenges that don't commonly occur in Canada/U.S. feedlots, a production/marketing system that does not currently recognize or reward marbling and severely discounts over-fat carcasses, and a more integrated feedlot-packing plant interface where most medium to large feedlots own a packing plant.