Entrance To "The Farm" With Prominent Purina Checkerboard On A Wall

What does butter have to do with the Clydesdales? Ask Purina

How this iconic brand fuels Land O’Lakes efforts to feed human progress

We are closing the books on 2016. (I know…it’s almost the end of January, but we have to have everything set for the auditors!) I was reflecting on the number of conversations I’ve had this past year with people who are surprised to find that the Purina brand is part of Land O’Lakes, Inc. They often ask, “How does that make sense?” In reality, it makes perfect sense and harkens back to the very founding of Land O’Lakes in 1921.

Our farmer owners (we are still a farmer-owned cooperative) banded together to try to get power in the market for their sweet cream butter…the product for which we’re best known. After having success with that, they decided to form a supply co-op. This meant buying inputs like animal feed for their cows, together, to get the best price. They had a feed company! While it wasn’t Purina at the time, it was still focused on feeding the cow that makes the milk that is used to make the butter on the table.

Today, Purina is a key link in our farm-to-fork continuum. We also own a precision ag, seed and crop protection business, so we also help farmers grow the crops, like corn, used to literally make the feed.

But for now, I thought I’d share a few interesting things about Purina…a business of which we’re very proud!

  1. Purina is a more than a century old with its well-known Checkerboard logo driving unaided awareness at 90 percent. That means the Checkerboard logo is an iconic brand, recognized by some studies at the same level of brands like Starbucks and Mercedes.

  2. We have best-in-class research done on a 1200-acre working farm that helps us deliver high quality feed. We currently hold more than 125 patents for animal feed innovations.

  3. We feed 100 million animals every day…from cows on farms to backyard flocks to exotic animals in zoos around the country.

  4. We feed Kentucky Derby horses, the Clydesdales, workhorses and race horses. Here you can see our recent trip to surprise a group of folks who care for horses that didn’t have the wonderful care the world famous Clydesdales do and—needed some help from some special people.  

  5. We believe the best nutrition supports a healthy animal, and you see that in their look—their eyes and their coat. We believe the look comes from the inside out. It comes from greatness.

  6. There are more than 5,000 authorized retailers in our network. We have four distinct customer channels: dealers, cooperatives, farm & fleet and direct producers. The dealer network helps us as we try to care for our communities and theirs. Having visited a number of them, I’d say with confidence that being a Purina dealer is not just a livelihood for most but a way of life. It’s a special tie to rural communities, the land and animals. I saw babies in checkerboard onesies, young 4-H kids talking about their animals at the stores, men and women in checkerboard boots, dresses, shirts, etc. and-multi-generation families in business together having taken over from their ancestors. As I said, special.

  7. After more than 100 years and through good times and less good times, Purina is still a growth business! It is part of the continuum necessary to support and feed a growing world population.

I’ll end where I started…I’ve surprised a number of folks this past year communicating that the Purina brand is part of Land O’Lakes, Inc. and our special farm-to-fork chain.  I hope you can see why it not only makes sense from a business perspective, but from a culture perspective. We’re putting the pieces together to “Feed Human Progress”!