Not Just Chicken Feed
Organic Feed Grains Come to the Northwest
Happy to oblige, Diana borrowed her neighbor’s cement mixer and blended a variety of ingredients into a ton of feed. Over time, by carefully researching commercial and academic information and experimenting with her own pastured flock, Diana developed a high protein mix of organic whole grains, peas, sunflower seeds, kelp, and fish meal. The chickens and their eggs flourished, and the Scratch and Peck Feed Company was born.
Today, at their facility in Bellingham, Washington, Diana, her husband Dennis Meade, and son Bryon are building a grain mill capable of producing two tons of feed per hour. With Diana’s research, Dennis’ experience as an electrical contractor, and Bryon’s business education from Western Washington University, they bring an advantageous mix of skills to the enterprise.
To start, they hired a grain mill consultant to advise them on the equipment needed for the Scratch and Peck organic feed mill. They located reconditioned equipment in Idaho and Eastern Washington, and hired master craftsman and designer, Michael Rudolph, to customize it to their needs. The result is a mill, consisting of four main machines connected by steel tubing: an intake hopper, an elevator leg, a mixing blender, and a hammer mill. This setup allows for the custom mixing of a variety of intact or milled whole grains into either 50 pound bags or one-ton tote bags for bulk orders.
The Ambauen-Meades source their grains from Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish Counties, with corn and peas coming from eastern Washington. They will use this locally-sourced organic grain to make custom feed for chickens, turkeys, pigs, goats, and sheep. Scratch and Peck expects to begin selling to the public around August 15th, 2010 from the mill site in the Irongate Industrial Park at 3883 Hammer Drive in Bellingham, and at Northwest feed stores.
When asked what she enjoys most about her new business, Diana says, “Working with farmers. They’re the best! Everyone’s down to earth and friendly. Really caring about what they’re doing.”