|How this Company Started
The beginnings of Munson Feed Company go way back to 1930. Ray E. Munson and his family were living on a small farm near Glenwood, MN. A mineral salesman called on Ray, a former employee of the Soo Line Railroad, and after several hours succeeded in selling him one bag of mineral. This sale interested Ray in the balanced feeding of poultry and livestock. His son Floyd eventually joined Ray in selling mineral feeds.
Below is a brief history of the company:
1935 - Ray moved his family to Dassel. On a cold day in the month of March, the first bag of Munson’s Quality Feed was manufactured by hand in a barrel mixer.
1935 - The family moved to Howard Lake in June and sold 314 bags of feed, causing them to invest in a bigger mixer.
1945 - By the end of the company’s first decade, sales had increased to 61,000 bags and the fledgling company had a home in a cement block building on the site of today’s feed mill.
1947 - Ray E. Munson passed away at age 56. Since then, his son Floyd and grandsons Beryl, Bob, and Ray W. have all played leadership roles in the company.
1957 - A bulk delivery auger was added to a Munson Feed truck, heralding the rapid switch from bagged to bulk feeds which helped double the company’s sales volume in the next two years.
1950 - Munson Feed Company purchased an 80-acre research farm to test new developments in feeding livestock and poultry.
1981 - The company constructed its current computerized mill.
1985 - Munson Quality Feeds celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
1996 - The Munson family sold its interest in the feed company to Land O’Lakes, which in turn sold 30% of the company to local farmer cooperatives.
Today - Ray Munson (Floyd’s son) and Eric Munson (Bob’s son) continue to work for the company, today known as Munson Lakes Nutrition.
Floyd Munson with replica of the company’s original hand-crank barrel mixer.
The Munson Family today: Back row, Bob Munson, Ray Munson, and Beryl Munson. Front row, Floyd Munson and Eric Munson. Ray and Eric continue to work for the company their grandfather founded.
|Feed Sacks to Styling Clothing
In the early years, feed manufactured by the Munson Feed Company was sold in 100-lb bags made of fine cloth imprinted with various designs. The imprint on each bag was just a little different from the next.
The women of the family often had the job of coming into town to pick up feed for the farm’s livestock. Floyd recalls how female customers would sort through the mill’s inventory of bagged feed until they found just the right imprints. “As soon as the feed was used up they would make clothing out of the bags,” he recalls. The company always tried to accommodate their customers, says Floyd. “We even sold some sacks before they were filled.”
Editor’s Note: If anyone has a garment made from a Munson Quality Feeds sack, please contact Ray Munson at 800-245-7717.