Brian Higby - Friday, November 25, 2016
BLINK...BLINK...IT WILL BE 2017!!!
It is hard to believe it but it is almost December! In fact by the time you receive your newsletter it will be. Here at
the store it has been a busy year! We have finally finished up with the fire sprinkler company. When we built the new store in 2008 we
needed fire sprinklers to meet code. Did you catch that? Yes it has been over 8 years that we have been in the new store! At that time,
code allowed us to have an audible alarm on the front of the store and no further monitoring. We just added some storage areas on both
sides of our feed barn and now code required all that to be equipped with fire sprinklers as well. The code now says our system has to
be monitored so now we have audible alarms everywhere and the fire department will be called if the system is tripped. This is all good
stuff, it just costs a lot of money...but it is all done now and we are on-line! I think they call this progress...
We probably won’t get it done this year but we will be adding two more point of sale registers at our front counter. To
start with we will probably just do credit card transactions at these two additional work stations and that will help tremendously because
85 to 90 per cent of all our sales transactions are on plastic! I think they call this progress too!..We will be expanding our counter
area which will help you get your product and go more quickly.
As December comes to a close, we will be working on getting the year end inventory counts for tax season. Keeps us busy
but it is all good!
The end of October we started getting some nice rain events. Not a lot to measure yet, but a nice start! I hope the storms
keep on coming. At least the pastures and hills are greening up...beautiful!
THE FEED AND HAY MARKETS
Everything is stable with feed prices at the moment. There are always fluctuations in the bird seed markets, but corn,
oats and the like are stable. Hay took an expected small increase as all the hay started coming out of the barns. It appears for now anyway,
that there shouldn’t be any surprises as we work through winter. I say this tongue in cheek, because plenty of times the market has drastically
changed in a relatively short time.
I just ordered a fill in load of wire. Recently we also filled in with a partial load of t-posts. Everything
is stable there too! I like it this way! Hope it continues...
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY
Thanks to all of you that made our Customer Appreciation Day a success! We really enjoyed it! The day was near
perfect, Scott’s pulled pork made excellent sandwiches, and the best part is all the staff enjoyed visiting with many of you
on that special day! We noted that not only was this a way for us to show our customers how much we appreciate them, but it
made the staff feel like they were an integral part of what we do here. And why not! They are indeed! We feel that we currently
have one of the best crews we have had in a long time.
Scott and I are always ready and willing to listen to your ideas on how we can do better! Mari, Gary, Scott,
and I (occasionally Dana and others join us) have meetings every Thursday morning to review how we might be able to improve
our customer service. We try to think of experiences we have had at any place that offers customer service. We then share what
impressed us or what was irritating. We then try to prevent the negative things from happening here and of course make sure
we make the positive ones happen! If you have a suggestion please pass it along!
Thanks as always for your continued business!
Brian Higby - Friday, September 30, 2016
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY OCTOBER 8TH
It’s almost here.....mark your calendars! We are having our annual Customer Appreciation Day Saturday October 8th! There will be goodies all day long so set aside a little time to come enjoy the fun! On the 8th we will pay your sales tax for you! We have received items from our vendors to use as door prizes and there will be some manufacturer representatives here with more deals! We will be serving Denise’s home made creations and Scott’s awesome BBQ on the new patio in our front yard! This is our main event of the year and we really enjoy it. Why? It gives us the opportunity to say thanks to all of you for being our customers.
STILL BUSY WRAPPING UP THIS YEAR’S PROJECTS!
The roof structures are up, but we are still working hard on the finishing touches to get ready for winter! Wow! Can you believe it? It’s that time! Time to find room in the barn for all those items that were just fine sitting outside all Summer long. We have had a few struggles with getting the sprinkler system to pass test. I think we are just about there..... I hope so anyway! Once that is done I will feel comfortable pouring a little concrete that will make things much nicer this winter. Then... we will be truly ready for winter! Denise reminds me... “are we ever ready?”
This year’s hay season is coming to a close. Soon all that will be available is what is in the barn. How do we look this year? The Oat, Oat Mix, and Rye hay all were affected by late rain this spring resulting in a crop that might not be as shiny as some recent years. Between these three types of hay, most of you have been able to find one that works for your situation. It is interesting that out of the three Rye seems to be the best looking. However your horses might prefer one of the others! We just have to let our animals be the final judge....
Alfalfa is excellent, Mountain Grass is probably the best it has ever been, and Orchard Alfalfa is working well. It looks like there might be a slight price increase as we move to barn stored hay, but overall I don’t expect prices to be excessively high this winter.
Livestock feed is really reasonable right now. It did some shifting down, then up, and now finally down. It looks to remain stable for a while now.
Well that’s it for now! Again, we look forward to seeing you at our Customer Appreciation Day October 8th!!! DON’T MISS IT!
Thanks for your business!
Brian Higby - Friday, September 30, 2016
The new sales for Sep/Oct are up! Check our the Sales page for more details. We have sales on...
-Galvanized Garbage Cans
-Showsheen Hair Polish and Detangler
-Apple Elite Electrolytes
-Kong Pet Toys
-Verus Life Advantage Dog Food
-Ox Bow Small Animal Products
-Annamaet Adult 23%
-Fussie Cat food
-Buthcher's Block Bones
-Purina Equine Senior
Sales are valid through October 31st, 2016 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. Hope to see you soon!
Brian Higby - Sunday, August 07, 2016
The new sales for August are up! Check our the Sales page for more details. We have sales on...
-Cats Incredible Klumping Kitty Litter
-The Squirrelinator Traps
-Old Mother Hubbard Bulk Dog Biscuits
-Kong Pet Toys
-LMF Equine Feeds
-Avo Derm Grain Free Dog Food
-Y-Tex Insecticide Ear Tags
-Speedi Beet Pulp Flakes
-Country Vet Mosquito & Fly Automatic Spray
Sales are valid through August 31st, 2016 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. Hope to see you soon!
Brian Higby - Sunday, August 07, 2016
Doesn’t it just feel like this year is flying by? We have had several projects going on here to keep me
busy! For example finishing up our front yard conversion from lawn to a patio and pathways. To conserve water all the plants are under
drip irrigation. The entire project took about 9 months and we are still putting the final touches on it. I felt like I needed a deadline
to help me get motivated on this project so we scheduled with Kirk Atkins to do a Farriers Clinic and demonstration on proper hoof care
to be held on the not yet finished patio! That did the trick, along with not wanting to be stuck working on the project in weather like
we are having today....106 degrees! We got the patio ready and the seminar was a great success with around 65 attending. Kirk is now retired
from UCD and owns Ethiquotics, supplier of horseshoeing tools and specialty shoes. If you missed this seminar and you have a chance to
attend one of his lectures it is time well spent. He was the Farrier at UCD for many years and had the benefit of seeing X-rays before
and after he worked on a horses hooves! How many farriers have this benefit? This gives him special insight on horseshoeing and he enjoys
sharing it! Good stuff!
Here are a few pictures of some of you enjoying the seminar.........
Other projects we are still busy with are the addition of a breezeway cover between our hay
and feed barns, installing the fire sprinkler system for it, and still in progress is the installation of the sprinkler monitoring
system now required by code. Whew! Almost done!
WHAT DOES THE CURRENT MARKET REPORT HAVE FOR US??
In past newsletters I have discussed Market Reports and how they influence feed prices. In a
nutshell a little negative news and prices climb, much the same way that negative news causes the Stock Market to decline.
Normally feed prices quickly rise and are slow to come down. Recently the corn and especially soybean (protein) prices began
climbing. A positive report came out and products with corn quickly came down, items that contained soybean probably will come
down in the next month or so. Good news for any that buy feed. Hay prices are stable and lower than in previous years. Alfalfa
and Rye quality are good. Oat and Three Way (Oat Mix) are lower quality than other years....having some yellowing and thick
stems due to late rains. The Mountain Grass is some of the best we have ever seen, and the price on this hay still is high.
Orchard Alfalfa is good quality.
Recently we had our first Chicken Seminar. We had a group of 30 or so that enjoyed hearing Dr.
Maurice Pitesky DVM from UCD talk about small flock health and diseases. This proved to be a quite educational evening and
was well worth attending. I learned a lot! We will have to do it again!
The next event will be in October.....our annual Customer Appreciation Day! This is our yearly big event where we pay the sales
tax for the day! We will have the usual goodies and Denise will be wowing everyone with her inventive appetizers! This is always
a lot of fun for us and a great way for us to thank all our customers!
Thank you for your business!!!!!
Brian Higby - Tuesday, May 17, 2016
The new sales for May and June are up! Check our the Sales page for more details. We have sales on...
-Simplifly Feed through Fly Control
-Bronco Fly spray
-Ivercare Equine Dewormer
-Rescue Fly Traps
-Endure Sweat Resistant Spray
-Evangers Canned Cat Food
-Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo
-Kaytee Dried Meal Worms
-Verus Life Advantage Premium Dog Food
-Richard's Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo and Spray
Sales are valid through June 30th, 2016 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. Hope to see you soon!
Brian Higby - Tuesday, May 17, 2016
SUMMER IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!
It’s hard to believe but spring is winding down and blink your eyes....it will be summer! The off and on showers we have
been receiving in between some rather warm days have me confused as to what time of year it is. Anyway, some things to think about .....
It might be a good idea to tackle that fencing or repair project you have been putting off before the weather really turns hot! Next time
you come in the Feed Store driveway check out my landscaping project! Two years ago we stopped watering the front lawn so it has looked
kind of dismal. Last fall we finally poured a stamped concrete patio and now we are almost finished with the whole project! Wow, am I ready
to be done!
I think it is looking better than it has ever looked too! It has been a fun and rewarding project. Since I am not a landscaper
we have been kind of making things up as we go. Denise and I had the basic vision of what we wanted but it has changed quite a bit from
the original plan, in a good way I think. For example we would be thinking of a certain plant or bush, consult with our friends at Lemuria
Nursery out on Serpa Lane who would advise us against certain plants that won’t do well in our area. Also I don’t want any more plants
that take off and require constant pruning or they get out of control! Lemuria always guides us in making the right choices! By the time
you get this newsletter ( yes, it is a bit late! ), unless you read it on our website we will have had our first event on the patio.
Kirk Adkins will put on a Horseshoeing Clinic May 22. That is a Sunday from 3-6. We have some nice refreshments planned.....be there! Kirk
headed up the Farrier Dept. at UCD VMTH for many years. We are looking forward to his expert advice!
With the days warming up I have one more reminder. The shelf life of feed, especially feed with molasses in it is much
shorter during the warmer part of the year. If your feed is stored in cans or barrels make sure it can breathe by leaving the lid a little
loose and not allowing direct sunlight to hit it. If there is any moisture in it at all the heat causes it to sweat, and mold sets in quickly.
Be careful how much you buy so that you can use it all up in 30 days or less.
The new crop grain and grass hay is coming off. The good news for consumers is the price is going to be good. The bad
news is with all the late showery weather the hay is slightly yellowed. This is an unavoidable result of rain showers on standing hay
that is close to maturity, and it is worse if the hay is lying in the windrow. Sometimes this affects whether the animals like the
hay, other times it doesn’t. We haven’t had it long enough to get a report back. There is more hay coming off and of course we will
continue looking for the best quality we can. On Alfalfa hay we always carry enough over to avoid using first cutting. You do not want
first cut Alfalfa for horses, it is too hot (high in protein) and has the potential to contain noxious weeds. We try to not use new
hay until late 2nd/3rd cutting. The Orchard Alfalfa and Mountain Grass Hay won’t be ready for another month or so they aren’t affected
by the late showers like our local hay. Stay tuned...
FEED AND STEEL MARKETS
Other than some slight adjustments up or down, things have been very steady for several months in the grain and steel
markets. We just purchased a load of Red Brand Wire at or below last year’s pricing, and it is going out of here fast!
You might have noticed Victor hasn’t been around. Over a month ago he was doing a project at home and thought he bruised
or broke some ribs. It got so bad he went to the E.R. where they discovered a large infection around his ribs, full of pus. He had
at least three procedures to remove some of the pus and last I heard has drainage tubes in his rib area. He applied for disability
and will probably be off for awhile. Hope he gets better soon!
Thanks for your business!
Brian Higby - Sunday, March 06, 2016
The new sales for March and April are up! Check our the Sales page for more details. We have sales on...
-Atwood Cowboy Hats
-Horse Health Ivermectin
-Big Wheel Cart
-Max E Glo
-Livestock Show Supplies
-Taste of the Wild Premium Dog Food
-Stella & Chewy's Treats
Sales are valid through April 30th, 2016 while supplies last, unless otherwise noted. We can't wait to see you!
Brian Higby - Sunday, March 06, 2016
WHERE DID THE RAIN GO?
Dixon has enjoyed a nice series of storms that have given us up to 10 inches +/- of rainfall so far this
year. I think average is around 16 inches so we sure do need more! Forecasters are saying second half of March should be wet......Let’s
hope so. Due to the drought we decided to stop watering our front lawn and to eventually replace it with a concrete patio. We took advantage
of the recent dry spell to get the patio poured and will be spending the next couple of months landscaping around it.
It is really nice to move forward with the project and get rid of the ugly mess we had in our yard! We did
this of course to save precious water, but a fringe benefit is we plan to use it for future feed store events! Stay tuned.......
WE HAVE PLANNED OUR FIRST EVENT FOR 2016!
Mark your calendars if you like the sound of this one. May 22 we are planning to have Kirk Adkins (former
UCD Farrier and Instructor of Equine Science) put on a horse-shoeing clinic. This event will consist of a lecture, demonstration, and question
and answer session. Kirk lectures all over the world on this subject, so we feel privileged to have him do one here. Kirk is a Certified
Journeyman Horse-shoer and owner of Equithotics, Inc. (a manufacturer of horse-shoer and farrier equipment). More to come on this one!
ALL MARKETS ARE CURRENTLY STABLE
Should I say it? I am hesitant because the last few times I put it in the newsletter things started changing
even before we went to print! Almost all markets that affect the feed business are relatively stable at this time. We receive monthly price
updates for feed and are seeing little to no change. Our hay supply is excellent, and pricing is stable as well. Fencing, gates, and wire
pricing are seeing little to no change.
SHOW ANIMAL REMINDERS
I try to put this important reminder in the newsletter every year at this time. If your family has horses
and the children have animals for the fair, be very careful not to allow the horses to get into the show animal feeds. Most of the
show feeds contain medication that may actually be toxic to a horse! Also there are strict laws now about not feeding mammalian protein
to ruminants. That means keep the dog, cat, and hog feeds away from the lambs, beef, and goats. These are important reminders because
we all know occasionally an animal gets out of its pen and into the feed supply! Please be careful.
ANOTHER FUN TIDBIT ABOUT SCOTT
Next time you see Scott have some fun with this one: When he was in college all his classmates longed
for Mom’s home baked muffins. Being the enterprising guy Scott is, he learned how to make the best muffins in the world and provided
these to his classmates...for a price! He charged $ for them! The way I found out was during one of our Safety Meetings. Scott made
his famous muffins and brought them for the guys to enjoy during the Safety Meeting, (by the way, no charge). He then told the story!
Thanks for your business!
Brian Higby - Saturday, January 09, 2016
31 YEARS IN BUSINESS..... IN JUST A FEW MONTHS 32 YEARS!
In the past couple newsletters I have enjoyed sharing tidbits of information about our business, going all the way back
to the beginning in 1984. This time I thought it would be fun to talk about Scott and his history with us.
In 1993 we were looking for a delivery person and put a help wanted notice up at UCD. Scott was a student there and put
in an application. I remember a very persistent young man who contacted me several times asking if we were ready to hire him. Actually,
I was kind of impressed by his tenacity while thinking to myself, “this kid is really pestering me!”
Scott’s side of that part of our story is even more humorous. He tells me that he just couldn’t understand why anyone would
not hire him. After all, he’d been hired on the spot for all his previous jobs! In his words, “I was so naïve I thought it would be that
way no matter where I applied for work!” The story wouldn’t be any fun if we didn’t hire him... right?
Scott worked here until early 1997 when he accepted a position with a local hay press (we have four in our local area.
A hay press company takes a regular hay bale, double compresses it, then loads the bales on ocean containers for overseas shipment). What
kind of an employee was Scott at that time? He was one of, if not the hardest working individual we had ever hired. He took care of our
equipment and kept it all in good repair, and just flat worked hard!
I remember one occasion when we were doing a delivery together. I was on top of a stack and he was feeding bales of hay
up to me on a hay elevator. Back at that time there weren’t many people that could out-work me on a stack of hay. That day it was hot!
I remember we were nearly finished and I wanted very badly to take a break for water and to rest a bit. But stubborn me... I would always
wait for the other guy to cry “U N C L E!” then we would stop! Well, Scott didn’t say a word! I was getting all cotton mouthed (when your
mouth dries so bad you can’t swallow) but I stuck it out until we finished, whew!
I didn’t tell Scott he’d gotten the best of me until many years later. When I finally admitted it to him, he
told me of another occasion when he had wanted to rest but I was the one who didn’t quit! Are we alike or what???? Now, when
Scott occasionally goes out on a delivery, he still refuses to let the other guy know he is getting tired...he waits for them
to ask to take a break!
Anyway, we stayed in touch after he left in 1997 and would have dinner together occasionally. One time, we
discussed Scott possibly coming back to work for Higby’s. He revealed that working here had been one of his most enjoyable
experiences. He told me he would consider coming back if he could one day become an owner of the company. In kind of a handshake
deal we moved forward with it and he returned to work here in 2002 and lo and behold in 2011 Scott and I entered into a contract
for him to initially purchase part of the company with the goal of having full ownership by October 2021!
How is the partnership working out? Scott’s dedication and work ethic make him definitely the hardest working
person I know. Our arrangement is a true win/win! Our contracts were easy to draw up because we both wanted them to say the
One thing that helps is, when it comes to business we think very much alike. Nowadays, Scott attends most of
the trade shows, but there was a time when we would trade off. One time when I was at a trade show, I met one of the managers
from another store like ours and he asked me, “where did you find Scott? He is like your clone! He thinks, buys, and conducts
business just like you do!”
This makes our arrangement a winning proposition! Higby’s plans to be here for years to come to service all of you!
Thanks for being our loyal customer!!!!!!
Roland... and by extension...Scott