On the Blog

Getting minerals into your cow herd: Provide your cows the nutrients they need

We’re excited to begin communicating with customers on the Block Blog! Our goal is to share timely information and to provide information to help you manage your livestock operation.

On these pages you’ll find information on nutrition related topics, strategies for improving animal performances and efficiencies, and methods for increasing profitability.

One of our primary areas of interest is supplementation that will help you get more from your forages and pastures – resources you already have. We’ll focus on ways to help optimize your returns on land, time, labor and capital to keep you competitive in a changing livestock industry.

We have made significant investments in Research and Development. Some of our blog topics may include these findings that support our recommendations. Others may simply offer a better understanding of a topic from a nutritional point of view.

Seven members of our technical staff, identified below, will contribute to this blog. Our technical team works closely with producers, our sales team, dealers and distributors in providing nutritional solutions over a wide variety of product applications, geographies, forage types and production systems.

These bloggers are located throughout the U.S., so you can be confident that we can assist you with your nutritional needs regardless of where you live. You’re invited to submit questions or comment on blog posts at any time.

Jackie Nix, MS

Education: BS Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; MS Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC 

Past livestock industry work experience: Cooperative Extension agent, eastern North Carolina  1994-2000
A description of yourself and your work interest: Jackie is a native of eastern Ohio. Upon finishing up her education she worked for 6 years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service as a county agent where she developed an expertise in goat production. Now Jackie offers technical support for CRYSTALYX® products with a special emphasis on educational support.  She also has quality assurance duties.

What motivates me:  I am a proud member of the animal science industry. I am not only committed to my role in producing the safest, most economical human food in the world, but also in defending agriculture and telling the agriculture story to those with non-agriculture backgrounds.

Teri Walsh, MS 

Education: BS in Animal Science, MS in Animal Science Ruminant Nutrition, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Past livestock industry work experience:  Southern University Agricultural Research and Outreach Center, Baton Rouge, LA, Research Associate 2003-2007    

A description of yourself and your work interest: Teri is a native of western Iowa. Following her graduate program at SDSU, she worked for 4 years at the Southern University Ag Center with emphasis on small ruminants and small farmers. Today Teri’s interests center on ruminant nutrition (large and small), technical support for producers as well as working with our plants to ensure safe, dependable and consistent products.

What motivates me:  I’m motivated by a love for raising livestock. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to grow up on a livestock operation in small town Iowa. Now I’m in a position to work with producers across the country to find a product that will enhance their livestock’s performance and profitability. It’s great to be able to give back to and work in an industry that’s near and dear to me.

Jon Albro, MS 

Education: B.S. Animal Science; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; M.S. Ruminant Nutrition; Oregon State University-Corvallis
Past livestock industry work experience: Dairy Research Assistant – University of Idaho; 1992-1993. PM Ag Products, Sales & Marketing Positions – Pacific Northwest, California, Texas, and Corporate Office in Illinois; 1993-1997. Ridley Block Operations - Account Manager; 1997-present.
A description of yourself and your work interest:  I have been involved in the Feed business for 18 years and have had great experiences all across the United States and Canada. My educational experience involved supplement strategies to improve forage utilization in beef cattle, and that same discipline has carried into my Feed Industry experience. Supporting the sales and marketing of free-choice block supplements has been my main career focus working with Ridley Block Operations.
What motivates me: Customers in the livestock business and the feed business it supports are my career motivators. Not many people in North America devote so much time and effort to their business as do those in the livestock industry.  It’s truly a way of life.  I have lived and worked in rural America and the animal agriculture industry my entire life.  I enjoy the process of our business; manufacturing and selling, but the most rewarding of all is to see our customers succeed in part by our efforts.

Tim Clark, MS 

Education: MS in Dairy Science/Ruminant Nutrition at University of Kentucky, Lexington KY

Past livestock industry work experience: Doboy Feeds, New Richmond, WI, Lead Nutritionist; Clark Dairy, Battle Creek, IA, owner; Gray Hawk Dairy, McKee, KY, herdsman and employee manager

A description of yourself and your work interest:  Tim grew up on a dairy and beef farm in Kentucky. His Masters research focused on mineral metabolism, specifically the role of copper in immune function and reproduction of ruminants.  He spent 10 years in dairy production managing and then owning a dairy prior to entering the feed industry.  His roles in the feed industry have focused on technical and sales support for nutritionists and sales consultants as they develop programs that help beef and dairy producers improve profitability.    

What motivates me:  I look forward to the challenge of helping our customers expand the products, programs and services they offer that generate higher returns for their beef and dairy producers.  My focus is improving income over feed cost through greater forage utilization and improving animal health thus enhancing efficiency by producing more pounds with fewer inputs.

Mark Robbins, MS 
Nutritionist, Research and Nutrition Services Manager

Education: South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD.  Both BS, Animal Science ‘84 and MS, Ruminant Nutrition ‘94

Past livestock industry work experience: Manager for 8 years at the SDSU Research Feedlot, Brookings SD. Research and Nutrition Services Manager for 16 years with Ridley Block Operations.       

A description of yourself and your work interest: Mark was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in Eastern South Dakota.  Early on in his career his interests were with feedlot nutrition and management.  For the past 16 years with Ridley, his focus has been with cow-calf and grazing animal nutrition, specifically with self-fed supplements.  Today, Mark lives in Northeast Wyoming, and offices in Whitewood, SD.

What motivates me: I am motivated by the knowledge that there is an easier and often better way to supplement grazing animals.  Let’s embrace new technology to make our lives better.  There was a time when all you had to do, to get ahead, was work hard.  Today you also need to work “smart”.  

Dan Dhuyvetter, MS, Ph.D. 
Ruminant Nutritionist, Director of Marketing, R&D and Nutrition Services

Education: BS: North Dakota State University, MS: Montana State University, Ph.D.: New Mexico State University

Past livestock industry work experience:  NDSU Extension Service as an Asst. County Extension Agent, County Extension Agent, Area Grazing and Livestock Specialist and State Beef Cow-Calf Nutritionist. Beef Cow-calf Nutritionist with Farmland Industries.  Southern Operations Manager with Ridley Block Operations.

A description of yourself and your work interest:
  Dan is a native of North Dakota where he spent 12 years in the Extension service with county, area and state-wide appointments before entering the Feed Industry.  His interests have been focused on grazing ruminants and his Ph. D. research looked specifically at the effects of nutrition on reproduction in beef cows.  Today Dan is involved with the process of developing CRYSTALYX® products, introducing them to the marketplace and then maintaining their consistency and performance in the field.
What motivates me:  I am continually looking for ways to create value for our customers.  In particular I want to help cow-calf producers and stocker operators improve their efficiencies by providing free-choice supplement solutions that help get more from their forages.  Greater, livestock performance, greater production efficiencies, greater returns.