Kent News

Kent Nutrition Group – Feed and J.D. Heiskell Finalize Joint Venture

Companies jointly operate Gold Star Feed and Grain, LLC dairy feed mills


Effective October 1, 2012, J.D. Heiskell & Company (JDHCo) and Kent Nutrition Group (KNG) have begun operating a joint venture known as Gold Star Feed and Grain, LLC. The business will provide mixed dairy feeds, feed commodities, mineral packages, and other nutrition inputs to the dairy operators in the northeastern US.

As the operating partner for the venture, JDHCo will provide management and capital for the enterprise, and Kent will contribute four feed mills in Sangerfield and Adams Center NY, Brandon VT, and Augusta ME, as well as proprietary nutritional products. The combination of resources, capabilities and a long history in the feed and commodities industries provides an expanded opportunity for both companies and for northeastern dairymen.


“We are excited to begin operation as Gold Star Feed and Grain'” said Gage A. Kent, CEO and CHB Kent Corporation.  “This joint venture allows our customers to benefit from the great traditions of both KNG and JDHCo by serving the industry based on science, strong core values and dedication to excellence.”


“We believe that this joint venture will best provide for our customers’ success,” said KNG Feed President John Thorpe. “The future for Gold Star is exciting. New products and services will soon be available to our markets in the northeast.”


“Together, KNG and JDHCo will provide competitive ingredient sourcing, logistics, feed manufacturing and nutritional expertise that will best serve local dairy farmers in the northeast with a locally managed partnership,” said Ryan Pellett, COO for J.D. Heiskell & Co.


Local management will be led by Andrew Dugan, who will act as General Manager for the venture.  A Cornell graduate with a long history in the grain and feed industries and years of local experience in the northeast, Dugan is the owner of Sangerfield Grain in Sangerfield, NY. His business operations are currently being merged into those of Gold Star Feed and Grain in a move that should present Dugan and his team an even greater base from which to deliver the most competitively priced feeds possible to area customers.


“I have worked with the Dairy Team for quite a few years as the Sales Leader for KNG Feed Dairy Division,” Andy Dugan said.  “Our Operations and Sales people are solid, and they are fully focused on customer service.  As Gold Star, we now have new tools to create an advantage for the team through competitive pricing, which will benefit our dairy customers and enable us to grow here in the Northeast.”


“Feeding dairies is what we do,” noted JDHCo CHB Scot Hillman. “Counting the three northeast states served by Gold Star, JDHCo now operates dairy feed manufacturing facilities in eight different states.  KNG operates feed plants in several states as well. We are both privately held, family companies playing at a level where we can be nimble and responsive to market conditions, while still bringing the logistics abilities and trade volumes of larger industry players. I am confident that longtime customers in the northeast market will quickly feel and appreciate the improved set of feeding options Gold Star will bring them.”


Kent Nutrition Group, Inc. has been serving customers since 1927. Kent’s Feed Division operates throughout the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, New York and northeastern United States under the Kent and Blue Seal master brands. Kent’s Pet Division supports the World’s Best Cat Litter, Native Performance Dog Food, and By Nature pet food brands.


J.D. Heiskell & Co. ( is a privately-held, professionally managed grain, commodity trading and livestock feed manufacturing enterprise with locations in nine western states. Founded in 1886, the company trades grains and commodities throughout the western US and into Mexico and the Pacific Rim countries.