Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, left, on a guided tour with D&D Ingredients General Manager Ted Wiiliams. Daniels made the stop in Delphos on Wednesday as part of a state-wide effort to celebrate National Agriculture Week. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, left, on a guided tour with D&D Ingredients General Manager Ted Wiiliams. Daniels made the stop in Delphos on Wednesday as part of a state-wide effort to celebrate National Agriculture Week. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)

DELPHOS — Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels visited D&D Ingredients, Inc., west of Landeck on Wednesday as part of a statewide effort to check in with his constituents.

D&D Ingredients provides nutritional feed ingredients which include trace mineral and vitamin premixes that are used in the production of animal feeds for dairy, swine, beef, poultry, pet and equine. Dairy feed makes up 60 percent of the business’s production.

D&D General Manager Ted Williams led a tour of the facility, showing Director Daniels the day-to-day operations. The company includes 500 acres under roof with up to $8 million in inventory of product at any given time.

A trip through the processing plant shows racks and racks of ingredients ready to be mixed for customers. Vitamins, minerals and other additives lined other shelves as tow motors moved pallets from room to room for production.

“D&D is the perfect example of what I tell people about agriculture,” Daniels said. “Not everyone in agriculture sits on a tractor or a planter. Agriculture is still a huge business in this country and it touches everyone’s lives in ways they haven’t even thought of from the clothes they wear to what they eat and more.”

Agriculture generates $105 billion in economic activity and accounts for one of every seven jobs in the U.S. D&D Ingredients started as a mom-and-pop operation and has grown to employee nearly 100 between the processing plant and transportation divisions.

More than 15,000 trucks enter and leave the property a year, usually traveling withing a 200-mile radius. Eight to 10 containers a week are shipped by rail which travels through D&D’s property.

Last week, D&D shipped its first product to California, the farthest they have sent product in the United States.

“One thing we’ve been blessed with is good animal numbers.” Williams said. “Ohio is very strong in dairy, swine and poultry [industries]. We are located in the center of a three-state area that is strong in livestock in livestock agriculture, so it was a fortunate place for the family to start the business.”

D&D also relies on trade as Vitamin B is the only vitamin produced in the Unites States. Other vitamins are secured from other countries, mainly China.

“The ability to trade over borders is very important, whether it’s incoming product or product going out the other side,” Daniels said. “We are continuing to point out that trade is the lifeblood of what we do.”

D&D is always interested in new regulations concerning feed and additives. Daniels and his office keep everyone in the loop administering numerous regulatory, food safety and consumer protection programs for the benefit of all.

Daniels says his department’s main focus this year will be on water quality and reducing the amount of phosphates that run off into waterways.

“We are working closely with farmers to find solutions to chemical run-off. No one wants to see all their hard work and money wash away,” Daniels added.

Donald “Doc” and Dorothy Miller started D&D Grain in September 1976 as an oats cleaning company to help support their large family of seven children.

“Doc” purchased an oats cleaner and began buying oats from local elevators and farmers. Once cleaned, the oats were sold and shipped to Kentucky for racehorses. This allowed the company to pick up distillers in Kentucky at whiskey distillers and then deliver them to customers in Eastern Ohio. This led to picking up feed grade salt from salt mines in Eastern Ohio, which was then packaged into 50-pound bags. This began the process of adding additional ingredients to feed manufacturers throughout the United States. To date, D&D offers more than 500 products.
In January 1989, the company changed its name to D&D Ingredient Distributors Inc., to reflect that the business was dealing more in feed ingredients than grains.
As of 2016, D&D has 320,000-plus-square feet of warehouse space, in addition to 1,425 tons of overhead storage and 4,500 tons of flat storage for bulk materials. D&D has a staff of 100 employees.
D&D serves 26 states, with a major market of customers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Michigan, and 30 countries.