When Lyle Hill and Wally Henderson started Vita Plus in 1948, they started with an idea. They felt livestock owners could feed their stock more economically and at the same time increase productivity. They could do this by utilizing more of the minerals and vitamins just starting to become available. But rather than sell a complete feed with the grains and protein sources also included, Lyle and Wally would sell a basemix to save the customer money. This was a new approach to livestock feeding.
Vita Plus started small, in a barn outside of Madison, WI but quickly grew to a modest 50’x50’ block building. In 1958, the feed manufacturing tower (still in use today) was built as a testament to where we intended to be. With a new facility and then the hiring of a nutritionist, Art Palmer, Vita Plus took another major step. The business was primarily swine and poultry feed, but recognizing the potential, an emphasis was placed on the dairy feed market.
The company continued to gradually expand its borders to reach new customers in the Midwest. Ed Gustafson took over leadership of Vita Plus when Lyle Hill retired in 1976. Ed (or "Gus" as he was known) was President for about 10 years before retiring and relinquishing the title to our current President and CEO, Robert Tramburg.
The pride that emplo
yees share in their company goes back to the creation of an ESOP in 1986. Today we have many more employees and service a larger market area, but employees understand their important roles in making our company a success, just as they did when they first acquired ownership.
As Vita Plus grew, it became apparent that organizing all entities under one holding company made business sense and in 1999 VP Holdings was created to accommodate our various businesses including Vita Plus Corporation. We continue to serve the changing needs of a modern livestock industry.