VINTON–Dave Jones, manager of Southern States Cooperative’s Roanoke Feed Mill in Vinton accepted the 2012 Feed Mill of the Year Award from the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA ) and “Feedstuffs” magazine at a ceremony on January 15.
Keith Epperson, AFIA Vice President for Manufacturing and Training, made the trip to Vinton to make the presentation at the Southern States facility on Walnut Avenue. The AFIA is the world’s largest trade association representing the feed industry.
Dignitaries from the Town of Vinton, Roanoke County, the Southern States cooperative, and the AFIA were on hand to congratulate Jones and his employees on their accomplishment.
Jones applied for the award as a means of improving his operation, a fine tuning process that has been ongoing for years as advances in technology have been made in the industry and at the local facility. The Vinton Southern States, first established in 1935, invested over $4 million in 1982 in expanding and updating the plant, including installation of the 180 foot tall grain elevator.
Competition for the AFIA award is fierce, with over 100 mills across North America working to earn the coveted honor.
In accepting the award, Jones thanked his employees, mentors, and predecessors for their dedication and hard work, and his family for their support.
“We wouldn’t have this day if it weren’t for you,” said Jones in addressing a room full of Southern States employees.
“We have high standards that we try to keep for our company and our customers,” said Jim Moore, Vice President for the Southern States feed division, in commending the employees at the Vinton plant. “You do things right every day because it’s the right thing to do.”
“Southern States is an important part of our community here in Vinton,” said Vinton Mayor Brad Grose. “You are great corporate citizens who make a great contribution to our community not only by providing jobs for our citizens, but also by supporting Town activities.”
Grose went on to mention a sizable donation made by Southern States to the High Ground Monument at the Vinton War Memorial and specifically thanked Jones for his nine years of service on the Planning Commission. Jones has worked for Southern States for almost 40 years, the last 26 as manager of the Vinton operation.