Diamond Trail Feed employees shown are Rodney Verwers, owner Byron Eekhoff, manager Mitchell Eekhoff, and Arie Scholten. "We found a wonderful sign on the side of the mill from days gone by when the business was Tice Feed," Byron said. The mural, visible on the mill in the photo, has been hidden by a grain bin for many years.
Effective Oct. 1, Diamond Trail Feed opened in Lynnville at the former Renaud Feed Center Inc. location at the top of the hill at 505 Hilltop Street. New owners Byron and Cindy Eekhoff of Pella will operate Diamond Trail Feed as a division of H&S Feed and Country Store, which they own in Oskaloosa. Eekhoffs are the parents of three grown children, including their son Mitchell Eekhoff who manages the Lynnville location. The Eekhoffs bring knowledge and experience in the agricultural business and community.
“To continue the legacy Dennis and Melanie built and to complement the H&S location with grind and mix services,” Byron said are the reasons they purchased the Lynnville business.
Their plans include, “Removing some old equipment and installing some updated equipment and ingredient capacity,” Byron continued. “We will continue to carry ADM and DeKalb Feeds and will also stock Purina products as well. We offer grind and mix services with expanded ingredients to focus on primarily serving the area cattle producers. The business will have a grain bank for corn, but we will not be storing oats or soybeans this year.”
“The people, products, and services customers are used to will remain the same, and we stand ready to serve you without interruption,” Byron said. Renauds’ employees Rodney Verwers, Arie Scholten, and Keith Renaud will continue working at the business with the Eekhoffs. Initially, hours of operation will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday with the same phone number 641-527-2400. Customers communicating with the business via texting and emailing will be available soon.
Melanie and the late Dennis Renaud started Renaud Feed Service in 1985 in a building east of the 1st State Bank in Lynnville. They sold bagged and bulk feed that Dennis picked up from the feed plant with his first bulk feed truck.
In 1987, Roger and Phyllis Tice approached Dennis about buying their grain elevator at 505 Hilltop Street, and Renaud Feed Service took over Tice Feed and Grain Inc. in January 1988. They incorporated a few years later and became Renaud Feed Center Inc. There have been many changes throughout the years. They have sold many different brands and kinds of feed, and they added a grain leg, grain bin, several bulk bins, and a soybean extruder.
“There have also been many changes in the livestock business in the past 37 years with the hog industry being one of the biggest,” Melanie said. “Dennis loved what he did and always went the extra mile for his customers.”
“A special thank you to our many dedicated employees over the years and the kind people who have diligently continued to help during Dennis’ illness,” Melanie continued. “We are also thankful for faithful customers who have made it possible for us to keep doing what Dennis loved for so many years. Dennis passed away from a long battle with neuroendocrine cancer in June. Dennis would be pleased to have the business continue, and Byron and Mitchell have been so kind and helpful in the transition. They will continue to provide great service to our customers and the community.”
Founded in 1981, H&S Feed, built on service after the sale, was purchased by Eekhoffs in 2004. They have expanded retail to serve animal and pet owners in southeast Iowa with a full line of made-in-America pet treats, toys, over 140 pet foods in stock, self-service pet wash, full line of Purina livestock and acreage animal feed and supplies, creep feeder rental and sales, cattle feed, and are Iowa’s Best Traeger Dealer for wood-fired pellet grills. H&S offers a propane bottle refill station and has a department that serves the greater Des Moines-area horse community with bag and bulk Purina horse nutrition.
“Our family would like to thank the Lynnville community for their many years of support,” said Melanie. “We are happy that the hard work Dennis put into caring for his customers at Renaud Feed Center will continue. A special thank you to Rodney, Keith, Arie, and multiple others who continued the great service at Renaud Feed when Dennis couldn’t continue doing what he loved.”
“We feel very blessed to have the opportunity to continue the feed business Renauds have built in the area and are excited to be a part of the Lynnville Community,” Byron said. A grand opening open house is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 18.