What began with two veterinarians sharing a desk at a Worthington veterinary clinic has grown into the region’s agribusiness headquarters.
In 1994, the agriculture industry in Southwest Minnesota was in a state of flux. Veterinarians Wayne Freese and Craig Pfeifer, owners of the Veterinary Medical Center, realized that the key to longevity and expansion in this changing market was diversification. So, the two began to lay the foundation for what would grow to become an agricultural-based center. They began to expand their business offerings to include autogenous biologics and diagnostics (Newport Laboratories). Eventually, as their customer base continued to grow and expand into surrounding states, they saw additional opportunities.
As the decade drew to a close, the Prairie Holdings Group began to take form, with businesses such as ProPig being added to the mix. Each company provided services to others within the organization, along with serving outside clientele.
With dedicated, focused employees, quality products, and an emphasis on personalized customer service, the Prairie Holdings Group of companies continued to grow and expand.
In 2005, the company moved its corporate and sales offices to the location at the Prairie Holdings Center, a landmark red building located just off of Interstate 90 on the north edge of Worthington. With the sale of Newport Laboratories in 2012, Plans began for the new state of the art 24,000 foot facility that would bring many of the Prairie Holdings Companies into one central location. Completed in 2014 Prairie Holdings Group is now located at 1525 Bioscience Drive in Worthington, MN.
One of the cornerstones of the PHG family is a consistent drive to discover and utilize the latest technological developments in the industry. This drive has enabled the PHG companies to not only continually increase their quality and range of services, but also to offer better opportunities to the consumer.
"Technology usually drives innovation," said Dr. Freese, "and technology in agriculture is constantly changing. Along with technology comes the ability to lower costs, and this technology is usually the driver behind change. I think, over the past ten to fifteen years, we've been a part of that change in agriculture."
While all of the PHG companies have embraced and pushed new technology, it is old-fashioned "people skills" that have remained at the core.
In every company, customer service is made to be a priority, whether the "customer" is an outdoorsman purchasing Ani-Logics Outdoors deer supplements, a ProPig producer with a question, or a pet owner discussing a yearly checkup with a veterinarian at VMC.
As Dr. Freese noted, without this focus on putting the customer first, PHG would not be at the point it is today, nor would it be continuing on that path.
"Really, when it boils down to it, people do business with people," he said. "We are here for the customer. We aren’t just selling our products and telling the customer what to do – the customer is first, and whatever the customer needs, we will try to provide. We’re here only because we have good people, we provide good services, and we do a good job."