By Tallitha Reese
The new Darlington Feed and Ag Center has been seeing a lot of walk in traffic since its opening on Monday, Oct. 14.
“It’s been going excellent so far,” said owner and manager Matt Weigel, 30 of Belmont. “We’ve had a bunch of people come in to see what we’ve got.”
The Darlington Feed and Ag Center features a variety of livestock and pet food including brands such as Kent, Nutrena, Blue Seal and Vitaferm. The center also has bird feed and feeders.
“We also offer free samples of pet food,” said Weigel, “so people can try out some different things.” The center will also take requests from customers if they don’t have just what you’re looking for.
“I can get about anything and will get anything customers need,” said Weigel. “I just had a guy in the other day looking for pheasant feed and now I’ve got it ordered for him.”
Bulk feeds will also be available as well as mixed feeds, which will be done by Economy Feed Mill and mixed with locally grown grains.
Darlington Feed and Ag Center will also offer free delivery to customers as well as a discount if customers pick their feed orders up themselves. “I really want to push the service,” explained Weigel.
In addition to the variety of feeds offered, the center will also have livestock equipment and show products available for purchase.
“I specialize in beef cattle and show products personally,” said Weigel, who has shown cattle since he was five-years-old and currently helps work the 500-acre family beef farm with his younger brother, Miles and father Mark.
Weigel also has past experience working in a feed store and thinks he really has what it takes to make the jump into starting up the feed store successful.
Weigel came up with the idea to start up a feed store in Darlington about a year ago and mentioned it to the owner of Economy Feed Mill, which is based out of Bloomington, who hired him with the intent of starting up the Darlington Feed and Ag Center in about a year’s time.
“I think it’ll go over really well,” said Weigel. “I’ve already had people come in and say they’re very happy I’m here. Darlington is a very ag friendly town, so it’s a good place to have a feed store.”
Currently Weigel is the only active employee, although another person has been hired and will be starting soon and the center will look at hiring additional help as they grow and figure things out.
In addition to offering the purchase of feed and other animal care products, Weigel said he really wants to stress the “buy local” idea and really be a part of the community. “I want to support the community and sponsor events and things like that. I want to support the people who support us,” he said.
Lately Weigel has been preparing for the Darlington Feed and Ag Center grand opening on Friday, Nov. 1 and Saturday, Nov. 2 during regular store hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. He’s even got family helping him out. His mom, Rita has been helping him decorate the place. “She’s got better taste than me,” said Weigel with a laugh.
There will be door prizes, specials, free food and drawings for Packer tickets as well as one ton of feed during the grand opening days.
The Darlington Feed and Ag Center is located at 11532 State Road 23 in Darlington at the intersection of State Highway 23 and County Road K. The store can be reached by phone at 608-776-3862 or online at www.darlingtonfeedagcenter.com.