One of Fennimore’s best-kept secrets, Immuno-Dynamics, is celebrating its 35th anniversary with an open house later this month.
Immuno-Dynamics, 1800 Dodge Street, will open its doors in Fennimore’s Industrial Park on Tuesday, Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Lunch, in the form of brats, beef sticks and cheese from the local area will be served.
“The whole purpose of doing it is to get the word out about what we do and give people the opportunity not just to come but the opportunity to actually look around the plant,” Immuno-Dynamics Administrative Assistant Jeni Neis said. “We would like to help more people locally that could use the animal and human products that have no idea we have something that can help them.”
Visitors to the open house will find a booth for Immuno-Dynamics’ animal products, as well as its human product, PerCoBa. A tour will also be offered.
“If anyone is interested in selling their surplus first milking bovine colostrum, we will have someone they can talk to about that,” Neis said.
Immuno-Dynamics was founded in 1979 by Dr. Richard Cockrum. Cockrum sold his veterinary practice in April 1981 to devote himself full-time to the study, research, processing and production of the highest quality colostrum products available.
Colostrum is a milky fluid produced by humans, cows and other mammals the first few days after giving birth. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, that fight disease-causing agents such as bacteria and viruses (further information can be found at www.colostrum.com).
Led by Cockrum’s son, Mark Burton, Immuno-Dynamics serves customers throughout the world, including North America, Europe, southeast Asia and Africa.
“Our niche is producing the highest quality products in the world,” Burton said. “Other companies will grow faster or bigger because they will sell a lesser product to a larger population, but, we remain true to and expand on our history.
“We don’t chase the biggest market, we know there is always a market for the best and we strive every day to supply it.”
While Immuno-Dynamics has come a long way in 35 years – its first production facility was a 40-year-old former cheese factory – so has the industry.
“When my father started working with this, he had a huge population of animals to work with,” Burton said. “He demonstrated to himself that it works across species and across age of an individual species.
“Even so, he would have been considered a fringe thinker. Since that time, there have been so many things learned about colostrum and its abilities that it is now accepted and understood by people that there is incredible value and applications.”
Burton’s favorite offering is VitaPak Dairy, which enhances breeding and is preventative against mastitis.
“It is very satisfying when we get another dairy using this product,” Burton explained. “Cows are working all the time and you have to appreciate that. When you can help them feel better by reducing infections and increasing their ability to handle stresses like intense heat it’s rewarding.
“The result is increased milk quality, which increases cheese quality, etc., and it makes money for dairymen. If they are spending 10 cents a day with us, they are typically making anywhere from three to five times the product cost through reduced infections and improved breeding and production.”
Immuno-Dynamics’ human product, PerCoBa: Products for Human Consumption, supports the immune system, increases energy and stamina, and overall body function. It is available in powder form, lozenges and capsules.
For over 20 years, Dodgeville was home to the Immuno-Dynamics production facility, while Perry, Iowa, was home to the company office. The possibility of consolidating the two locations into one facility was first discussed in late 2003.
While numerous existing structures in southwest Wisconsin were considered, it was ultimately decided to build a new facility in Fennimore’s industrial park.
Burton recalled the receptiveness of city leaders and Promotions Coordinator Linda Parrish. He also enjoyed the aesthetic appeal of the industrial park.
“This is a beautiful industrial park, we look out here and we don’t see chain link fences,” he said. “We are looking across several miles of beautiful country.”
Plant Manager Mike Helms, a Fennimore native who grew up in the dairy industry, is thankful not only for the beautiful countryside but also the hardworking farmers that call it their home.
“We are around the best farmers in the world,” he said. “It is refreshing that we are able to help farmers financially, and in turn we are collecting some of the best colostrum in the world because we are right here in this community.”
“Fennimore is in the heart of what is still predominately family-owned dairy farms,” Burton added. “We enjoy being able to work with family operations.”
Helms has been a part of the Immuno-Dynamics team for a little over five years.
“I have got to see just how much we have grown not only in collection processes but in the manufacturing side as well,” he said. “We are continually trying to tweak equipment to make it the best in the world and we do exactly that.”
In the year ahead, Immuno-Dynamics will release another product for acute calf stress periods, as well as a product for treatment of mastitis. A stronger formulation of VitaPak Dairy is also on the way.
“We are always working on different things and different products,” Helms said. “There are so many possibilities we can try to help people or animals.
“That is rewarding for all of us.”
What is the secret to Immuno-Dynamics’ sustained success?
“Having people that continually pay attention to what they are doing and try to be better tomorrow than today is how you stay in business,” Burton said. “My definition of success is not simply sales, it is to maintain and improve on our position in the industry, promoting regulatory and consumer acceptance and making the best product available.
“We are doing that.”