Keep the “Cow” Factory Running with Good Nutrition Powered by Amaferm®

“This is one of the most efficient factories on earth. And we can help you keep it that way.”  

That quote isn’t about an auto manufacturing plant. Or even a widget factory. It is about something we are all more familiar with – the cow. Even back in the middle part of the 20th century, one visionary in the livestock business understood the importance of keeping the cow herd running efficiently with high-quality nutrition. 

“Most of the time, cattle do what Mother Nature designed them to do. They turn roughage and feedstuffs into meat and milk. And they do so more efficiently than any other factory I know of,” said Larry Ehlert, BioZyme’s founder in an ad in a series from the 1980s.  

In 1958, Ehlert started the “Vita Ferm System” as a logical and economical means of benefitting those farm and ranch families involved in the livestock industries. The key component to his Vita Ferm System was an ingredient called Amaferm®, an unheard-of direct fed microbial. He purchased the patent and rights to Amaferm from its inventor, H.E. Kistner after starting his own nutrition company, Ehlert’s Guaranteed Feeds in the stockyards of Saint Joseph, Missouri.  

Since that early beginning of the Vita Ferm System, BioZyme has grown to a global company that not only focuses on making VitaFerm® for beef cattle but has also introduced the Gain Smart® line for weaned calves and stocker cattle and has product lines for horses, dogs, goats, sheep, poultry and show livestock.  

Amaferm is research-proven with more than 100 published and/or presented studies proving its increase in digestibility and ultimately its impact on the animal.  

Even in that 1980s ad campaign, Ehlert was talking about efficiency and sustainability, proving that care that comes full circle has long been a focus of BioZyme and its founders. 

“More total rumen fermentation means more efficient use of roughage and variable nutrient feedstuffs… More meat and milk. Less manure. Better overall performance,” the ad continued. 

Amaferm is still derived from a proprietary, multi-step fermentation process from a patented strain of Aspergillus oryzae, made in Saint Joseph. It stimulates fungal branching, enzymatic activity and bacterial growth in the rumen. These stimulated microbes work synergistically to further break down feed ingredients, independent of diet composition and type. This breakdown leads to improvements in digestibility of NDF and CP by 17 and 10 percent, respectively. The stimulation of bacteria is economically relevant because more bacteria growing means more fermentative capacity and microbial protein synthesis. Research proves that cattle fed Amaferm produce 16% more volatile fatty acids and 143 more grams of microbial protein each day. When coupled with a 30% improvement of small intestinal absorption, that’s enough energy and protein equivalent to a pound of supplemented corn and soybean meal available for the cow or stocker.    

“More energy and protein unlocked from within means more performance, better body condition scores on your cows and more live calves, leading to more profit. VitaFerm and Gain Smart mineral products provide the premium nutrition producers need to make the most out of expensive feeds and forages and capitalize on the genetics of their operation,” said Chris Cassady, Ph.D., BioZyme® Inc. Technical Beef Sales Field Manager.  

Just like Larry Ehlert added Amaferm to his “Vita Ferm System” more than 60 years ago, BioZyme is still the only maker of Amaferm and adds it to every product it makes for beef cattle. Because it is important to offer more than just a mineral to every beef animal in production, BioZyme adds Amaferm to its multitude of products in the VitaFerm and Gain Smart lines, including VitaFerm Concept•Aid®, VitaFerm Conserve®, and Gain Smart. Even today, those cattle are still the most efficient factory, thanks to AO-Biotics ® Amaferm ®, a prebiotic to support digestibility.  

To learn more about the VitaFerm mineral that is right for your operation or to locate a dealer, visit Your factories will be glad you did. 

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