After 42 years of feeding cattle commercially, Knight Feedlot will merge with Innovative Livestock Services operations on Jan. 1. ILS is a diversified cattle feeding and farming operation with headquarters in Great Bend. ILS owns and operates nine feedyards in Kansas and Nebraska. Total feeding capacity including the Knight yard is approximately 165,000 head. ILS has offices in Manhattan, where the risk management, cattle procurement, and grain procurement teams are located. Lee Borck is the CEO ofiLS.
At one time, Knight Feedlot, Inc. stockholders were involved in Thomas County Feeders of Colby and Barton County Feeders of Ellinwood. Thomas County Feeders merged with ILS in 2006. Barton County Feeders merged on Jan. 1 of 2013.
Kenny Knight, President of Knight Feedlot, has been on the ILS board of directors since 2006 and will continue to serve in that capacity. Mark Knight, manager of Knight Feedlot, will continue to manage the Lyons location. Kenny Knight said, “There should be very few changes. We will be Knight Feedlot, a division of ILS.” Knight Feedlot Inc. has a capacity of 15,900 head.
The Knight Feedlot merger with ILS will insure the presence of the Lyons facility into the next generation. Many industries, including feedyards, have consolidated to become more efficient by operating under one umbrella. Cattle feeding customers are expecting more services to be provided by the feedyards and this merger will accommodate those needs.
Knight Feedlot was started in late 1971 by brothers Kenny and Don Knight, and their families. They remain the largest stockholders. Other stockholders are long-time feedyard employees.
Knight Farms Inc., a separate entity owned by the Knight Families and their long-time employees, will continue and is not affected by the feed yard merger.