Nov 11, 2011
by WLJ

Irv Haidle, the founder and president of the 2010 Montana Family Business of the Year, Agri-Best Feeds, died Sept. 30, 2011, as a result of injuries sustained in an auto accident in Broken Bow, NE.

Irv’s siblings, children, and grandchildren were able to make it to the hospital before he died. Family meant so much to Irv, and it was only fitting that the family be with him at the time of his death. Irv’s faith in Jesus Christ was the most important thing to him, which he lived out in every aspect of his life. God’s peace and comfort has filled his family based on God’s promises, Irv’s example, and experiencing the outpouring of love from people all around the world.

Irv introduced Agri-Best Feeds and the SweetPro line of products at the NILE show in 2006 after two years of trials, using the products on his own cattle. SweetPro claimed that mature cattle on SweetPro would consume 25 percent less forage and still perform as well or better. This seemed to be “too good to be true” to Irv, so he did a couple of trials on his own ranch in Prairie County to test this claim. He put mature cows on test in a dry lot with eight round bale feeders, with the supplement that he had been using, and monitored the days that it took his cattle to consume the hay. He then replaced his supplement with SweetPro, refilled the bale feeders, and in a six-week time, the hay was lasting 28 percent longer. He duplicated the trial two years in a row.

With this experience, he began to seek to understand the reasons this product is performing so well and telling others about it.

By the spring of 2007, the demand for the product had expanded in volume and in area, so Irv had to decide if he was going to keep his business as a large dealership that he could handle himself, or set up a distribution system that would make the product available anywhere in Montana. Irv talked with his family and decided to form a family corporation that he would lead to put the systems, structures and marketing into place to meet the current and future needs—Agri-Best Feeds, Inc. was born.

By the end of 2009, Agri-Best had expanded to include four full-time employees, over 70 independent dealers in seven states, and over $2 million in sales, as well as adding the Redmond Natural Trace Mineral product line to their SweetPro product line. By the summer of 2011, Agri-Best Feeds had earned the exclusive marketing rights for the SweetPro products in Montana, Wyoming and most of Nebraska.

All of Agri-Best’s products must meet three criteria: 1) What is best for the animal (health & performance); 2) Must improve forage utilization; and 3) Must maximize the producer’s profits.

For more information on Agri-Best Feeds and their product lines, go to

While Irv’s death was unexpected, Irv lived his life in such a way that he has left behind a legacy of faith and honesty that will continue to impact his family, friends and ag business for many years to come.