LVI Manufacturing was founded in 1946, as a tractor repair shop in Richland, PA. Since then, the company has spread its wings, buying a 9,000 square foot warehouse in 1971 and a 9,100 square foot service department space. Fifteen years ago, the company added an additional 3,800 square feet to its operations to begin fabricating, welding, and more repair work.
In 2008, the company moved to manufacturing litter processors with the goal of developing strong machines with a bang for their buck to meet the industry’s growing litter conditioning and composting demands.
“Basically LVI was a farm equipment dealership and was working with a local poultry grower that came to us with a composting product that was not working well at all,” Manufacturing National Sales Manager Jay Zimmerman says. “He asked if we could do something to make this work, and after looking at it, our design fellow in our shop said, ‘Hey I can build you something from scratch that would work better than what you had.’ That is where it all started."
“It worked so well that other farmers started asking for it. We got so many requests we started putting it into production.”
LVI Manufacturing, which started as Lebanon Valley Implement but has since been bought out by a larger company that kept the acronym for the product line, is named for its county of origin and has a variety of products. Each of their products are designed, engineered, and built in the United States. Models include the Kompost King, the Deluxe Litter processor and the SL-84, the Rooster Thunder Sweeper Blower, Litter Level Hydraulic Box Blade and the PuLVImaster 96. Almost all of the equipment is designed to easily attach with standard 3pt attachments except for the Rooster Thunder Sweeper Blower, which is designed to attach to the front of a skid loader or tractor.
Zimmerman says LVI Manufacturing is committed to careful selection of quality materials and American craftsmanship. He also noted all equipment includes a protective coat of TGIC polyester powder finish to assure long-lasting rust prevention which creates an overall well finished product. “There are other products on the market. Of course ours are probably the top of the line when it comes to quality building and engineering, but we are probably the most expensive out there too,” Zimmerman says. “People know LVI and will ask for us by name.” Bedding costs will only continue to rise, but there is a cheaper and more effective alternative that not only benefits your wallet but also your farm as a whole, according to Zimmerman, who has been around poultry for most of his life. The windrower uses a natural process of sterilizing the unwanted litter that involves an aerobic composting technique to heat and disinfect the litter within three to four days.
“A lot of people are letting the bedding material sit up to a year or more and they recondition it, but with the windrowing process you actually take the bedding material into a heat process which lowers the pathogen count and provides a healthier overall bedding for the next batch of chicks,” Zimmerman says. “This process is a way to grow and produce healthier birds. While small amounts of bacteria remain in the bedding, it is a small amount that does not compromise their immune system. It is an inoculant, almost like a vaccine, to protect them. The healthier the bird the better, so it pays back pretty quick.”
Integrators across the nation, such as Tyson and Sanderson Farms, are moving toward windrowing and LVI is an accepted brand for farmers working with integrators as grow out facilities.
Zimmerman has been selling LVI products for about 12 years. He says his career, along with the LVI Manufacturing, has grown exponentially. The company still has a bright future to go along with its humble beginnings.
“The Compost Commander is our newest, latest model. One of the biggest benefits is that you have the equipment in front of the machine in the direction you are going,” he says. “All the other models do great, but they are behind the tractor, and you are constantly looking back. It is a great machine, but it requires a machine that has front power take off. No one else in the industry has anything like it, so it is really exciting.” Specifications for the Compost Commander will soon be available on LVI's website.
Zimmerman says he is passionate about the products he sells and is proud to see innovative techniques and equipment come from his company to the industry as a whole. LVI Manufacturing has dealerships available across the Eastern United States and those interested in learning more can visit LVI’s website at https://www.lvimfg.com to find information on products and dealership locator. The company website also includes guidelines on compositing poultry litter as well as tips on when, how and why to compost litter.
Article above from American Poultry Farmer magazine, c/o AmericanPoultryCompany,Inc
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