By Shirley Shuman
Chapman Farms and Feed LLC, located off the Servia-Elmira Road about a mile from I-79, began operation in May. Channing and Tashauna Chapman own the business, which had an interesting beginning. She explained how her husband’s interest in providing the best food for their herd of cattle led to their opening the store.
“Because Channing wanted to be sure our cattle received the best feed, he began making it himself,” she said. Continuing, she explained that her husband did whatever research was needed to determine the ingredients and the amount of each that would provide the best food for cattle. Next, using a huge grinder, he combined the ingredients and then bagged the food. The business actually began after his friends saw what he was doing and asked him to sell them food for their animals. “In order to do that, we had to have a manufacturing permit from the WV Department of Agriculture and of course a business permit,” Chapman noted.
The Chapmans sell feed for most domestic animals. Channing has developed recipes for cattle, sheep, and hog food and makes those to sell in the business. Other feeds which they sell they buy from wholesalers. All food which he makes is corn based, his wife explained. “Most species can eat corn, and it is a good base ingredient,” she said. “He has a scientific formula for each,” she noted. The corn he uses he trucks in from a cousin’s large farm in Ohio.
All feed that Channing Chapman makes to sell must be inspected and analyzed. Inspectors from the WV Department of Agriculture check the feed to determine that ingredients match what is listed on the tags. In addition to that inspection, the Chapmans must send samples of their feed to a lab in New York for “a guaranteed analysis.” Here the nutritional value of the feed is analyzed.
Channing Chapman also takes custom orders for feed. For example, one of his customers is a dairy farmer, a herd-share farmer. She orders feed from him. Not many here have dairy cattle, and apparently that feed is not readily available. She has a recipe which he uses to manufacture her feed, and she picks it up weekly. He is willing to do that for others, too.
Of course, Chapman Farms and Feed sell more than just animal feed. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.to 2 p.m., they sell de-wormer, salt blocks, ear tags, medicines and many other items that animal owners need.