History

The story of the Furst-McNess Company has been called “the best of Americana.” Frank E. Furst and Frederick W. McNess, came of age as entrepreneurs in the small industrial town of Freeport, IL in 1908.  Their horse and buggy direct sales company soon became a leading force in the evolving agribusiness industry. Now, the Furst-McNess Company is a multinational family business in its fourth generation, celebrating over 100 years of business success.

The family business has weathered many periods of change and upheaval during the past 100 plus years. Our leadership and dedicated employees have continually strived to serve with integrity and honesty. Through this dedication to excellence, Furst-McNess has survived the trials of history; in 1929, the year the stock market crashed, we expanded our Freeport facility by nearly 60,000 square feet to keep pace with demand. During the 1940’s, Furst-McNess developed a simplified and efficient process of tablet production to manufacture vanilla tablets for the U.S. Army under war contracts, which later evolved into an export business in Asia following the war. Then in 1958, Fred McNess and Harold Marsh modernized mineral products into vitamin and mineral premixes as the company’s manufacturing base expanded from only consumer goods to include livestock feed.  Soon farmers were able to buy premixes directly from the company with delivery right to the farm. 

As the business developed, so too did the technology required to deliver on the Furst-McNess promise. In the 1980’s, the company unveiled one of the first computerized ration-balancing programs in the industry. Today, technical services and the incredible talents of our team of skilled employees, remain an integral part of Furst-McNess. The commitment to technology was evidenced with the 2003 acquisition of a local telecommunications and IT company, Aero Group, Inc. 

Continuing to expand, in 1992, the Canada-based Miracle Feeds commodities and brewers grain company was acquired, and the Furst-McNess Company became a North-American based, multinational company. This acquisition cleared the way for Furst-McNess to become a recognized leader in the food, beverage, and emerging biofuels feed markets. Standing today as a model of efficiency in distribution and logistics, the Furst-McNess Company delivers innovative and value-added products and services to these industries.

The story of the Furst-McNess Company is also a symbol of the sustainability that comes from quality products and the enduring values of relationships built on trust and integrity. Throughout the past century, Furst-McNess held fast to their core beliefs of quality, innovation, and safety. The company is now poised to build its business by following our founding values as the agriculture business continues to evolve.