Kindles in the Cow Pasture

POET uses e-readers to keep feed research at customers’ fingertips

For Nutrition Director Bob Hill, a recent flight to Bangladesh felt a little shorter because of the books he had downloaded onto his new Kindle.

It certainly was easier than packing three paperbacks in his carry-on.

The Amazon e-reader puts a library’s worth of bestselling books in the palm of your hand. But since Hill got his device from POET, he’s used it not only for entertainment but also as a business resource.

“It’s small. It’s compact. It has a tremendous amount of memory,” Hill said. “So instead of having to keep a whole bunch of files, I can download them.”

Hill, who is the Director of Nutrition, Science and Technology at HJ Baker and Bros. in Little Rock, Ark., received a Kindle® from POET – and with it, priority access to downloadable POET research and other content from around the industry.

“The way I use it, we do download articles from y’all’s website,” Hill said in an interview with Vital.

Doing so allows him to keep up on news of animal protein products, for example, without being tied to his computer. It also helps him and his fellow nutritionists stay on the same page, so to speak.

“They read the same articles I’m reading,” Hill said. “It does enable me to stay up on that research. It allows me to converse with them on a level playing field.”

That’s what POET is hearing from other Kindle recipients, said Kip Karges, Technical Services and Research Director at POET Nutrition.

“‘It makes my day a little easier,’ they’ll say.”

The Kindle program started in early summer 2011, when POET Nutrition wanted an easier way to distribute its research material to nutritionists who often don’t have time to look up research on their own. POET gave away Kindles to all kinds of nutritionists the company works with – private consultants, staff nutritionists for companies, key university staff members and research spokespeople for Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles.

Once clients get a Kindle, they register on POET’s designated e-reader website. Then they can log in and download what they need whenever and wherever they need it.

Articles are organized by species, so the latest scientific findings are easy to find whether the nutritionist is working with poultry, swine or dairy. Information that crosses categories, such as research on amino acid digestibility, will appear in both the poultry and swine reading lists.

That information helps nutritionists make important decisions.

“At the end of the day, the nutritional decision they’re making on that portion is a multimillion-dollar decision,” Karges said. “Looking up research at their fingertips is a great resource.”

Plenty of people are using Kindles for research. Electronic versions of scientific books and papers are available on Amazon.com in the Kindle Store, but you’ll have to search for them beyond Amazon’s bestsellers list.

POET’s own Kindle program has benefits to clients and to the company. The clients get access to new research in a collection tailored to their needs, and they get it before the general public. In turn, POET becomes the customer’s first source for DDGS research, whether it’s from POET or elsewhere in the livestock feed industry.

Karges said POET includes outside research because that information benefits everyone.

“A rising tide floats all ships,” he said. “We want POET to be viewed by customers as a leader in the industry.”

If you don’t own a Kindle, you won’t be left out for long. Karges said POET is working on making research available for download on other handheld devices, such as Google® Android® and Apple iPad®.



Vital is a news & media resource published by POET, presenting a variety of stories with the thought leadership one expects from the largest, most forward-thinking ethanol producer.