I am Richard V Breunig.
I was born on a dairy farm in Sheboygan Falls, WI, the middle child of 8, and found at an early age, in the barn with the animals was where I felt most comfortable. I knew I would find myself in a field working with the animals that I connected with. Growing up on a farm, I took an interest in animal breeding and saw firsthand the challenges faced on a daily basis, especially in terms of cow health.
At the age of 8, I enrolled in 4H taking up dairy and crops. I was fortunate to have had a well-respected purebred dairy just 3 miles away who had 2 females and 2 males all achieving Excellent 97, the highest classification of the breed. The herd manager was my judging coach who later became a classifier with the National Holstein Association. Through this connection at the age of 16, I developed the art of cattle fitting, traveling the country assisting other producers, and at the same time learning from them the art of animal husbandry. By the age of 20, I was asked to join a commercial producer who was considered large at the time. I was to take full responsibility of creating his dream to be one of the best purebred herds in the nation. This was achieved in the early part of my 20 year tenure at Clover Mist Farm, a world-renowned dairy, entertaining visitors and buyers of global genetics on a daily basis. I was the first recipient in the state to receive the Wisconsin Governor’s Export Achievement Award for the export of genetics worldwide.
Hands on with animals is truly the grass roots of learning. I was fortunate by fate that when I was in need of help, someone would appear to provide the next step of learning. This was evident when unknowingly a mis-formulated grain mix ended the life of many cows that were in my care. This mishap forced me to go outside my comfort zone and study nutrition as a way to save the rest of the herd. Later a PhD rumen microbiologist showed up at the dairy unannounced stating he had heard about me and the challenges I had been facing, and that he was there to help. He took a liking to me and tutored me for 10 years. He provided organisms that saw benefits in the laboratory to test on a working dairy, determining the efficacy of these organisms on the farm. For the first 3 years I saw no response, then things changed. I saw great benefits which piqued my interest to further learn about these strains of organisms. This started a relationship and study as to the mode of action of these strains, the benefits they provide, and how nutrition could be altered to enhance the microbiology and improve animal performance. Nutrition feeds the microbiology, and microbiology feeds the body.
Due to health issues experienced by ownership of the dairy, Clover Mist Farm sold in 1998 for a record price. With my 20 years at the dairy along with 10 years of mentorship in microbiology, I was ready to take this work to the industry. It was not an easy start as it was different, really different. I was able to lean on my background of national milk production records, animal breeding, and having developed the world-renowned cow, D-R-A August EX-96, who resided at Clover Mist Farm and found in pedigrees around the world still today. She is the Patron of Priority IAC.
I know firsthand that animal husbandry is not easy as there are a lot of facets that affect the production and well-being of animals. The forages, the fermentation, the nutrition, the soil, the weather and most important digestive health as this is the center, the beginning of life, the key to productivity. With the knowledge I’ve gained, I am proud of the work that I’ve done improving the lives of animals, and it is my honor to continue to work for those who care for them.
The inventor is the expert, striving to empower through innovation.
Self-taught entrepreneur, Richard V Breunig founded Priority IAC (International Animal Concepts), Inc. in 1998. To date, Priority IAC is the only company bringing the fields of microbiology and novel nutrition together for animal health; as well as, providing a more cost effective and easier approach to nutrition. This is Microbiology Nutrition.
Priority IAC is a farm-developed and family-owned company bringing this unique viewpoint, invention, and knowledge directly to the field. Microbiology Nutrition is truly a grassroots movement to empower the producer. Priority has taken a bottom up approach to getting the message out. With a grassroots reach, Priority IAC is in the field to embrace and encourage producers to trust their cows, their research as the truth; just as Breunig trusted the cows of Clover Mist Farm when he started down this path with Microbiology Nutrition more than 30 years ago. Breunig’s hands-on, practical experience in production agriculture, along with microbiology and nutritional expertise make Priority IAC unique.
Priority IAC maintains a research and product development mentality that starts on the dairy. Priority IAC provides education on how each branded strain of Smartbacteria works, how the most fermentable, home-grown forages can be used, and how producers can monitor their cow performance to know what adjustments to make. Microbiology Nutrition is a new concept. It’s different: less costly, more efficient, and a much more effective way to feed cows. Priority IAC’s technology makes it the 1st ingredient™, For Healthy Cows®.
Breunig has spoken about Priority IAC’s work bringing the fields of microbiology and nutrition together; presenting his work throughout the United States plus Australia, Mexico, and the Middle East, parts of Europe and Latin America. Priority IAC has been televised on “Eye On America” with Greg Gumbel. Breunig’s experience and expertise with this technology applies to different sizes and styles of management including, but not limited to: grazing, tie stalls, freestall, and robotic dairies. Before starting Priority IAC, Breunig managed Clover Mist Farm, a dairy focused on health, production, and genetics. He bred more than 100 Excellent scored cows and managed a dairy which was recognized as one of the best type herds in the nation. This, a background like no other working in a win-win for the benefit of all life!
All life begins with microbiology. The rumen, the soil and the human gut.