Waukon High School graduate receives Innovation Award ...

Dr. Tom Oelberg, member of the 1975 graduating class of Waukon Senior High School, recently received Diamond V’s Innovation Award for his work in developing the TMR (total mixed ration) Audit®. A total mixed ration involves all of the feed ingredients fed to cattle being mixed together in a mixer wagon - sort of like mixing peas, mashed potatoes and hamburger all together so that they can all three be eaten in the same bite, Oelberg describes. Diamond V manufactures natural immune-support postbiotic feed additives to support improved animal health, animal performance, and pre-harvest food safety worldwide.

A recent Diamond V retiree, Oelberg received this award (pictured at right) amidst a standing ovation crowd of his former co-workers at a national sales meeting in Kansas City, MO June 20, 2022 (pictured above). Oelberg developed the TMR Audit® in January 2008 as a way to monitor uniformity of TMR so that all cattle receiving a load of TMR get the same diet from one end of the pen to the other.

Over the years, Oelberg and his Diamond V teammates discovered 11 factors that can cause non-uniform TMRs during the loading and mixing process. Those common factors include worn mixers, over-filling, un-level mixers, low mixer auger speed and low final mixing time. It is estimated that over 15,000 TMR Audits have been conducted around the world since 2008.

Oelberg has given lectures on these discoveries at many of the major dairy nutrition conferences in the United States, Canada and Mexico and has written two book chapters. One of his career highlights was speaking at the American Dairy Science Association Discovery Conference in Chicago, IL in 2014, a talk well received by university and industry leaders. Oelberg has also trained many co-workers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, China, Europe, Saudi Arabia and Australia.

Dr. Oelberg is now fully retired and resides with his wife, Kristy, outside of New Ulm, MN. They have two children, Wyatt of Shoreview, MN and Sydney of Woodbury, MN. Submitted photos.