The History of Tend-R-Leen®

When Tend-R-Leen was introduced in 1963, it was the first low-roughage dairy beef program on the market.  At that time, the competition said it would never work.  Today, Tend-R-Leen is still the leading, most profitable high energy program on the market.

Late 1950’s:  Research Leading to Introduction

The idea of raising steers on a no-roughage ration was a result of research conducted on milk replacers in the 1950’s, which were introduced at the same time as Tend-R-Leen.  After the milk replacer research was complete, the research farm had ample supplies of bull calves to continue additional feeding trials.  These trials tested a number of different protein concentrates.  The goal was to produce beef at the lowest possible cost.  At that time, everyone considered roughage to be the cheapest source of nutrients.  When the research began, it was first conducted with roughage.  Results quickly proved that the more grain that was fed, the faster the cattle gained.  After several trials of feeding high levels of grain, the low-roughage ration was attempted.

1960-1963: Continued Research and Development

Between 1960 and 1963, numerous trials were conducted using different formulations and rations.  During this time, many people toured the research farms and saw the steers eating cracked corn and pellets.  Many visitors still didn’t believe this type of ration would work.  Even after the no-roughage ration proved to be successful, feeding hay free choice was extensively tested.  The results were always the same.  The calves that were fed hay ate nearly as much cracked corn and pellets as those that did not.  The average daily gain was about the same for both groups, but corn/protein required per pound of gain was higher for those receiving hay.  When these steers went to slaughter, those receiving hay did not grade as high as those fed straight corn and protein.  These results showed that it takes more energy to digest the hay than it supplies.  This research was later repeated with whole shelled corn finding the same results.

1963:  The Tend-R-Leen Program Was Introduced

The Tend-R-Leen program is made available to dairy beef producers nationwide as the very first low-roughage feeding program.

1964:  The Switch to Whole Shelled Corn

In 1964, Doboy decided to experiment with feeding whole shelled corn.  The results were much better than expected.  Liver abscesses decreased with feeding of whole shelled corn, likely due to reduced acidosis risk from rapidly degraded starch.  The switch in recommendations was widely accepted by producers and improved the performance of the animals.

Feed Additives Have Changed Over the Years

Over the years, the Tend-R-Leen® beef formula has changed very little with the exception of feed additives.  These additives were not implanted but supplied by the feed and were used to increase growth.  Later, oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline were cleared for use in beef cattle for liver abscesses.  This addition to the feed provided a much more reliable way to combat liver abscesses.   Ionophores were the next improvement in the beef feeding program.  Rumensin was introduced in 1975 as a way to improve feed efficiency.  Then in 1982, Bovatec was cleared for increased rate of gain and improved feed efficiency.  Today ionophores and antibiotics are used in combination to take advantage of the benefits of both products.

In 1987, decoquinate was added to the calf feeds to control coccidiosis.  This medication is the product of choice for all animals under 400 pounds of body weight.  More recently, a rumen modifier was added to the product line with the introduction of the Tend-R-Leen Free Choice Mineral (code 796) in 1990.  This addition gave us a definite advantage.  The rumen modifier is beneficial in improving gains and feed efficiency, and is an exclusive product, which provides significant results for producers. 

1994:  Marketing Tend-R-Leen Cattle

Today, many cattle are sold based on dressed weight.  The price is based on grade and yield.  Tend-R-Leen feeders are reporting yields of 60 to 62 percent and about 80 percent grade choice.  These results are far superior to the roughage fed Holstein that yields 57 percent or less and grades standard.

2009:  Introduction of Code 529 Tend-R-Leen PE

Tend-R-Leen® PE, Code 529 is a pelleted, medicated 29% protein supplement for finishing out beef and dairy steers on the Tend-R-Leen low-roughage program.  The 2lb. feeding rate makes for ease of feeding and mixing. 

2013:  Tend-R-Leen Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Celebrations are held throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin to recognize and appreciate the producers who have utilized the Tend-R-Leen program. 

2016:  Introduction of Code 1529, Tend-R-Leen PE Rumensin (Non-VFD)

In response to changes requiring Veterinary Feed Directives for medicated feeds, Tend-R-Leen® PE Rumensin, Code 1529 is developed for finishing out beef and dairy steers on the Tend-R-Leen low-roughage program.  This product does not contain Tylan, so no VFD is required.

2016:  Form-A-Feed, Inc. Purchases Domain, Inc.

Form-A-Feed, Inc. announced the acquisition of Domain, Inc. This includes the Tend-R-Leenline of low-roughage dairy beef feeding products.  The addition of Domain to the Form-A-Feed family reinforces the commitment to further our mission of feed the world through professionalism, quality products and innovative solutions.

2018:  Tend-R-Leen Celebrates 55th Anniversary, Introduces 525 NBC

Form-A-Feed, Inc. held picnic events at 5 locations across MN and WI to thank customers and to also introduce the first Tend-R-Leen product formulated specifically for beef cattle, 525 NBC for creep feeds and growing beef calf diets.

2020:  Introduction of 528 Natural Choice

Form-A-Feed, Inc. Introduced a non-medicated Tend-R-Leen Finisher for natural feeding programs.

2023:  Tend-R-Leen Celebrates 60th Anniversary & Dealer Portal

Form-A-Feed, Inc. launches a dealer portal for Tend-R-Leen certified marketing partners including online training content, videos, and literature.