Company News: The Specialty Mfg. Co., Tonisity

company news
( Lori Hays )

The Specialty Mfg. Co. Develops New Toggle Valve To Reduce Water Waste
Watering toggle valve failure causes many problems for pig farmers. From increased water waste volume to excess water flowing over water pans and running into manure pits, The Specialty Mfg. Co. has developed a new toggle valve with Christensen Farms of Sleepy Eye, Minn., to correct this problem, according to a news release by the company.

The Specialty Mfg. Co.’s custom-designed stainless steel watering toggle valve ensures proper water flow to the pigs while saving water at the same time.

“The new nozzles were made to the specs that we wanted, and the improved quality helped the overall valve function better,” says Rick Reckow, an agronomist with Christensen Farms, who led the company’s internal testing and prototyping of the new valve.

The new water toggle valve helped Christensen Farms improve its water use, reduce waste and increase its sustainable practices. The farm also saved on manure removal costs. Because the previous valves were leaky and often sprayed outside the watering pan, water would run into manure pits below the pigs. This increased the volume or amount of manure that needed to be removed. It also diluted the manure’s nutrient concentrations, which Christensen Farms monitors because the manure is used to fertilize crops.

If the manure’s nutrients are diluted, it has to be spread at a higher volume across farmland to meet the crop’s ideal nutrient needs. Less-diluted manure can be spread at a lower rate over less acreage, helping to reduce the carbon footprint.

“Specialty has worked with many agriculture clients over the years, but we’ve never designed a valve quite like this one. That’s part of what makes custom engineering exciting,” says Scott Rische of The Specialty Mfg. Co. “After testing and design completion, we were able to design and deliver a custom valve in just eight weeks, thanks to our in-house engineering, machining, prototyping and testing capabilities. For Christensen Farms, this collaboration created a solution that meant pigs in all stages of their life were ensured proper water flow and accessibility.”

Tonisity Technical Services Veterinarian Honored for Industry, Academic Service
Darrell Neuberger, DVM, Tonisity technical services veterinarian, received the William P. Switzer Award in Veterinary Medicine by the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Neuberger spent 20 years as a private practitioner in Garner, Iowa. Later in his career, he served as a technical services swine veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health, now Zoetis. Today, he supports the Tonisity technical services team, helping producers rethink baby pig management by providing a unique nutritional supplement on days 2-8 that improves intestinal development and aids in pigs achieving their maximum productivity and full potential, a company release says. 

“It’s rewarding that I can continue to help producers integrate new and innovative technologies, like Tonisity Px™, that’s designed to improve the performance, health and well-being of animals,” Neuberger says. 

As strong as his commitment is to his personal career, so is his dedication to advancing the industry. Neuberger joined the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association shortly after graduation and later served as president. In 2014 he received the American Association of Swine Veterinarians Technical Services/Allied Industry Veterinarian of the Year Award. Over the years, he’s also mentored more than 50 veterinary students, one of his fondest memories and proudest accomplishments.