Rietdyk’s Milling Company was established 60 years ago by Segert (Sig) and Elisabeth (Betsy) Rietdyk. Sig recognized the savings he could have by milling his own dairy feed and soon, neighbors and other local dairymen were asking him to do the same for them. This turned into a business and ever since then, the family has been dedicated to serving the farming community. Today, the company is one of the last grain mills in the area.
In 1978, the couple’s daughter Lucy and son-in-law Don Hegge took over the business and expanded the feed mill operations. Lucy passed away in 2021, but the company continues to manufacture their own line of livestock feed right on the property in Ridgefield. All feed is made without preservatives and is crafted fresh daily.
“We carry anything you might need for your pets and livestock for their health and nutrition,” said Susie McKee, manager of Rietdyk’s. “We also have a Barn Boutique where you’ll find something for everyone – from clothing, jewelry, purses, wallets, decor and much more. Every year in May our customers anticipate the delivery of the hundreds of beautiful hanging flower baskets.”
McKee said that many of their customers are generational.
“We love to hear stories about how their grandparents shopped here or how they came in as small children with their parents,” she said. “We know most of our customers by name and have over the years developed lasting friendships with many of them. We are honored to be trusted by our community for 60-plus years to produce feed and stock the products they need. As a small business, we are appreciative of every customer that walks through our door. Our store has that ‘small town’ feed store atmosphere that customers value. The dollars spent with us stay right here in our community. We live here, we work here and this is our hometown.”
When the pandemic hit, the company saw a big influx in customers that wanted to provide for their families by living off the land, either with raising their own beef, pork, lamb or chickens.
“I believe we played a huge part in educating the novice farmer with their new ventures,” McKee said. “It has been so heartwarming to hear customers say that they want to shop local and support the mom-and-pop businesses.”
Rietdyk’s Milling Company recently launched a website with an online store and has been increasing their social media presence. They also recently launched a new activity for kids, where children can enter a monthly coloring contest and win a prize out of the mystery bucket. They also support youth in the community by donating and supporting Junior Livestock Auction exhibitors at the Clark County Fair.
“Rietdyk’s has always been passionate about the future of agriculture,” McKee said.
Article Source: Vancouver WA Business Journal