History of J&R Distributing
J&R Distributing, Inc. began in Lake Norden, South Dakota in 1976 thanks in part to the founders' love of baseball. Ray Antonen, a baseball promoter and avid fan of the Minnesota Twins, made his living in the feed business doing everything from sales to feed-mill management. Jim Perry, a North Carolina farm boy, was a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Twins in 1970.
The two became fast friends as they traveled together promoting the game they both loved. In 1975, after Perry pitched his last game for the Oakland Athletics (a one-hitter), the two decided to go into the feed business. The partners concentrated on feed products for swine and dairy operations in South Dakota. They worked with producers to keep livestock healthy and productive using a strong nutritional program. After a few years, J&R Distributing took the same nutritional approach to beef and poultry producers.
In the early 1980s, Perry left the company, but Antonen stayed until his death in 1987.
Today, Antonen's youngest son, Rusty, runs the company, and it continues to sell feed for all types of livestock as well as a full line of animal care products. Additionally, J&R formulates numerous specialty feeds, sells a full line of forage preservative products, and offers a wide range of technical service for its clients. The company has also expanded its service area to include southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa, southern North Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, as well as eastern and western South Dakota. But the philosophy of its founders remain the same today—to provide excellent customer service and the best livestock nutritional programs to help keep producers' overhead low and profits high. J&R Distributing still believes that a good feed program, with the latest in nutritional developments, helps keep animals free of disease and maximizes growth and productivity.