THE MOORMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY
Richard E. Hattwick*
which follows examines the history of the Moorman
Manufacturing Company up to the time Robert Hulsen
retired as chief executive officer in 1978. The last
three decades of that history were a time of outstanding
commercial success as evidenced by the rapid growth
in sales. The way in which that sales growth was achieved
process of achieving success in the marketplace, Moorman
Manufacturing Company made a contribution to the rapid
rise in American agricultural productivity which has
occurred in twentieth century. As Adam smith observed
in1776, a hallmark of the free enterprise economy
is the fact that in the process of pursuing private
gain, the individual businesses move, “as if guided
by an invisible hand,” to promote the public welfare.
MoorMan’s certainly made such a contribution, and
as will become evident, the management of MoorMan’s
was aware and proud of its contribution to agricultural
to the commercial success story, MoorMan’s history
offers an important example of human relations conducted
on a high plane. This aspect of the history illustrates
the complementarities of good human relations and
the profit motive. MoorMan’s management viewed the
two as highly compatible as discussed in the last
section of this article.
is presented in four parts. Section Two discusses
the role of the Moorman Manufacturing Company in the
American agricultural revolution. Section Three provides
a chronological history of growth and change at MoorMan’s.
Section Four discusses the commercial success of MoorMan’s
in greater detail and Section Five focuses on accomplishments
in the area of business ethics.
the information in this article came from interviews
with company officials and from company documents
housed in the firm’s Heritage Room at corporate headquarters
in Quincy, Illinois. However, this is not an official
II. MOORMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY’S ROLE
IN THE AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION
the past century American agriculture has experienced
truly revolutionary changes in techniques, organization
and output. As summarized in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
. . . has steadily improved the rate and efficiency
of food production, permitting the average consumer
to spend less of his disposable income for foods
than he once did. In 1870 the average American
spent 58 percent of his disposable income for
food. Today he spends 16.5 percent, including
4.4 percent for red meat. In the Soviet Union
the average citizen still spends 53 percent of
his disposable income for food. Italians spend
45 percent, Frenchmen 31 percent, and Englishmen
29 percent. Less than 6 percent of the U.S. population
produces food for the other 94 percent whereas
in colonial times practically all able-bodied
people spent the major part of their time in the
production of food and fibre.2
revolution was the result of many factors, but technological
change stands out as the single most significant cause.
One form taken by technological change was mechanization.
Machines such as the reaper and the tractor replaced
animal and human muscle and made it possible for one
farmer to do work that previously required many men.
form taken by technological change was the use of
biological knowledge to boost crop yields and improve
animal growing processes. The Moorman Manufacturing
Company has been a major participant in this part
of the agricultural revolution. Throughout its history
the company has focused its efforts on the task of
providing the farmer with nutritional aids which would
stimulate the growth of farm animals. When Tom Moorman
founded the firm in 1885, he offered one product for
sale – a tonic mixture for hogs. Seventy-five years
later, in 1960, the firm offered 33 different products
for sale including protein concentrates for pigs,
minerals for dairy cattle, worm treatments for hogs
and many others (Table 1 lists the items in this product
line in January, 1976). By 1977 MoorMan’s offered
more than 80 different items.
of the products and feeding plans sold by firms such
as Moorman’s was substantial. It is most evident in
statistics demonstrating the increased efficiency
with which farmers raised commercial animals. In
beef production, for example, a farmer could produce
8 pounds of beef with 100 pounds of feed. By 1968
farmers could produce 16 pounds of beef with 100
pounds of feed. Similarly, the number of pounds of
chicken meat produced by 100 pounds of feed doubled
between 1930 and 1968, and the amount of pork produced
per 100 pounds of feed rose by almost 40 percent.3
effort played a role in promoting these productivity
gains. For many decades the salesmen of firms such
as MoorMan’s were engaged in the task of persuading
farmers to try the new technologies. These firms along
with government extension agents deserve much of the
credit for the rapid spread of new technologies from
the laboratories and experimental farms to the commercial
Manufacturing Company was not alone in the feed industry.
During much of its history more than 2,000 separate
companies competed for the farmer’s feed business.
These competitors included farm cooperatives which
captured a significant share of the market. Also included
in the competition was the farmer’s option of raising
and feeding only his own grain.
with the competition, the Moorman Manufacturing Company’s
strategy was to develop and sell nutritional concentrates
which farmers could add to home grown feeds. The company
would, “provide only what the farmer could not grow
or process himself.” Without the company’s products
the home grown feeds would not be as efficient as
the complete feeds manufactured by animal feed manufacturing
firms. But with the MoorMan’s product added, the home
grown feed could compete very effectively. So successful
was this strategy and its implementation that in the
post World War II period MoorMan’s became one of
NOTE TO DICK AND
ESTI - THERE IS SOMETHING MISSING HERE - I TOOK THIS
FROM THE PRINTED BOOK COPY!!! The book goes
from what precedes this note to the following:
the 15 largest firms
in the industry (including cooperatives). 4
In the process, the company achieved a number
of technological breakthroughs (Table 3 lists several
“firsts” claimed by the company).
two sections provide insight into the factors behind
the commercial success of Moorman Manufacturing Company.
They also provide a insight into the ways in which
the leading firms in the animal feed industry contributed
to the American agricultural revolution.
III. A BRIEF HISTORY OF GROWTH AND CHANGE AT
MORMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY
now Moorman Manufacturing Company began in1885 in
Big Spring, Kentucky. That was the year that Kentucky
farmer Tom Moorman5 developed a “hog tonic”
to aid his ailing hogs. Company history tells us that
the formula was sent to Tom Moorman by the United
States Department of Agriculture in response to Moorman’s
request for help. Tom Moorman’s neighbors were impressed
by the results of the “hog tonic” and offered to purchase
the mineral mixture from him. For the next 15 years
the Moorman family mixed, packaged and sold the hog
remedy mixture. Their factory was a portion of the
family barn and their remedy business was a sideline
to their main occupation – farming.
A. The Beginning of a Full Time Business
one of Tom Moorman’s sons, E.V. Moorman, made the
courageous decision to leave the farm and start a
full time business manufacturing the hog remedy mixture.
He decided to establish himself in Gorin, Missouri
in order to be closer to the Midwest hog growing area
(a second possible reason for settling in Gorin was
that E.V. Moorman had decided to marry a Gorin girl).
E.V. Moorman needed help in his new business venture.
He wanted and got the assistance of his younger brother,
C.A., but in order for C.A. to leave the family farm
in Big Spring, C.A. had to agree to pay his father
the cost of hiring his replacement to work on the
prospered and in 1910 the brothers moved to larger
facilities on Front Street in Quincy, Illinois. Two
years later the firm was incorporated with E.V. Moorman
as President. In 1918 the brothers bought the property
where the corporate headquarters were to be located
for the rest of the time covered by this historical
B. Research Begins and a Business Purpose is Discovered
that E.V. and C.A. Moorman had established was based
upon a medicinal product that seemed to give effective
results. But the Moorman brothers were not entirely
satisfied with reports from the field. They wanted
more scientific evidence of the effects of their product.
Hence, they began to consider the establishment of
a research program.6 The motive for research,
in this case, was to find out what the consumer could,
and could not, be promised in terms of the effectiveness
of the product.
Moorman brothers developed their thinking regarding
research, a second motive appeared. As explained in
one company document:7
|For some time
the Moorman brothers had been following tests
. . . being carried on by . . . agricultural experiment
stations. ... As these experiments progressed,
the Moormans were quick to detect that there was
a definite need for a supplemental mineral feed
. . . They were among the first to recognize that
mineral elements needed by animals and fowl are
nutritional rather than medicinal.
Thus, the Moorman
brothers began to see the purpose of their business
as that of providing nutritional aids to the farmer
rather than selling animal medicine.
the Moorman brothers made their commitment to research.
Experiment station number one (a set of hog pens)
was established; 100 acres of farm land were leased
for use as an experimental farm; and W.A. Konantz
was appointed as the company’s first director of research.
Konantz was followed by W.P. Elmslie in 1929. Elmslie
directed MoorMan’s research for more than 30 years
and became a nationally recognized expert in the field
of animal nutrition.
strategy was, and continues to be, to use applied
research to transform the basic nutritional research
findings of others into practical applications. MoorMan’s
counts upon universities, state experiment stations,
federal agencies, chemical companies, and pharmaceutical
companies to conduct the basic research. However,
MoorMan’s does give financial support to a number
of land grant university experiment stations for basic
research in animal science.
research program began at a time when the science
of animal nutrition was in its infancy. By 1920 the
need of animals for salt, calcium, phosphorus and
iodine was known. But it was not until 1921-22 that
there appeared the first research establishing the
importance of vitamins A, B, C, and D. During the
1920's the MoorMan’s laboratories and experimental
farm applied some of these findings to produce new
mineral nutritional products for sheep, horses, hogs
and cattle. These products were designed to be added
to home grown animal feeds. During this period the
research program also produced worm treatments for
sheep and hogs as well as a disinfectant paint.8
C. The Crisis of 1933
growth in sales enjoyed by Moorman Manufacturing Company
during the 1920's was abruptly halted by the Great
Depression which began in 1929 (for farmers it began
in 1928). Farmers throughout the United States suffered
from rapidly falling farm product prices. As their
incomes fell, farmers reduced their purchases of all
types of inputs including MoorMan’s products. From
a peak sales volume of $2,808,963 in 1928, Moorman’s
sales fell to $503,048 in 1932. Like numerous other
companies of that era, Moorman Manufacturing Company
found itself facing bankruptcy. Indeed, in the view
of E.H., Wilson, a young employee in the advertising
department at the time, the company was bankrupt by
1933. But, Wilson adds, the two Moorman brothers refused
to give up. They covered the deficit by drawing on
their own personal accumulated savings.9
the circumstances, it was clear that the company would
also have to reduce its payroll. An outright dismissal
of employees was one solution. However, the Moorman
brothers had a deep, patriarchal concern for the employees.
They encouraged anyone who could find alternative
work to take it and leave, but they simply refused
to engage in large scale dismissals. When sagging
sales made it inevitable that something had to be
done about the payroll, E.V. Moorman sought to keep
his people employed by asking each employee to indicate
in writing the minimum income needed to support himself
and his family. The Company would then attempt to
provide that minimum amount, promised Moorman.
cooperated magnificently. Most of them took the voluntary
pay cuts implicit in this approach. As a result, the
company weathered the Depression without significant
C.A. Moorman kept track of the sacrifice being made
by each employee and when the company had returned
to profitability in the late 1930's, the Moorman brothers
not only restored wages and salaries to their original
levels, but also gave each employee a check covering
all of the pay foregone during the crisis years.10
D. The Company Expands into Protein Concentrates
the nineteen-thirties the research department developed
an important new product line for MoorMan’s – the
protein concentrate. W.P. Elmslie, research director
at the time, credits C.A. Moorman with encouraging
the development of the product line during a time
when the very survival of the firm was in question.11
The result of C.A. Moorman’s faith in the research
program was the introduction, in August of 1934, of
a protein concentrate which, when added to grain,
produced a more nutritious poultry feed.
poultry protein concentrate was improved and reintroduced
in 1938. The 1938 version was given the trade name
Mintrate meaning mineralized protein
concentrate. With the introduction of this
new product, MoorMan Manufacturing Company created
a new segment of the animal feed industry.
poultry concentrate led to a rapid growth of company
sales. It also created a small problem for the salesman
because in those days the farm wife took care of the
poultry while the husband was responsible for the
hogs and other animals. Hence, the salesman, accustomed
to dealing with the man of the farm, suddenly found
it necessary to take his sales message to the farm
wife. The bright side of this situation, in the view
of E.H. Wilson, was that in those Depression days
the farm wife had more available cash than her husband
(the wife typically was allowed to keep whatever money
she made from the sale of eggs). Hence, the new poultry
protein was aimed at the most promising segment of
the farm market.12
with the poultry concentrate encouraged MoorMan’s
to develop additional protein concentrates (or Mintrates).
In 1938 the first hog Mintrate was introduced. In
1942 three more hog mintrates were marketed. These
were followed by three new poultry Mintrates in 1944;
two more hog Mintrates in 1945; a dairy cow Mintrate
in 1946, and chick and range cattle Mintrates in 1947.13
E. Raw Material Shortages During World War II
of World War II brought both new opportunities and
new problems for Moorman Manufacturing Company. On
the bright side was the fact that the war effort created
a dramatic new need for increased farm productivity.
Hence, the demand for the company’s products accelerated
war effort also created shortages of many of the raw
materials used by MoorMan’s to manufacture its products.
Acquiring the raw materials need for Mintrate production
was a major problem because the company had only recently
entered the business and, as a result, had not established
commercial ties with the major suppliers. Without
such ties, MoorMan’s faced the distinct possibility
of being passed over in favor of customers of longer
standing. The company responded by launching a “reverse
sales effort.” MoorMan’s sought to sell suppliers
on the desirability of allocating a portion of their
scarce products to Moorman Manufacturing Company.
effort was successful. It provided the essential raw
materials that were needed and led to a number of
exemplary relationships with suppliers.14
This effort also led to an interesting management
development. A MoorMan’s man in charge of a segment
of the procurement program, Robert Hulsen, “did such
an outstanding job that he was soon assigned to originate
and manage a Sales Personnel and Training Department.”15
This personnel development helped to set the stage
for the next major change at MoorMan’s.
F. A Major Change in the Sales Organization
death brought an end to the long and successful business
and civic career of E.V. Moorman.16 C.A.
Moorman assumed the presidency of the company, and
soon began to introduce a change of far-reaching significance.
had put together the original sales organization and
that organization had been fairly successful. But
C.A. was convinced that the sales force could be made
more effective. He therefore asked young Robert Hulsen
to study the existing sales organization and devise
a better method of selecting and training salesmen.
Hulsen’s eventual recommendation was that a formal
training department be established. C.A. Moorman accepted
the recommendation and in June, 1943, the Field Personnel
and Training Department was established. Hulsen was
put in charge of the new department and one of Hulsen’s
first acts was to bring in a leading salesman, Paul
Cory, to head up part of the training program.
1. Selecting Salesmen
problem tackled by the new department was the high
rate of turnover among salesmen. Hulsen hoped that
a scientific approach could be developed to select
men who would be successful salesmen. Since the high
turnover rate was due to the high rate of failure
among new salesmen, such a selection device would
sharply reduce turnover.
of such a scientific approach, the new department
organized a research project in which the characteristics
of two groups of approximately 1,000 salesmen were
analyzed. One group consisted of highly successful
salesmen; the second was composed of unsuccessful
salesmen. Out of the comparison evolved a diagnostic
interview form and a weighted application form which
stressed the ten most important determinants of sales
success. These forms were then used to evaluate applicants
for sales positions.
forms were very effective during the remainder of
the war years. As reported in 1945:17
Personnel and Training Department) has worked
out a number of procedures which have been more
or less revolutionary in the selection of salesmen
. . . Because the procedures have been quite
revolutionary it has taken some time to sell them
to the management force in the field, but today
almost without exception, group and state managers
rely on the Field Personnel Department in the
selection of salesmen.”
feature of the selection procedure was its apparent
ability to predict sales success. Unfortunately, this
ability was limited to the type of person recruited
for sales work during the war years. After World War
II a large number of younger people left the service
and reentered the civilian labor force. Many of them
were recruited as salesmen by MoorMan’s. The selection
instruments did continue to identify those applicants
who were highly likely to fail, but the instruments’
ability to predict success dropped significantly.
2. The Route System and the Four Part Sale
problem facing the sales organization was that of
helping the individual salesman improve his productivity.
Here, too, the new department developed a set of “scientific”
procedures, including the route system and the four
system consisted of dividing all possible customers
into geographic territories of 200 to 500 farms.18
One salesman was assigned to each territory and was
given a plan whereby each farm in the territory would
be visited by the salesman once a month. The plan
was designed to put the salesman on a particular farm
on the same day of the week once every month. Hence,
a visit by a MoorMan’s salesman became a regular,
predictable and expected event on the typical farm.
part sale was a systematic sales presentation that
sought to take full advantage of the psychological
factors involved in a direct selling situation. As
part of the sales meeting with the potential farm
customer, each MoorMan’s salesman was expected to
(1) present the MoorMan’s literature, (2)
give the farmer details of that week’s special offer,
(3) display the merchandise and explain what
each item could do for the customer, and (4) almost
as an afterthought,19 mention the liquid
and bulky items that were available but were not in
the display case. As part of the sales presentation,
salesmen were carefully instructed as to what MoorMan’s
basic selling proposition was. The sales message in
essence was that an investment in the MoorMan’s product
would improve animal growth and thereby produce for
the farmer a profit far in excess of the cost of the
3. The Full Time Sales Force of Company Employees
and Cory were excited about the potential contribution
that could be made by the new department and the new
procedures. But both men were bothered by the fact
that the sales force consisted of men who typically
sold MoorMan’s products on a part-time basis. The
salesmen were, in effect, dealers who signed 6 month
contracts giving them exclusive access to a specified
geographical territory. Cory had been one of the small
number of them who had worked full-time at the job.
He had been highly successful and could envision similar
success for anyone else who would devote full-time
to the job.20
too, had observed this shortcoming of the part-time
approach. But, more important, perhaps, was Hulsen’s
belief that a simple system could be devised which
would sharply improve the salesman’s performance.
As research director W.P. Elmslie once put it, Hulsen
was a great, “. . . believer in proper organization
as a tool of growth,”.21 However, Hulsen
saw great difficulty in trying to implement a new
system with a part-time sales force of independent
Cory and Hulsen favored the creation of a full-time
sales force of company employees. Their idea made
sense for what they had in mind, but it was not fashionable
in direct selling circles at that time. In fact, in
the late 1940's a prominent management consulting
firm recommended that MoorMan’s switch from direct
selling to dealerships, the system used by major competitors.
Hulsen and W.R. Hazle communicated their views to
C.A. Moorman and after much thought on the matter
he made the crucial decision. At a special meeting
convened in December 1943, he announced that beginning
January 1, 1944 the company would move as quickly
as possible to a system of full-time salesmen who
were company employees. He also announced that Hazle,
Cory, Hulsen and the 9 state sales managers were to
devise a plan to accomplish this goal.22
time there were almost 5,000 independent contractors
working as MoorMan’s salesmen. Each was given an opportunity
to become a full-time MoorMan’s employee. Only 800
eventually accepted.23 But those who remained
were able to put more time into selling and, as a
result, the sales volume remained virtually the same
in 1944 as it had been in 1943 at approximately $7,500,000.24.
By 1947 sales had risen to more than $20,000,000.
4. Sales Promotions and Advertising
prior to 1944 Moorman Manufacturing Company had relied
heavily upon sales promotional techniques to motivate
the sales force. The descriptive titles of a few of
the famous sales campaigns included:25
||“The $3,000,000 Campaign” – (The goal was $3,000,000
in sales for the year)
||“On-to-Quincy” – (The winning salesmen got a free tip
||“Another Great Horse Race! 1941 Chevrolet, Plymouth
or Ford Car to be awarded to a MoorMan Dealer”
campaigns set sales quotas and promised various awards
to the individual salesmen who produced the largest
volume of sales or exceeded their quotas by the greatest
salesmen became company employees a new opportunity
arose. A centrally directed sequence of monthly sales
promotional campaigns was established. The overall
promotional plan for each month was developed by a
committee in Quincy and communicated to the field
organization. A few details are discussed in Section
the direct selling activity was a well thought out
advertising effort. The advertising was designed to
(1) make contact with the customer, (2) tell
the MoorMan’s story, and (3) create a preference
for the MoorMan’s product. The salesman was then
expected to (4) fit the product to the customer’s
need and (5) get the order.26 In
1950 the company’s advertising was concentrated in
28 separate farm publications which reached over three
million people monthly. The volume of MoorMan’s advertising
placed the company among the largest advertisers in
its industry27 and the quality of the advertising
was such that the company won a number of awards for
G. A Subtle Change in Human Relations Within the
long and highly successful business career ended with
his death in 1948. He was succeeded as president by
W.R. Hazle who had become a MoorMan’s salesman after
a farm accident had made it impossible for him to
continue a career as a commercial farmer. Hazle distinguished29
himself as a salesman and had been successively promoted
to positions as a District Sales Manager, Sales Supervisor,
Assistant General Sales Manager, and finally General
Sales Manager. He had joined the board of directors
in 1932 and was given the title of First Vice President
in 1943 (while continuing to serve as General Sales
Manager). In addition to becoming President, Hazle
was named to the newly created position of Chairman
of the Board.
theory of that era and the example set by C.A. Moorman
would lead one to predict that Hazle would exercise
his role in an authoritarian manner. The power was
certainly his to exercise. Instead, Hazle in effect,
created a management team that shared the power inherent
in the president’s position. Administrative and operations
decisions were assigned to E.H. Wilson. Marketing
decisions were assigned to Hulsen and Cory who reported
to Wilson. Hazle created for himself a new role –
that of organizational spirit builder. He set for
himself the goal of building a new relationship among
employees. The new relationship would diminish the
traditional gap between top management and the rest
of the employees and would infuse the entire organization
with a new spirit of caring and giving.
began his effort by visiting every local MoorMan’s
employee and his family. It took him more than a year
to complete the visits. At the same time, Hazle constantly
sought out employees at work and communicated to them
in word and by his actions the fact that each employee
had an important role to play in the company’s success
and that the company was seriously interested in seeing
that, insofar as practically possible, the personal
lives of employees were being enriched by their work
experiences. As Hazle himself once put it:30
knows from personal experience that this company
has, for years and years, driven hard on sales
quotas, manpower quotas – all kinds of quotas
– quotas and more quotas. These quotas were
essential, too. They will always be necessary
. . .
This is another
quota that is important . . . We call it our
real quota . . . (It is) to make more real,
lasting contributions to the lives of the folks
and their families who make up our great company.
folks, especially young girls, who join the
company for a very short time. They don’t intend
to make working at MoorMan’s a career but even
so we want their experiences here to be happy
. . . experiences they will remember.
Most of our
folks are here for a longer time. We want their
financial rewards to increase . . . That is
essential, but there’s something else essential,
too. We can contribute a great deal to the personal
satisfaction of more people by our personal
contacts. We can have increases in good feelings
and happiness people are entitled to in our
business. Everyone . . . should have this important
quota before him at all times.
approach was reinforced by Mrs. C.A. Moorman who,
following her husband’s death, took an active interest
in employee welfare activities. As a major stockholder,
she was clearly in a position to back Hazle’s initiative.
Also crucial to the success of Hazle’s effort was
the fact that the other members of the management
team agreed with his goal.
new initiative was accompanied by a complementary
development of great importance. That development
was the creation of an atmosphere of emotional stability
within the organization.30 This change
occurred because E.H. Wilson assumed the responsibility
for running the daily affairs of the business. Wilson
was a man of great emotional stability and predictability.
Wilson was extremely hard working and able to make
the tough decisions that had to be made. But he was
also warm and predictable in his relationships with
others and these traits contributed to the new atmosphere
which Hazle had set out to create.
H. Institutionalizing the New Atmosphere
Wilson, Claude Holmes (Vice President for Finance),
Hulsen, and Cory shared Hazle’s view of the proper
relationship between top management and the rest of
the home office and factory employees, they did not
want achievement of the goal to depend entirely on
the personal touch exemplified by Hazle. Hence, they
began to seek ways of institutionalizing the surge
of goodwill that Hazle had produced.
1. Profit Sharing
step in this direction was the creation of a profit
sharing plan in 1954. The hard spade work on this
idea and plan was done by Mr. Holmes. Initially the
objective of the plan was similar to the profit sharing
plans of other companies. That is, the plan was seen
as a way of generating employee awareness of and concern
for company profit. During the following five years
several developments occurred to dramatize the value
of the plan for employees.
significant development was the opportunity for the
profit sharing fund to buy sizeable blocks of stock
in the company. This made the profit sharing fund
a substantial stockholder with the employees being
the beneficiaries. Because of the special provisions
of the fund, ownership of profit sharing shares would
be widely held and management would not hold a disproportionate
2. Daily Communication – Spoken and Other
the most important action taken by management in the
effort to institutionalize Hazle’s human relations
campaign was the development of a set of communication
devices. Some were formal; others were informal but
just as effective.
the formal communication devices was an annual meeting
of all employees at which the company’s past performance
and future plans were discussed by management. A second
formal device was the establishment of an advisory
board in 1954. Nine people from middle management
were appointed to the original board. They were asked
to look at company problems and issues and to make
recommendations to top management. The advisory board
proved highly successful and became a stepping stone
for advancement to the highest management levels.
formal device was the employee publication, The
Link, which appeared monthly and was delivered
to all employees except the sales force. The Link
had actually been introduced at the urging of Robert
Hulsen back in 1944. Hence it was ready for use as
a communication vehicle among non-sales employees.
Sales employees had their own publication. The
Sales News, which dated back to 1914 and which
salesmen cited as the most helpful tool provided by
the informal communication devices was a top management
policy of listening and reasoning. As executive vice
president Dean Thomas explained it in 1977, “Two-way
communication is the key to the spirit within this
organization. When anyone has a complaint or a suggestion,
management listens. If we disagree with the person’s
argument, we try to avoid simply rejecting it. Instead,
we try to help the person see the problem from our
informal communication device was a deliberate attempt
by management to reduce the psychological distance
between top management and other employees by eliminating
the visible signs of office. One example of this was
the absence of an executive dining room (the president
ate lunch in the same dining room as the most recently
example was the modest appearance of the offices of
the top corporate officers and the location of those
offices in full view of the more than 100 employees
who worked on the first floor of the administrative
building. A third example was the respectful manner
which members of top management used to communicate
with employees at all levels. President Richard Liebig
suggested that this resulted from a process of natural
selection from among people who are friends.
3. Promotion for Within Based on Management
important source of esprit’ de corps was the company
policy of promotion from within. Promotion was based
on performance, and good performance was encouraged
by a well functioning policy of regular communication
between every employee and his supervisor. Employees
knew what was expected of them; employees regularly
reviewed their performance with their supervisors;
and employees knew that outstanding performance was
likely to lead to promotion. Promotion from within
did more than motivate employees. It also enhanced
communication between supervisors and the employees
reporting to them. There was, of course, a danger
that the company would become too “insulated” from
the outside world, but MoorMan’s appears to have avoided
I. Growth and Change Under the Presidencies
of Wilson, Hulsen and Liebig
retired in 1953. During the next 24 years Moorman
Manufacturing company enjoyed unprecedented growth
under the successive presidencies of E.H. Wilson,
Robert Hulsen, and Richard Liebig. At the same time,
the corporation continued to stand out in terms of
its new goal of a high plane of human relations. To
a large extent the success enjoyed by the firm during
the period was due to the excellent execution of the
strategy devised during the nineteen-forties. Robert
Hulsen described it in such terms at the 1969 general
meeting of employees. As reported in The Link.35
|The main thesis
of Bob Hulsen’s talk revolved around MoorMan people
staying ahead of competitors by being just a little
bit better. Bob presented an analogy of a baseball
player who was a .250 hitter based on 12 times
at bat, who could - with the help of one base
hit – reach the charmed .300 circle . . . and
he compared the ball player with MoorMan people
throughout our organization who are making that
one less mistake in production – selling just
one more order out of 20 calls – putting out just
one more letter each day . . . in other words,
that little extra effort makes MoorMan’s what
it is today.
along with the growth came change. Some of that change
was the inevitable result of the MoorMan’s business
strategy. And some of the change was caused by unexpected
developments in the environment – changes in American
agriculture and changes in other industries.
1. Some of the “Inevitable” Results of the
MoorMan’s Business Strategy
predictable change was the increase in the number
and variety of products offered to the MoorMan’s customer.
Under the direction of Paul Cory the sales force was
constantly coming up with requests for particular
products that would meet obvious customer needs. The
Research Department’s job was to develop products
which would meet those needs, and the department was
highly successful. The new products that were developed
included:36 Sow Mintrate (1957): Milk
Replacer (1957): Medicated Mintrate Blocks (1959),
and many others.
Department also developed new procedures. An example
was a pepsin digestibility test. That test made it
possible to determine the percentage of a material’s
protein content that an animal could extract. The
pepsin digestibility test proved so successful that
it was adopted by the U.S. government.
predictable change was the periodic improvement in
production techniques. One example of such an improvement
was the development, in 1958, of an automatic fixture
which replaced several men in the production of Mintrate
blocks. As reported in The Link;37
in which this company is vitally interested
is the development of people. There is a genuine
desire to help every one grow.
of the two large Mintrate block presses is an
as received from the manufacturer required the
continued attention of two men each, to lift
the blocks off the press onto a conveyor belt,
as they are processed.
ingenuity of MoorMan minds and skill of MoorMan
hands these four men have been released for
more productive, interesting and challenging
change was in the area of quality control. With its
emphasis on a high quality product that will command
a premium price, Moorman Manufacturing Company had
a strong interest in controlling the quality of not
only its final product but also the raw materials
that went into that product. Hence, the company periodically
developed new methods of maintaining quality controls.
One example occurred in the early 1950's when company
investigators devised a unique method of testing the
quality of raw materials. The new method involved
the use of microscopic photographs to determine the
composition of animal scraps. This achievement resulted
from the combined curiosity of Albert Gehrt (who manned
the microscope) and E.E. (Shorty) Hayes (who bought
the animal scraps).
2. Changes in the Environment that Confronted
Management with Major Decisions
the presidencies of Wilson, Hulsen and Liebig, management
was periodically confronted with major decisions for
which past experience offered little guidance. Some
of those decisions were the inevitable result of the
growth of the organization. Others were caused by
opportunities or problems which the external environment
unexpectedly presented to management. In each case
the decisions were reached by the board of directors
after a period of analysis and discussion. The board
was composed entirely of insiders and could, therefore,
meet frequently and on short notice. A few of those
decisions are described below.
a. The Change in Emphasis from Poultry
to Swine and Cattle
1950 approximately one-half of the company’s business
involved products related to poultry. In the early
nineteen fifties there emerged a backward integration
movement which transformed the poultry industry and
handed MoorMan’s management a tough decision to make.
The backward integration was initiated by feed companies
which decided to contract with farmers to raise chicks
owned by the feed company. The new approach created
incentives to shift poultry production to southern
states where farmers would enter into such contracts
for less pay than in the prosperous Midwest. Hence,
the company’s primary customer group – Midwestern
farmers – began to drop poultry production.
management decided not to follow the poultry business
south. Instead, MoorMan’s elected to stay with the
Midwestern farmer. As a result, the company’s sales
effort shifted from poultry to a much greater emphasis
on hogs, beef and dairy cattle.
b. New Production Facilities in Illinois,
Iowa, Texas, Nebraska, Idaho and Indiana
sales continued to grow it became clear that the
company would have to build feed mills at locations
other than Quincy. In 1959 this expansion began with
the opening of a MoorMan’s feed mill at Alpha, Illinois.
As reported in The Link38
Division is a historic step for our company. Here
is a marketing experiment which we will watch
with intense interest. It is the intent with this
operation to make available every feed service
that a livestock man or poultry raiser could possibly
next two decades new production facilities were acquired
in California, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and
c. Backward Integration into Soybean
MoorMan’s acquired the physical assets of one of its
suppliers, a Quincy based soybean meal manufacturer.
The Quincy Soybean Company subsidiary subsequently
became a significant source of sales growth and earnings.
R.B. Hulsen referred to the decision to acquire the
Quincy Soybean facility as one of the most significant
accomplishments of E.H. Wilson’s presidential years.
MoorMan’s made another diversification move by entering
the livestock equipment business. The company’s Livestock
Equipment Division was started with the purchase of
the assets of the Bel Echo Company. The livestock
equipment business was profitable but through 1977
it only represented a small part of total sales.
d. Organizational Change
nineteen-sixties MoorMan’s began to enter a period
of organizational change. The change was due in large
measure to the growth of the firm in terms of size,
geographical spread and product diversification. The
common denominator of the changes in those years was
a tighter “structuring” of the organization, with
related functions being grouped together under newly
created management positions. In 1964, for example,
President R.B. Hulsen announced the creation of a
new position – Manager of Marketing. Hulsen explained
that the goal was to put all marketing functions under
one head and to thereby pave the way for launching
a long-run growth plan for MoorMan’s.40
Paul Cory was the man appointed to the position. A
few years later the position of Manager of Marketing
was re-titled Vice President for Marketing.
the “structuring process” began to stabilize. During
the next eight years there was some reassigning of
the functions included under each senior officer and
the new title of Executive Vice President was created.
However, the main lines of authority remained largely
J. Social Responsibility
change which began at Moorman Manufacturing Company
in the nineteen-fifties was in the area of social
responsibility. The Moorman brothers were actively
involved in charitable activities and as their business
grew they sought to channel some of their hard-earned
profit back into the Quincy community. Theirs was
a personal relationship with the community rather
than a corporate policy.
nineteen-fifties the new management team adopted a
corporate approach to social responsibility.
Their goal was to make the company a leader in civic
affairs. The result was a breathtaking outburst of
activities in every direction. MoorMan’s executives
became active in virtually every major civic activity
from the Boy Scouts to the School Board. MoorMan’s
managers took the lead in establishing such professional
organizations as the Quincy Personnel Club, the Quincy
Management Association and the Quincy Sales Executive
Club. MoorMan’s made it a point to be a major contributor
to the United Way, hospital drives and a wide variety
of similar civic fund raising affairs. MoorMan’s initiated
a variety of programs designed to help students (and
teachers) understand the free enterprise system (the
first of these – an “Industry-Education Day” – was
held on May 17, 1950).41 And MoorMan’s
enticed two if its suppliers to locate plants in Quincy
as a contribution to Quincy’s industrial development.
The social responsibility policy even extended to
such areas as maintaining a clean environment and
beautifying the properties owned by the company.
On a wider
geographical scale, MoorMan’s became active in giving
financial support to such agricultural organizations
as FFA, 4-H (swine awards program) and 21 land-grant
colleges (scholarships). MoorMan’s usually tried to
provide leadership along with the money. In the case
of FFA support, for example, MoorMan’s decided to
host the national officers on a visit to Quincy and
to bring over 400 FFA youth from the Quincy area to
spend a day with the national leaders.
IV MOORMAN MANUFACTURING COMPANY’S COMMERCIAL SUCCESS
– CLEAR PURPOSE AND DISCIPLINE THE KEYS
were responsible for Moorman Manufacturing Company’s
outstanding commercial success? The preceding historical
sketch suggests that a variety of forces were at work.
However, two factors appear to warrant special emphasis.
Those factors – a clear business purpose and a high
degree of discipline are discussed in this section.
A. Business Purpose
publication in 1977 explained the company’s business
purpose as follows:42
farmers are the world’s largest manufacturers
of feedstuffs, homegrown grains and roughages.
In keeping with
our company’s philosophy – which we call the
MoorMan Story – we design products to help them
utilize the great nutritional power in those
ingredients in MoorMan’s Mintrates and Premixtrates
aid livestock and poultry in producing to their
bred-in capacity . . . for efficient, economical
production of meat, milk and eggs.
THE MAN WHO
CALLS ON STOCKMEN
In his regular,
direct calls on livestock and poultry producers,
the MoorMan man brings a lot more than high-quality
As good as Mintrates,
premixtrates and other MoorMan products are,
they can perform best when we share our experience
with the customer on how to use them.
The local MoorMan
man brings that experience direct to the farmer,
rancher or feeder.
What he’s learned
– the valuable reference materials he carries
– provide him with the combined experience of
our research scientists and nutrition counselors.
And he can relate that know-how to specific
conditions and needs at the farm, ranch or feedlot.
that return over total cost is what’s really
important to today’s business-minded livestock
and poultry producers.
And to help
our customers boost their return, we’ll continue
to provide the best products and service – consistent
with research findings and good business judgment.
are two components of this business purpose. First,
MoorMan’s is in the business of helping customers
improve the nutrition of their farm animals. Second,
MoorMan’s is in the business of helping the farmer
reduce the cost of achieving the desired level of
nutrition. It is this second factor which distinguishes
MoorMan’s from many of its competitors. Most of the
competitors sell complete grain. MoorMan’s does not
sell the grain except in products for baby livestock.
MoorMan’s encourages the farm customer to feed his
own grain and roughage. MoorMan’s reasons that if
the farm or ranch customer will do so, he will reduce
his overall feeding costs by avoiding the cost of
taking the grain away for processing and bringing
it back as feed.
as pointed out by Chairman R.B. Hulsen, Moorman Manufacturing
Company has discovered a need for a unique service
within the animal feed industry. MoorMan’s tells the
farmer to, “buy only what you cannot raise or process
on your own farm.” Moorman’s then attempts to show
the farm customer how this can be done and provides
the farmer with those feeding elements which cannot
be produced or processed efficiently on the farm.
B. The Disciplined
the keys to success in achieving this business purpose
is the sales organization. In the words of President
Richard Liebig (a financial man), “If you are not
sales oriented, you’re in trouble.”43
At MoorMan’s the sales effort is conducted by a highly
disciplined sales force which merits a few additional
1. Selection and Training
in the preceding section, advertising is used to create
awareness on the part of the farmer, but the nature
of the product requires that a MoorMan’s salesman
make a personal contact and show each potential customer
how the MoorMan’s products and services can help that
farmer solve his particular feeding problems.
MoorMan’s must select and train persons who can effectively
carry the message to the farm customer. The selection
procedure has been scientifically designed to identify
persons who have the characteristics associated with
R.B. Hulsen once observed, a sales career with MoorMan’s
can be the “perfect” career for the right person.
Such a career offers the chance to combine the benefits
associated with regular employment (life insurance,
medical insurance, profit sharing, etc.) With the
unusually high rewards one finds in successful selling.44
Such a career does involve a risk, the risk of failure.
But the challenge is actually a positive inducement
to many people.
procedure is designed to identify persons who respond
positively to the risks involved in a sales career
and who have the characteristics needed for success
in such a career. As indicated previously, the selection
process has been “scientifically” designed to predict
the possibility of sales success.
candidate for a sales position has been selected,
he enters a training program designed to teach the
prospective salesman the techniques and attitudes
needed for long run success at MoorMan’s. Many of
these were part of the training program even before
1944 when the newly formed Training Department was
organized under the leadership of R.B. Hulsen with
Paul Cory in charge of training activities. For example,
one of the booklets given to the trainees in those
early days, Your Guide to Success, included
the following pieces of advice:45
|a. Sell Yourself
|| “Before any man can be a successful salesman he must
be sold on the proposition or the product he has
to offer the buyer or user . . . Be honest with
yourself on this matter. If you are not properly
sold, come to our factory and experimental farm
and you will be completely sold.”
|b. Let the Law
|“Every man has his average. If you find your average
is one sale out of every five canvasses, then improve your canvass
and try hard to make a sale out of every four
|c. Don’t Knock the
|“MoorMans’ has always been the target for knocking (by) competitive salesmen . . . Your first reaction is to
retaliate and do some knocking yourself. We urge
you not to do this . . . Find something good to
say . . . Let your competitors do all the knocking.
Just remember that the farmers are not interested
in hearing this sort of thing. It is disgusting.”
|d. Be Honest
||“(T)ell the truth . . . you don’t have to lie or misrepresent
the facts about MoorMan’s. The truth about our
goods is almost unbelievable. Be conservative.”
|e. Provide Service
||“After the order is taken, follow up . . . See that the
customer gets the goods as ordered on schedule
and in good condition. Check to see that the customer
is using them properly.”
|f Make Customers
|“(T)he best salesman who ever represented this company
anywhere is a satisfied customer. What he will tell his neighbor
about MoorMan’s carries many times more weight
than what you ... tell him.”
These were good pieces
of advice. But perhaps the most significant techniques
taught to salesmen were the Route System, and the
Four Part Sale, both of which were discussed previously.
2. Sales Planning and Promotion
of selecting salesmen and training them to use effective
sales techniques was to place in the field a person
capable of creating customers for MoorMan’s. In order
to maintain high levels of performance on the part
of the sales force, MoorMan’s backed up the salesmen
with a tightly organized system of sale planning and
sales promotions. In fact, for all practical purposes,
corporate planning at MoorMan Manufacturing Company
occurred as part of the sales planning effort.
organization of the sales planning and promotion effort
changed periodically, but the basic concept remained
the same from the mid-1940's through 1977. That concept
was that a home office committee met monthly to prepare
sales plans for the next 4 to 6 months. The plan for
the coming month was finalized and plans for the remaining
months were tentatively developed, being subject to
revision the following month.46 The plan
for the month ahead was then sent to the field where
it was eventually presented to the salesmen. It was
then up to the salesmen to execute the plan.
preferred span of supervision was 8 to 10 persons
supervised by one individual. Hence, in order to get
the message to the 3,000 salesmen, the General Sales
Manager had to communicate with six regional managers.
They, in turn, passed the plan on to 60 State Managers.47
The State Managers relayed the plan to the approximately
400 District Managers and the District Managers then
held a meeting of the approximately 8 to 10 salesmen
under their supervision.
3. The “Flavor” of a Sales Promotion
to actually be involved in a MoorMan’s sales promotion
to catch the full “flavor” of the affair. However,
from time to time The Link gave a report that
provided some insight. One such account appeared in
1950. Under the heading, “Thrilling Climax” accompanied
by pictures of sales leaders Hulsen and Cory were
the following words:48
a giant board in the east part of the office.
If you haven’t noticed it, go over there in
the next few days and give it the old inspection.
On it is listed every MoorMan salesman and opposite
each salesman’s name is ten squares. Those ten
squares represent the ten weeks beginning October
23rd right straight through to the
end of the year. And those ten squares also
represent the ten figures in $33,333,333.33!
pitch: By each salesman selling at a $500 or
more clip each and every one of the ten weeks,
that 33 1/3 quota will be realized. That rate
of $500 is not out of reach . . . Every field
man has been alerted to this program and each
week on the big board referred to above, opposite
his name a colored “3" is inserted IF HE
SOLD $500 OR MORE that week . . . For sales
of $2,000 or more he rates a nice blue “3"
– a blue ribbon accomplishment.
S-T-R-E-T-C-H! The final drive! Every man, woman,
and child whose livelihood comes from the sale
and manufacture of MoorMan products will be
interested in this galvanic race for quota.
This STRETCH, as it’s called, represents a reaching
by our Field Force, with every ounce of the
sales ability they possess, for the goal set
for this year 1950 . . . Our support means so
much to those guys in the field . . . no matter
what our job, we’re in this thing right up to
our ears! It’s a S-T-R-E-T-C-H drive for every
one of us.
was a key at MoorMan Manufacturing Company. It was
important throughout the organization, but nowhere
was it more important than in the operation of the
sales effort. Combined with a clear understanding
of the corporate purpose, MoorMan’s discipline led
to outstanding commercial success.
V. BUSINESS ETHICS
striking feature of MoorMan’s history is management’s
achievement in the area of business ethics.
the critical literature dealing with ethics in business
claims that there exist serious conflicts between
the goal of a high level of human relations and the
pursuit of profit. The capitalist system is seen by
its critics as being open to strong criticism in this
area. However the trend in the specialized branch
of management research that deals with this issue
is toward perceiving a high degree of harmony between
the pursuit of profit and good human relations.
of the Moorman Manufacturing Company can be cited
as an example in support of this hypothesis. Over
the years MoorMan’s management developed a set of
policies which, in the view of Chairman of the Board
R.B. Hulsen, brought the profit goal and the desire
for a high standard of human relations into harmony.
Company managers did not have to restrict their practice
of Christian ethics to Sunday worship at their various
churches. Indeed, the environment Hulsen and his colleagues
created within their company may have made it easier
to practice those Christian virtues than was the case
when engaged in church politics.
briefly examines these human relations policies. The
first portion of the section describes MoorMan’s policies
in each of the four major areas of human relations
(customer, supplier, employee and community). The
last portion discusses the theory behind these policies
as articulated by R.B. Hulsen.
A. Customer Policies
with customers, MoorMan’s stressed a high standard
of ethics and a concern for the customer’s feeding
needs. This was not only good human relations but
also good business, because it led to repeat business
from satisfied customers. MoorMan’s management felt
so strongly about the importance of good customer
relations that the company went to extra lengths to
try to insure customer satisfaction. This shows up,
for example, in the MoorMan’s policy of always giving
the customer a little bit more product than was indicated
on the label of the package containing the product.
A 50 pound bag of MoorMan’s minerals would thus contain
slightly more than 50 pounds of minerals.
of the “sales pitch” in the preceding section contains
a number of indications of MoorMan’s customer policy
at work. The salesman was told to find ways in which
MoorMan’s products could actually help the customer.
The salesman was told to be perfectly honest. And
the salesman was told that the key to success is a
quality control program is another example of the
customer orientation at work. As explained by Executive
Vice President, H.D. Easton, “Long ago Top Management
established an ironclad policy that we were never
to compromise on quality, that we could never knowingly
market a product that did not meet its specifications.
To meet this policy we initiated many devices and
tests throughout the manufacturing process that would
catch products falling below guarantee. Policies were
established that we would do whatever is prudent to
insure that the customer got what he paid for, that
to the best of our ability only products meeting their
guarantee would reach the customer and that cost to
the company would not be used as a factor in deciding
on product retrieval or recalls. MoorMan employees
may not cut corners and at no time is anyone permitted
to compromise on quality or relax on product standard.
Our image has been built on quality products and is
recognized throughout the industry. This image is
the result of the desire to do the right thing, coupled
with a company-wide program in which employees are
made quality conscious and, therefore, strive for
compliance with our rigid standards of quality assurance.
I feel our fundamental belief that we will not compromise
on quality has been the cornerstone of this business.”49
B. Policies Toward Suppliers
policy toward suppliers was to seek out long term
relationships which were mutually profitable to the
supplier and to MoorMan’s. This policy, too, can be
justified in terms of profitability. Long term relationships
enabled MoorMan’s to establish and maintain high levels
of quality in terms of the goods and services purchased
from suppliers; and by being concerned that each supplier
was making an adequate profit, MoorMan’s helped to
assure itself a source of supply. There were occasions
when MoorMan’s rejected the initial bid or price quotation
by a supplier and asked the supplier to raise the
price. MoorMan’s did this in those cases where MoorMan’s
management did not believe that the supplier could
make an adequate profit on the original low bid. In
the short run, of course, company profits suffered
a little bit. But in the long run MoorMan’s believed
that the company more than made up for the short run
cost of the policy. By helping good suppliers to survive
and prosper, MoorMan’s assured itself of a continued
source of high quality suppliers. And, of course,
when shortages began to develop in goods or services
purchased by MoorMan’s the long term ties with suppliers
assured a continued supply of the product to MoorMan’s.
C. Policy Toward Employees
to employees the key words were security, freedom,
pride and productivity. Management sought to achieve
a high level of productivity on the part of each employee.
In order to do this, management believed that it had
to give each employee a large measure of freedom of
action. Such freedom would enable the employee to
devise ways of improving his or her own productivity.
But in order to motivate the employee to utilize this
freedom, MoorMan’s management believed that it had
to provide job security and it had to develop within
the employee a feeling of pride.
1. Security and Freedom
between security and freedom is worth of further comment.
Columnist Sydney Harris has pointed out the thinking
behind MoorMan’s practice in the following words:50
people’s minds, the ideas of “freedom” and “security”
are opposites: In a free society, you are not
secure, and in a secure society, you are not
free. But this is a demonstrably false opposition.
For in actual fact, there is no freedom without an
assured degree of security, and there is no
security without a good measure of freedom.
obviously based on freedom of choice. If there
is no, or little, free choice, we take what
options we must. A society in which people are
“free” to starve, or free to be without jobs
when they want work, does not really offer them
a free choice – it limits their options . .
must have a firm basis in security. It must
offer a full range of choices, so that decisions
are not made by a hungry stomach or a frightened
top management shared the view articulated by Harris
and sought to create an organizational environment
in which employees felt sufficiently secure to take
the initiative in solving daily problems and trying
new methods of boosting productivity.
a Sense of Security is Created
MoorMan’s create a sense of security? Four approaches
appear to have been used. The first was the commercial
success of the company. People feel more secure if
they work for a winner, and in terms of profits and
sales, MoorMan’s was definitely a winner. No MoorMan’s
employee should have felt concern for his job or his
earnings because of the danger of competitors taking
business away from MoorMan’s. The company had consistently
shown its ability to out-perform the industry.
a sense of security is fostered by means of individual
communication and recognition. MoorMan’s practiced
a form of management by objectives. All supervisors
were required to periodically meet with each employee
under their supervision and discuss the employee’s
job performance. All employees received periodic recognition
from their supervisors for doing their jobs.
also included publicity for exceptional performance.
Salesmen received widespread publicity when they had
a good week, month or year. Fork lift truck drivers
received periodic recognition for their good safety
records; departments and divisions were periodically
featured in the company news magazine, The Link,
and top management took advantage of every opportunity
to heap praise on individuals for jobs well done.
there was the company’s attempt to make each employee
feel that he or she “belonged” to the group; that
his or her contribution was needed and appreciated.
This feeling of belonging was cultivated through interpersonal
communications; it was cultivated by employees having
a part of the beneficial ownership of the company
through profit sharing; and it was cultivated through
such formal devices as the advisory board discussed
above. Since the presidency of W.R. Hazle, a major
factor contributing to the feeling of belonging was
top management’s efforts to show respect and concern
for employees at all levels.
there was management’s attempt to practice Christian
love. Columnist Sydney Harris once identified what
is involved in the following words:51
look upon the Biblical injunction ‘love’ your
enemies as either impossibly utopian or impossibly
sentimental. This is because they fail to understand
the meaning of agape, or love, as Jesus meant
To love your
enemies does not mean that you have to like
them. It does mean that they are no longer enemies.
Nobody can command us to like what we do not
like, for emotions cannot be directed by moral
remain enemies if their ultimate goals conflict
with ours, no matter whether we love them or
not. So that “Love your enemies” does not order
us to do something either utopian or sentimental.
What it means,
properly understood, is that no matter what
we ‘feel’ about another person, or how we oppose
his beliefs, there must be an acknowledgment
that what binds us together is greater than
what divides us.
It is the
‘personhood’ of the other that unites us in
something that is above and greater than both
of us; and our respect for this common ground
of being must take precedence over our likes
and our dislikes. This is the hardest lesson
for any people (and any church) to learn.
the days of W.R. Hazle, MoorMan’s management has attempted
to inject “agape” into interpersonal relations within
organization is to infuse “agape” into its daily doings,
the firm’s chief executive officer must set a good
example. MoorMan’s history offers several interesting
role models in this regard. W.R. Hazle, of course,
was a “cheerleader.” He sought people out and “pumped
them up” with compliments.
as president, was in many ways the opposite of Hazle.
He was a quiet thoughtful man who was not accustomed
to giving fire breathing motivational speeches or
seeking out employees to “pump them up with praise.”
But he recognized the importance of what Hazle had
started and so he made his respect and concern for
employees evident by encouraging employees to bring
their problems to him. When they did he would listen
patiently and in an understanding manner. Wilson also
set the example for the business by being a tireless
like Hazle, sought out employees in groups or individually.
In addition, Hulsen was deeply interested in eliminating
personality clashes that occurred from time to time
within the organization. When such conflicts were
brought to his attention he would frequently counsel
with both parties, trying to help each understand
the other’s point of view.
3. Pride and Productivity
who feels secure will be more likely to utilize the
freedom available to him to maintain high levels of
productivity. In contrast with the insecure worker,
such a worker will be more likely to experiment with
new, more productive ways of getting his job done.
in order to motivate workers to make full use of this
freedom, MoorMan’s management developed a comprehensive
set of policies designed to create pride in the company.
Management’s thinking was that a worker who is proud
of the company will be more likely to do his part
to maintain and increase productivity levels. The
techniques used to create pride included the same
items designed to create a sense of security. In addition,
Community activities played an important role in generating
pride. Hence, a discussion of MoorMan’s community
relations is in order.
D. Community (Social) Relations
by Chairman Hulsen, MoorMan’s management believed
that, “What is good for Quincy or any other town where
MoorMan’s has facilities is good for Moorman Manufacturing
Company.” Hence, MoorMan’s had a long tradition of
actively supporting civic causes.
the leadership years of the Moorman brothers, civic
support largely took the form of generous financial
contributions to worthy causes, ranging from Boy Scouts
and Girl Scouts to the Methodist Church. Later MoorMan’s
management maintained the tradition of financial support
of worthy causes and added a new element – the provision
of leadership through active participation by MoorMan’s
to the leadership and financial contributions made
to Quincy and all other plant and distribution locations
by Moorman Manufacturing Company there were the contributions
made by the Moorman Foundation. This foundation was
endowed by the C.A. Moorman family and was a separate
entity from the Company Fund which made contributions
on behalf of the company. The Moorman Foundation was
a national foundation in the sense that it supported
activities without geographic limitations. However,
included in those gifts were occasional contributions
to the Quincy area. Perhaps one of the most interesting
of such projects was a multi-year grant to the University
of Chicago for the purpose of designing and testing
methods of enriching the quality of education offered
by the Quincy public school system. The project did
raise the quality of education and became one of the
models used by the federal government when the Head
Start program was introduced in the nineteen-sixties.
E. The Theory Behind the Policy
theories can be offered in explanation of Moorman
Manufacturing Company’s exemplary human relations
policies. The first is that MoorMan’s managers are
“nice guys” who value good human relations even if
the result is to knock a few cents off the profit
earned on every one hundred dollars of sales. The
existence of this type of conflict would be most likely
to appear in the cases of employee and community relations.
It is possible that this was Hazle’s thinking when
he promoted the change in employee relations in the
theory explaining the exemplary human relations is
the one to which all MoorMan’s managers interviewed
by the author adhered. As explained by R.B. Hulsen,
all four aspects of MoorMan’s human relations
policy make a contribution to profit. As management
views the situation, there is no conflict or trade-off
between profit and good human relations. There is
no trade-off because good human relations – whether
with customer, supplier, employee, or the community
– lead to increased employee productivity.
liked to explain this view by means of the following
NR + HE x T = MP
That is, Natural Resources
(NR) plus Human Energy (HE) multiplied by Technology
(T) equals Material Progress (MP).
argued that more human energy is released and used
productively by good human relations. Good consumer
and supplier relations release employee energy because
they create a sense of pride in the product and worthwhileness
of purpose. Good employee relations release energy
for similar reasons. Good community relations also
produce pride. In addition, good community relations
help MoorMan’s attract the best available employees.
And many of the company’s community contributions
help the communities in which MoorMan operates to
raise the next generation of employees.
managers what is good for the customer, supplier,
employee and community is good for long run profit.
That view coupled with the company’s outstanding commercial
success makes the MoorMan’s story helpful reading
for anyone concerned about the ethical issues in business.
E. Hattwick is a Professor of Economics at Western
Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.
1. The official company name is “Moorman Manufacturing
Company.” The official trademark is “MoorMan’s.”
2. “Livestock and Poultry Farming,” Encyclopedia
Britannica, Macropaedia, Vol. 10, 1975, p. 1279.
3. W.P. Elmslie. Fifty Years of Livestock
Research. Private Printing, August 1970, p. 29.
4. Author’s estimate based on data from the U.S.
Bureau of the Census and publicly announced sales
figures of Moorman Manufacturing Company.
5. The abbreviated name is spelled “MoorMan’s.”
The family name is spelled “Moorman.” In a few places
in the text the “s” in MoorMan’s is deleted to avoid
awkward phrases. The possessive form is occasionally
handled in the same fashion in the text which follows.
6. This interpretation was given by former president
E.H. Wilson during an interview conducted on July
7. Unidentified manuscript found in Moorman Manufacturing
Company’s Heritage Room on August 10, 1977.
8. “MoorMan’s – 1920 to 1030", The Link,
Vol. 33, No. 7 (July 1976), p.6.
9. Interview with E.H. Wilson, July 21, 1977.
11. W.P. Elmslie. Fifty Years of Livestock Research.
Private Printing, August 1970, pp. 59-61.
12. Interview with E.H. Wilson, July 21, 1977.
13. “MoorMan’s – 1940 to 1950,” The Link,
Vol. 33, No. 7 (July 1976), p. 11.
14. See Section 5.
15. “R.B. Hulsen,” The Link, Vol. 4, No.
9 (June 1947), p. 4. Hulsen once later observed, “You
won’t have to worry about getting ahead if you spend
your time figuring what you can give to this business
instead of figuring what you can get out of it.”
(“Bob Hulsen featured in Feed Bag Magazine,” The
Link, Vol. 26, No. 1 [January 1969], p.7.)
16. Among E.V. Moorman’s civic activities was his
candidacy for the position of Vice President of the
United States on the Prohibition Party slate in 1940.
17. “Field Personnel and Training Department,”
The Link, Vol. 2, No. 10 (July 1945), p.4.
18. Feedmanship – An Easy Way of Selling More
Business. Quincy: Moorman Manufacturing Company,
1944, pp. 1-2.
20 Interview with Paul Cory, July 28, 1977.
21. W.P. Elmslie, Fifty Years of Livestock Research.
Private Printing, August 1970, pp. 59-61.
22. Interview with Paul Cory, July 28, 1977.
23 Interview with Hulsen on September 6, 1977.
(It should be noted that in 1943 there existed a shortage
of civilian manpower due to the war effort.)
24. Sales data are presented in the Appendix.
25. Posters used in these campaigns are exhibited
in the Heritage Room at corporate headquarters in
26. See “Our Products on Parade,” The Link.
Vol. 7, NO. 10 (July 1950), p.5.
27. “No. 2 Nationally in Farm Publication Investment,”
The Link. Vol. 22, No. 8 (May 1965).
28. “MoorMan Advertising Wins 7 First Places in
Chicago.” The Link. Vol. 18, No. 7 (July 1958).
29. “Our New President – W.R. Hazle.” The Link.
Vol. 5, No. 5 (February 1948), p.3.
30. Speech by W.R. Hazle reported in The Link,
Vol. 8, No. 11 (August 1951), p. 3. In understanding
the change initiated by Hazle it is helpful to contrast
what might be called the “Old Testament” concept and
the “New Testament” concepts of proper human relations.
The “Old Testament” concept emphasizes traits such
as honesty, responsibility, fairness and justice.
These are traits essential for business success, and
were an important part of C.A. Moorman’s way of doing
business. The “New Testament” concept adds “love”
of “agape” to the “Old Testament” traits. “Love” is
not essential for business success. But it is not
inconsistent with the pursuit of profit. Hazle sensed
this and set about introducing “love” at Moorman Manufacturing
Company. This theme is discussed further in Section
31. The interpretation in this paragraph comes
from several interviews with R.B. Hulsen.
32. The number of units of credit for profit sharing
purposes held by an employee is based on his years
of service and his salary. However, any salary in
excess of $10,000 per year is not counted in determining
an employee’s interest. Therefore, many long-time
non-management employees will have as many or more
dollars of credit than members of the top management
33. Interview with R.B. Hulsen, September 4, 1977.
34. Interview with Dean Thomas, July 14, 1977.
Executive Vice President H.C. Eaton added that, “(A)
very important part of employee communication practices
is the presentation of birthday cards and anniversary
pins. This policy allows the supervisor an opportunity
to chat with each employee once a year and, equally
important or perhaps more so, an opportunity for the
President to visit informally with the employee at
5-year intervals . . . (T)his policy of providing
the opportunity for exchange of views between Management
and Staff, over the years, has been invaluable” (Note
to R.B. Hulsen from H.C. Eaton, November 28, 1977).
35. “Employees Meetings,” The Link, Vol.
26, No. 10, October 1969, p. 7.
36. On June 8, 1964, Dr. M.H. Caldwell was named
Director of Research.
37. “MoorMan-Made Fixture Streamlines Block Presses,”
The Link, Vol. 15, No. 6 (March 1958), p. 7.
38. “MoorMan’s Goes Forward at Alpha,” The Link,
Vol. 16, No. 7 (April 1959). P. 7.
39. In 1977 MoorMan’s had manufacturing plants
at the following locations: San Gabriel, California;
Escondido, California; Perris, California; Fruitland,
Idaho; Alpha, Illinois; Quincy, Illinois; Bluffton,
Indiana; LeMars, Iowa; Columbus, Nebraska; Comanche,
Texas; and Hereford, Texas.
40. “Sales Management Promotions,” The Link,
Vol. 22, No. 3 (December 1964), p. 3. Hulsen became
President on December 5, 1964.
41. “Industry-Education Day,” The Link,
Vol. 7, NO. 9 (June 1950).
42. About Our Company – MoorMan’s. Quincy:
MoorMan Manufacturing Company, 1977, pp. 3-5.
43. Interview with Richard Liebig, July 21, 1977.
44. Interview with R.B. Hulsen, May 20, 1977.
45. Updated pamphlet preserved in Heritage Room.
46. In 1977 the home office planning committee
was called the Sales Planning Committee. Its members
included the heads of the headquarters departments
involved in marketing such as Sales Promotion, Advertising,
Sales Publications, Market Research, Sales Coordinating,
Sales Employment and Training, and, of course, the
General Sales Manager.
47. State Sales managers have responsibility for
a part of a state or a whole state in some instances.
The term is a holdover from days when men supervised
marketing efforts in entire states.
48. “Thrilling Climax,” The Link, Nov. 1950,
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Nov. 1950), p.2.
49. Note sent to R.B. Hulsen by H.C. Eaton, November
50.Sydney J. Harris.
“Freedom Needs a Basis in Security,” Chicago Daily
News, December 31, 1976.
51. Sydney J. Harris. The Best of Sydney J.
Harris. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976, pp. 17-18.
52. As pointed out by R.B. Hulsen, the company
does not direct its employees to become active in
community affairs. The reason for employee involvement
is that MoorMan’s attracts a high quality person who
naturally tends to become involved. Of course, the
company praises its people for their involvement.
53. Hulsen notes that the equation was not original
Moorman’s Annual Sales: 1913-1977
1913-1976 the source is The Link, July,
||1977 is an estimate provided by the Company.
TABLE 1 GOES IN SECTION II
Moorman Manufacturing Company’s Product Line
||Antibiotic concentrate–Fights stress, scours, low egg
production. Low level infection. For poultry,
hogs, beef, dairy, or sheep.
||Vitamin supplement (Vitamins A & D3)
||Complete feed for young suckling pigs
||Concentrated starter feed (not complete)
||Mineralized, vitaminized protein concentrate for pigs
4/6 weeks to 90 lbs.
||Mintrate for pigs 90 lbs. to market
||Mintrate for sows
||Minerals for hogs
||Minerals for daily stock
||Substitute for cow’s milk (for calves)
||Multiple protein + minerals and vitamins for laying hens
||Mintrate for cattle
||For fattening cattle
||Self feeding protein and minerals for cattle, sheep,
||For fattening cattle
||For grazing cattle
||Balanced minerals for sheep & goats with Phenothiazine
||One day worm treatment for hogs
||Drinking water tablets
||Sanitizes water for poultry
||Disinfectant paint when mixed with water (for livestock
and poultry buildings)
||Controls sarcoptic mange on hogs
||Insecticide for lice, mites, ticks, fleas
||Spray for ticks, lice, flies
||Fly killer repellant
||Household insect killer
||Flies, mosquitoes, mites, etc. (aerosol spray)
||Mineral food for humans
||Human dietary supplement
Source: Product Manual, Moorman Manufacturing
Company, January 1960
*Note: – These are all trademarked names
TABLE 2 GOES IN SECTION
The Place of MoorMan’s in the Animal Feed Industry
Value of Shipments for
Animal Feed Industry1
|Sales of MoorMan’s
||- - -
||U.S. Bureau of the Census, Concentration Ratios in
Manufacturing Industry - 1963, p.7
Bureau of the Census, 1972 Census of Manufacturing.
General Summary, pp. 1-36, 1-37.
Bureau of the Census, 1977 Census of Manufacturers
- Industry Series, Vol II, Part 1, p. 200-209.
1 SIC 2042 from 1947 to 1963; SIC 2048 from 1967 to 1977.
TABLE 3 GOES IN SECTION
Over the years, the
company has pioneered many significant advancements
in animal nutrition, livestock parasite control, quality
control and feed manufacturing (including):
manufacturer to establish a research farm.
||First to develop practical iodine-analysis
tests for feeds - now used throughout the industry.
||First to perfect a hog worm expeller
to be used in feeds.
||First to produce mineral supplements
in block form.
||First to make extensive use of
pepsin-digestion tests to check digestibility
of animal-protein sources.
||First with a successful protein-vitamin-mineral
block for self-feeding grazing beef cattle.
||First with a systemic insecticide
in a complex mineral supplement for beef cattle
||First feed manufacturer to market
a self-fed protein block for effective worm treatment
of cattle on range or pasture.
|| First with a product
which can be fed for the successful prevention
of iron-deficiency anemia in baby pigs.
||First feed manufacturer to market
a mineral supplement containing an insect growth
regulator for grazing beef cattle to stop development
of horn flies in the harmless pupal stage.
Source: Moorman Manufacturing Company files.