One of the benefits of merging two longtime Kentucky feed producers like Tapp's Feed and Producer Feeds is that almost half of our staff members at Excel Equine have worked with us for a decade or more.

 

The tenure of staff at our locations in Louisville and Shelbyville ranges from more than 30 years for Larry Hughes, who previously worked for Tapp's, to a number of newly hired staff, including a few who had worked for Tapp's or Producers in the past. We have about 15 employees between the two locations.

 

Because our staff is small, many of our employees handle multiple jobs. There's the day-to-day work in the warehouse, where we store our more than 30 feed blends; feed delivery; sales and marketing; and clerical and analytical duties.

 

Of course we also have a number of staff in highly specialized jobs, including our nutritionist, who refines our feed formulations, and our production staff, who keep the manufacturing operation running smoothly.

 

No matter who you meet or work with, our staff will be friendly, courteous and professional.    

Kent Thompson
Co-owner and Managing Partner

Kent Thompson is involved in everything from marketing to manufacturing here at Excel Equine. He formulates new premium feed blends, answers customers’ questions about their horses’ feed issues, oversees production at our mill in Louisville, Ky., arranges shipments of feeds to our customers at thoroughbred racetracks in the Southeast and travels to Florida, Louisiana and other states to work with new distributors as Excel Equine’s distribution network expands.

An animal nutritionist with a Ph. D in animal science, Kent is the force behind Excel Equine's expanding line of premium feed blends. Because of his expertise in animal nutrition, which requires a knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, animal behavior, economics and food processing, Excel Equine has become known for equine feeds that are nutritionally sound, formulated to meet the varying nutritional needs of horses of different ages and breeds, and appealing to the horses that eat them.

Kent has had a lifelong interest in horses and animal nutrition. He grew up on a farm in upstate New York, where he worked with and showed draft horses, before he headed to Cornell University to earn his bachelor’s degree in animal science.

Kent had always loved Thoroughbred racing, and so he moved to Kentucky, racing’s heartland, to do his graduate work at the University of Kentucky, where he earned his master’s degree and his doctorate, both in animal science. After a two-year post-doc appointment in the UK Department of Veterinary Science, Kent taught on faculty for that department for six years. From there, he developed new feeds for horses at Purina Mills, taught at Midway College and was an equine nutritionist for Buckeye Nutrition in Ohio. Kent then saw an opportunity to be in business for himself, and with a partner, bought Tapp’s Feed, an animal feed mill based in Shelbyville, Ky. In 2014, Tapp’s merged with Producer Feeds of Louisville to create Excel Equine.

When he’s not at work, Kent is on his farm in Shelby County, where he has his own horses. Of course, they eat Excel Equine premium feed blends.

Excel Equine

Excel Equine Feeds
165 North Clay Street
Louisville, KY 40202

  • Telephone: Office - (800) 295-2836
    or (502) 587-6606
    Mobile - (859) 537-8136

David Williams
Co-owner

Co-owner David Williams has been in the animal feed business since 1978, when he opened Burkmann Feeds in Danville, Ky., an animal feed maker that has since expanded into other parts of Kentucky and Tennessee.

Agriculture and science have always been central to David’s life. As a youth, growing up in Shepherdsville, Ky., he raised and showed livestock and was active in in 4H and Future Farmers of America. David’s focus on agriculture continued at the University of Kentucky, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science and at Iowa State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in animal nutrition.

After work as an instructor at Iowa State, as a cooperative extension agent for the University of Kentucky and as a nutritionist for a feed manufacturer, David opened Burkmann Feeds.

David’s successes as a scientist and a businessman have made him a sought-out leader and expert, both here at Excel Equine and in his community. Here at Excel Equine, David confers on development of our feed blends as well as on our marketing and production.

He is a leader in Kentucky agriculture, active in the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association, the Kentucky Feed and Grain Association and the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Foundation.

In his adopted hometown of Danville, where he lives on a horse farm, David has been involved in everything from his church and the chamber of commerce to 4-H and a community land trust. He raises saddlebreds and, of course, he feeds them the Excel Equine feed blends that he and co-owner and fellow scientist Kent Thompson develop.    

Excel Equine

Excel Equine Feeds
165 North Clay Street
Louisville, KY 40202

  • Telephone: (800) 295-2836 or (502) 587-6606

Aubri Hostetter
Equine Feed Sales and Promotions Specialist

Aubri spends a lot of time visiting our customers at horse farms, veterinary clinics and equine rehab centers in Central Kentucky. Those visits help her make recommendations about which Excel Equine premium feed blends best suit a horse’s needs and give Aubri a chance to listen to our customers’ concerns and offer advice on feeding problems.

She also represents our company at horse shows and coordinates sponsorship opportunities for Excel Equine.

Aubri grew up riding saddlebreds in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala. She chose a career path tied to horses, majoring in equine science at William Woods University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Before she joined our company, she worked for well-known saddlebred trainers Tre and Emily Lee of Prospect Lane Farm in Versailles, Ky., the late Rob Wilson of Smithfield, Ky., and Don Bridges of Louisville.

Aubri now calls Kentucky home. She and her husband, Chris, a saddlebred trainer for Ashlyn Farms in Simponville, Ky., live in Simpsonville, and they both show saddlebreds. They feed their own horses Excel Equine premium feed blends.    

Excel Equine

Excel Equine Feeds
165 North Clay Street
Louisville, KY 40202

  • Telephone: Office - (800) 295-2836
    or (502) 587-6606
    Mobile - (502) 655-0169

Staff Spotlight

Larry Hughes
Customer Relations - Joined Tapp's Feed in 1981

Larry was hired as a mechanic on Day 1 when Tapp's opened in 1981; on Day 2 he became the delivery driver.  He has worked closely with our customers ever since.

 "I enjoy being with our customers and fulfilling their needs. I find satisfaction and really enjoy helping customers with their day-to-day challenges. My job is less complicated now than it was 30 years ago because I have confidence that every bag of feed I deliver is manufactured correctly for the horses it is designed for. Wear and tear on my body may have slowed me down, but I have never let anything affect my dedication to my customers. I don't just have customers but lifelong friends."

- Larry Hughes

"Larry is the kind of employee every employer would want. He has a work ethic second to no one and he serves as such a role model to all our other employees. His work ethic has kicked the butt of many new hires and even today he outworks men 40 years younger. And he does it with a positive attitude that comes from his faith in God and love of his family."

- Owner Kent Thompson on Larry Hughes