Melissa Feeders has been a continued leader in the community through actively involving organization with local community boards and trash pick-up programs. Melissa Feeders is currently responsible for maintaining a strip of adjacent highway through the "adopt a highway" program and devotes employees to maintaining the landscape in surrounding areas.
The company is also actively involved in local FFA and 4H programs, and has supported local youth programs in bringing elementary students to the operation for tours and general education about the beef industry and environmental responsibility. The company also brought in 2000 Olympic Gold Medal Wrestler Rulon Gardner to speak at local schools about the importance of education and community respect. Dr. Mark Quinn has been recognized on several occasions for his outstanding contribution to the community, including receiving the Blue Ridge Honorary Citizen Award.Dr. Quinn was a major fundraiser and president of the Blue Ridge Livestock Supporters Club, and along with Melissa Feeders, sponsored the "Student of the Week" award in the Blue Ridge Paper for several years, sponsored numerous radio broadcasts of local sports events, and sponsored events at the Blue Ridge Rodeo.
In addition, Quinn was President of the Professional Dairy Heifer Growers Association, and President of the Academy of Veternairy Consultants, both national organizations.He has also served on numerous boards and committees with TCFA and NCBA throughout his long agricultural career. Many of Melissa Feeders' activities with cooperative extension programs have already begun persuading other producers to initiate such programs within their own operations.By hosting field days and demonstrations highlighting the practices of MF, other producers can realize the value in being good stewards of the environment. Additionally, working with organizations such as the Texas Cattle Feeders Association is beneficial for spreading practices that have been successful for MF to other CAFOs. Melissa Feeders' involvement has been highlighted by the Southern Region Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program's publication Common Ground.This program funds projects that develop environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable agricultural methods. SARE is a program that is funded by the USDA and EPA.
Being a good steward of the environment has been advantageous for the company in a number of ways. First, active involvement in programs that are beneficial for the environment have shown MF to be recognized as leaders in the industry. One of the major advantages of being good stewards of the environment is that it has allowed Melissa Feeders to set an example for other operations in the industry. It has also demonstrated the ability of an operation to go above and beyond the requirements for maintaining an environmentally sound company. Melissa Feeders' example also shows producers that by not just meeting the "minimum" regulations for CAFO's their respective operations can not only expand outside of traditional roles of producers, but they can also be profitable business endeavors.
Good stewardship practices have allowed MF to improve its nutrient and waste management throughout all of its operations, and has allowed for MF to expand its business enterprises outside of traditional roles for cattle growing and feeding. Melissa Feeders' leadership and cooperation with universities, government agencies such as TCEQ, USDA, and EPA, and organizations have lead to being leaders in the industry and in local communities.