Q&A with our CEO

Innovative Feedpushers Designed by JOZ are Taking the US Dairy Market by Storm. This is an interview with Rick Elling from JOZ, a Dutch-based company that specializes in slurry handling and feedpushing equipment, done by:

Myria S. van Raemdonck
Commercial Officer at Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Q A with our CEO JOZ feed pusher


Rick Elling, CEO at JOZ
Rick Elling. CEO at JOZ

Q: JOZ specializes in Slurry handling. What exactly does this mean?

A: It means we design, manufacture, and sell products that clean stables and barns. Our slogan is that we are “the Home of the Clean Stable.” JOZ was founded by Jan Oostwouder more than 70 years ago. It all started when he designed a system that automated the removal of slurry, bringing an end to the labor intensive activity of manually mucking out stables. Today, our products can be found all over the world.


Q: So does that mean you are already selling your products in the U.S?

A: It does. We have been exporting our products to North America for 17 years now, although we have been more active in Canada than in the U.S. Until recently, the U.S. was not a country that had our focus. Not because of a lack of interest, but because we simply did not have the manpower to effectively service the market. However, with the recent addition of several U.S. sales representatives and the opening of a branch office in the U.S. – JOZ-USA Inc. – this is about to change.


Q: Do you specialize solely in the removal of slurry or do you also sell other products?

A: While it all started with our revolutionary slurry removal systems, we have branched out and are also selling products that enhance cow comfort, turning chain systems, and a feed pushing robot.


Q: A feed pushing robot?

A: Our fully automatic robot pushes the cow feed towards the feeding fence. This way, the cows have access to fresh feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is not only labor-saving but also increases the cow’s feed intake, contributing to a higher milk production. With the 24/7 access to fresh feed it also enhances the cow’s health and prevents ailments like rumen acidosis and laminitis. In addition, it keeps the feed passage clean. The dairy farmer can program the robot to take an unlimited number of routes and it is easy to do so. We are definitely noticing a clear interest in our feeding robot. Ever since its introduction, we have gone from one dealer that sells our products in the U.S. to thirty. It is the main reason why we have decided to open up an office in the U.S.


Q: That is a huge increase! So where was your first dealer located?

A: Our first dealer was located in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is also called “America’s Dairyland.” The state is home to a lot of dairy farms, many of which are small to medium sized and family owned and operated. Quite a number of these family farms have Dutch roots. You definitely notice that being a Dutch company is an added advantage here.


Q: So what about the World Dairy Expo? Have you been attending for a long time?

A: We have. That being said, this year is the first year that we have our very own stand.


Q: This interview is held on the second day of the WDE. What do you think so far? Does having your own stand make a difference?

A: The first day is a historically rather quiet day. It is the day that a lot of students attend the expo, and they are usually not in the business of buying machinery! But those students are the new future. It was great talking to them and to learn how they see the future of agriculture in the US. For the rest of the show we mainly hope to increase our visibility, show that we exist, and promote the products that we sell.

The feed robot is definitely our flagship for the U.S. market. Slurry removal systems are sold by dealers across the U.S., but our feed pushing robot truly is unique. I am actually noticing a clear interest in it, but it can still be difficult to convince people to invest. We do try and convince farmers by making them aware of the return on investment. Dairy farmers who have invested in our robot tell us that they can’t imagine life without it!


All in all, the WDE is just a great expo that offers a great opportunity to expand our network.


Thank you for taking the time for this interview. It is much appreciated! It sounds like JOZ has a bright future. For all readers interested in learning more about JOZ’s innovative products, please visit their website here.


JOZ is the originator of modern slurry handling. More than 70 years ago, in 't Zand in West Friesland, Jan Oostwouder originated and designed a system on which slurry was transported to the muckheap via a continuous chain system. Today, JOZ develops and supplies hi-quality technological products for every stable. Innovation is second nature to the business. They are constantly in search of new, even better solutions, techniques and designs. Constant innovation and service orientation have resulted into slurry disposal systems that stand out for their practicality and animal-friendliness and their suitability for use in all barn types and floors. JOZ’s machines can be found all over the world.