AG WEEK -- He grew up in Minneapolis and studied broadcast journalism at San Francisco State University. He worked for WCCO radio as a reporter covering energy and agriculture issues.
The emerging ethanol industry combined the two ideas and he became “entranced” by the possibilities. He worked for Solargizer Inc. and Conklin Company and became familiar with farm-scale wind, solar and ethanol possibilities.
On his own, Thornberg in 1991 had started SweetPro Feeds, specializing in using byproducts of ethanol plants. He started making the lick tubs in 1991. (Formally the company was Harvest Fuel Inc., doing business as SweetPro.)
“We’re trying to concentrate the protein, concentrate the fiber and the minerals,” he says. “Our focus is creating a ‘pre-biotic’ component out of the fiber.” Pre-biotics are the food that is beneficial “probiotic” bacteria in the digestive tract.