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From the current wind and weather conditions to insights into the best hunting tactics and gear, all of us here at HuntStand believe that more knowledge leads to more hunting success. And that’s part of the genesis of this new feature, which aims to introduce the HuntStand community to a whole host of hunting-focused companies and gear. Heartland Wildlife Institute is a company all hunters should know; this family owned operation offers a complete line of food plot seed, minerals and attractants, as well as deer feed and property consultation. To get an in-depth, “behind the scenes” look at Heartland, we spoke recently with Operations Director Chris Hartman.
HuntStand: What sets Heartland Wildlife apart from the competition—what makes your company unique?
A: Heartland Wildlife is a family owned company with a proven dedication to providing consistent, high-quality products to consumers looking to enhance wildlife habitat through the development of available food. Heartland strives to offer not only high-quality products, but also high-quality education and information for the proper use of those products to maximize results.
HuntStand: What are some new developments at Heartland Wildlife for 2016?
A: Heartland recently launched an entirely redesigned retail display [see above]. In addition, a smaller-sized Lick Magic offering [image at top] has been added to the product lineup for 2016. And at the educational level, we’re going to begin ramping up content production to help consumers better weave their way through the maze of information available for wildlife habitat improvement.
HuntStand: How and when did Heartland Wildlife get its start, and where are you currently based?
A: Heartland Wildlife was launched around 2001 and is based in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. It’s a relatively small and intimate company, which allows us to treat each and every customer like they’re one of the family. That sets us apart from other companies in this field.
HuntStand: What accomplishment is Heartland Wildlife most proud of over the last year?
A: Heartland Wildlife underwent an expansive trade show booth redesign, and we also launched our first retail display. Both of these changes represent the aggressive growth we’re experiencing, and our willingness to adapt to serve the consumer and wildlife habitat enthusiast as best we can.
HuntStand: How does Heartland Wildlife engage its customers for feedback, ideas, or suggestions for improvement?
A: We typically use social media, surveys, trade/consumer show questionnaires for any feedback, ideas or suggestions. In addition, there are many times we are contacted via our website with questions, concerns or comments. All this gives us a window into the mindset of our end user, and allows Heartland to react accordingly.
HuntStand: What are two things most people don’t know about Heartland Wildlife?
A: For starters, Heartland Wildlife is a very small and family owned company, which allows us to strive for perfection in everything we do. And secondly, our products are not “least-cost” formulas, which means that the quality and consistency are the same in each and every bag of Heartland product. We refuse to ever sacrifice quality for quantity.
HuntStand: What is your company mission statement?
A: “To provide the best products, quality, service and value for our customers and partners.”
HuntStand: How many people do you employ, and are you currently hiring?
A: Our division is the smallest of our parent company, so there are only a couple of us—literally—in this division. At the moment, we are not currently hiring.
HuntStand: If you could change one thing about Heartland Wildlife right now, what would it be?
A: I would like to see Heartland products be more widely available at the retail level. In a way, I feel like Heartland is the best-kept secret of the “food plot world.” That’s good because it allows us to keep a strict eye on quality, but that’s also less than ideal because Heartland could improve the hunting habitat for so many outdoorsmen with better availability.
HuntStand: What are some short-range (less than two years) company goals?
A: As mentioned above, Heartland needs to expand distribution at the retail level. That’s the biggest goal right now. And as we move forward, I want to expand and successfully launch new products to market. We’ve got some very unique things in the works, and now we just have to see them through.