About Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition
Phoenix Feeds and Nutrition’s mission is to continually provide our customers with the highest quality feed and services at the lowest possible price. To achieve our mission, we will conduct our business with the following Code of Ethics and morals in mind:
- We strive to be an honorable corporate citizen, obeying all governmental laws and regulations.
- We strive to be the feed supplier of choice for all dairymen and independent nutritionists within our marketing area.
- We strive to be the preferred customer of all our vendors and suppliers.
- We strive to provide a work environment for our employees that is safe, supportive, and satisfying for all.
- We strive to protect the environment and the animals that we feed.
By accomplishing these five objectives, we will realize our ultimate goal to be the best in our industry.
Who We Are
Co-Owner, President, & General Manager
Born and raised in Tulare, California, the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, David Santos grew up on a dairy farm, spent his formative years as an active Future Farmer of America, studied Dairy Management and Husbandry at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, and devoted many years to developing his dairy herd, farm, and employee management skills in California, Hawaii, and Vermont. In 1996 he was asked to join Pine Creek Nutrition Service in Turlock, California, where he embarked on another facet of his career in agriculture: dairy nutrition.
Before becoming a founding partner, president, and general manager at Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition, Inc., David honed the nutrition and management skills learned in California at Feed Commodities International in Vergennes, Vermont. As a former director and Vice President of the Vermont Feed Dealers and Manufacturers Association, David worked to give Vermont and New England dairy and agricultural issues support and a more active voice in state government. David, his wife, and their two children reside in Morrisville, Vermont.
Being a native Vermonter and having grown up on a dairy farm, Craig Newton knows a thing or two about Vermont dairy farming. After receiving a degree in Ag-Business from Vermont Technical College, Craig went on to work as a night shift pellet mill operator in Agway’s Middlebury, VT mill. After fourteen years of working hard behind the scenes in feed manufacturing, Craig began working directly with farmers.
In 1986, Craig and his wife started Feed Commodities, just when the trend of TMR mixers and feeding commodities were gaining popularity. After Feed Commodities took off, Agway came back to Craig and urged him to sell them the company. After doing so, Craig found himself retired and bored. Along came Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition, a company started by two of Craig’s former employees to answer his prayers. Today, Craig has stepped back from the company’s day-to-day operations, but still finds time to do what he likes best—wheeling, dealing, and working with dairy farmers.
Dairy Nutrition Specialist
Having served the local dairy farming community since 2002, David has gained a reputation of invaluable commitment and commonsense problem solving, with his dense knowledge of dairy nutrition and farming practices. While earning his B.S. in Animal Science at the University of Vermont, he capitalized on his study abroad experience at the Miner Institute in Chazy, NY to work with the well-known Dr. Charlie Sniffen. During this time, David focused on becoming a dairy nutritionist, leading him to an internship in the field. David spent much of his teenage and college years working on dairy farms in many different capacities.
David is also well-versed in the newest nutrition technology the industry has to offer, which allows him to provide some of the best nutritional advice on the market. These characteristics have provided him with many successful and long-lasting business relationships with his clients. He continues to make time to further his nutrition and technology education every day. David and his wife reside in Beekmantown, NY where they are proud parents of two.
After having switched over from her previous job of 18 years to become the office manager at Phoenix, Shannon wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into. There was a big learning curve, but with her already vast knowledge of business administration, adapting to the changing dairy nutrition environment was a cinch. Shannon graduated from Burlington’s Champlain College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management.
Having been married to a dairy farmer for many years, Shannon is familiar with the life style, to say the least. Shannon’s responsibilities include company accounting and payroll, working with the company’s outside accountant, human resources, healthcare, profit-sharing management, and administration and coordination. With her wide variety of duties and skills, Shannon keeps the company running, and running well.
Formulations and Nutrition Manager
Stuart has worked feeding dairy cattle since high school: from feeding the cows after school on his family’s farm, to doing nutrition and formulating diets for customers, to now being Formulations and Nutrition Manager for Phoenix Feeds & Nutrition. Stuart graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science, was owner/operator of a large dairy, and has worked in feed manufacturing for over 15 years. This background and knowledge has helped Stuart work with the many bagged and bulk feed ingredients currently inventoried at Phoenix Feeds. Stuart and his wife Robyn now live in Brandon, Vermont, have three grown children with families of their own, and are blessed to have three young grandsons.
Victor, a Vergennes Union Highschool graduate who grew up on a 60 cow dairy, is our dispatcher and truck manager. He facilitates the transportation of feed to local and international farms, and schedules truck maintenance both in-house and elsewhere.
With over 25 trucks to manage, he remains on top of his game at all times. Since he’s almost constantly managing people, it’s no wonder that his dream vacation is a trip to Alaska, where he can hunt and fish wherever he pleases, away from the hustle and bustle of being a dispatcher. Victor joined the team in 2011 and has been an irreplaceable asset to the team ever since.
Marko Sosa, MSc
Dairy Consulting Specialist
Originally from Honduras, Central America, Marko grew up with a dairy background, then came to America with an agricultural education from the prestigious El Zamorano Agricultural College. He completed a Bachelor’s degree at Louisiana State University in Animal and Dairy Sciences then earned a Master’s Degree in Agriculture Economics.
After graduating he moved to Wisconsin and gained experience as a calf manager for Calf Source. He moved on to be territory manager for the largest animal health distributor in the USA and started a milk quality program. In 2007 became part of the Milk to the Max program where he created a successful national and international employee educational program. Now he runs the Dairy Matter program.