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WBFI Member Spotlight - Ryan Zantingh


Meet Ryan Zantingh, Armstrong Milling’s Supply Chain Manager, a dedicated member of the Wild Bird Feeding Institute, and a WBFI board member. 

Armstrong in the early years grew by servicing the farm and pet retail industry, making very custom mixes to service their customers with unique products.  In the mid-90s, Armstrong purchased a larger mill in Nelles Corners that was originally created to make animal feeds.  This facility allowed Armstrong to streamline production and service more customers, developing Armstrong brands to sell to a growing wild bird food market.  In the late 2000s, Armstrong expanded into the suet business with manufacturing abilities onsite, allowing Armstrong to offer a wider array of products to the same customer base.  Currently, Armstrong still operates out of Nelles Corner with over 100 staff and a warehouse facility located just 10 minutes away in a nearby town.  

Ryan Zantingh's journey intertwines seamlessly with the fabric of Armstrong Milling's rich history. Established by three visionary founders, Doug Murphy, Larry Murphy, and Ken Zantingh, who were driven by their passion for quality feed and a desire to provide for their community, these founders embarked on a mission to meet the demand for pigeon and wild bird food. This mission soon evolved into something much larger - a legacy that Ryan Zantingh carries forward.  

Ryan Zantingh's involvement in the industry spans over 15 years, a testament to his dedication and deep connection to Armstrong Milling's mission. Fresh out of university, he embarked on his journey with the company, starting on the sales team in a merchandising role. This role not only nurtured his passion for customer engagement but also laid the foundation for his expansive understanding of the industry. As the years unfolded, Ryan's role shifted, and he found himself spearheading product development and sourcing within a mere five years. Today, he holds the position of Supply Chain Manager, a testament to his expertise and the value he brings to the company. 

Ryan Zantingh has been a keen observer of the changes that have swept through the wild bird food industry over the years. He notes with insight how the industry has matured with a notable emphasis on premium brand offerings developing over the last 15 years. This evolution resonates with the ever-growing demand for high-quality products in the North American bird food category. Additionally, the industry's landscape has been marked by consolidation, as seed packers on both sides of the border come together to adapt and thrive in a changing market.  

For Ryan Zantingh, membership with the Wild Bird Feeding Institute has been a vital conduit for growth, networking, and collaboration. He's been a steadfast participant in the WBFI's annual conference for the past eight years. This event serves as a hub for industry professionals to engage in insightful conversations, exchange ideas, and explore trends that shape the industry. Moreover, Ryan acknowledges the research studies conducted by WBFI as an invaluable resource that offers a glimpse into industry trends.  

Ryan Zantingh says “I am excited to continue to be a part of the wild bird food industry as it grows and learns to adapt to an ever-growing consumer base that thirsts to connect with nature, which is an experience the industry can provide.”