Author: optimal

Happy Holidays from Optimal

Optimal Fish Food would like to thank each and every one of you for your support throughout the 2018 season. We are honored to have had the ability to work with so many elite pond and lake managers, as well as the great community of pond owners. We can’t express the joy we have all received from the many great photos, videos, stories, and conversations we have had with many of you.

To top the year off, Optimal Fish Food has teamed up with Green Plains to start a new joint venture, Optimal Aquafeed. Optimal Aquafeed will use our Optimal approach to producing feeds and providing customer service and apply it in the aquaculture industry. This new business will operate outside of Optimal Fish Food and as it’s own entity. Optimal Fish Food will continue developing, researching, and formulating fish feeds designed specifically for the pond and lake community. This new relationship will help us further source, evaluate, and include novel ingredients that will further increase the performance of our feeds.

As 2019 nears, we are looking forward to a lot of big improvements.  We’re working on the designs for a printed bag which we are really excited for.  Over the last couple years we have been asked for a subscription type of platform that will auto order feed for customers who have a fairly consistent feeding plan.  We have a number of people already signed up for the next Open Trial, which we are hoping to send kits out for in the spring.  We also have a bunch of other fun stuff planned like newletters, merch, contests, and holiday specials.

All of us at Optimal Fish Food would like to sincerely thank all of you for the support and wish you and your families the happiest of holidays.

We would like to individually thank some of the many businesses for their support, trust, and belief in Optimal Fish Food this year: • Edge’s Aquatic Services • Fender’s Fish Hatchery • Luster’s Fish & Wildlife • Ouroboros Farms • Outdoor Water Solutions • SOLitude Lake Management • Texas Pro Lake Management • Trophy Pond Solutions • Twin Oaks Ponds

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Green Plains and Optimal Fish Food Announce Formation of Aquafeed Joint Venture

Green Plains and Optimal Fish Food Announce Formation of Aquafeed Joint Venture

Optimal Aquafeed created to address fast growing Aquaculture feed markets


OMAHA, Neb. and BROOKINGS S.D., Dec. 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)-Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) and Optimal Fish Food LLC., today announced the companies have formed Optimal Aquafeed, a 50/50 joint venture to produce high-quality aquaculture feeds utilizing proprietary techniques and high-protein feed ingredients. The joint venture brings together Green Plains’ production capabilities, commodity expertise, and back office knowledge and combines that with Optimal Fish Food’s intellectual property, industry expertise and customer relationships and does not require a material capital investment for success.


Green Plains and Optimal Fish Food believe there is significant room for nutritional improvements in aquaculture feeds through research and understanding today’s rapidly changing availability of ingredients, especially next generation high-protein feed ingredients that will be produced at Green Plains’ ethanol plants in the future. By incorporating high-quality agricultural products along with plant-based proteins, algae, and other single-cell protein ingredients, Optimal Aquafeed will be able to meet the unique and growing needs of aquaculture producers globally.


“Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and we have an opportunity to become a key supplier of high-quality protein aquafeed” said Todd Becker, Green Plains president and CEO. “This joint venture perfectly aligns with our strategy to invest in high-protein process technology, providing us a pathway to a significant, growing customer base. We have partnered with global leaders in aquaculture feed formulation that will bring higher realized values not only for the high-protein products we will produce, but will also service customers worldwide that are looking for alternatives to traditional fish meal based feeds. We believe this relationship will maximize the value of our products, further reducing the volatility of our earnings in the future, as well as accelerating our confidence to invest in the transformation of our current ethanol platform.”


“This new partnership will help change the relationship between ingredient suppliers, feed manufacturers, and fish producers to bring a new approach to transparency, quality, and fish performance within the industry.” said Bill Harris, a Principal of Optimal Fish Food. “The market is moving away from traditional fishmeal diets, and the development of new high-protein products from Green Plains will not only enhance feed conversion in many species of fish, but also allow aquaculture producers to better serve a growing market of consumers looking for products that are not widely available in the market today.”


Incorporating novel high-protein feed ingredients into Optimal Aquafeed’s complete feed products offering, provides growth and health benefits far beyond today’s protein feed levels. As consumers globally demand increasing ingredient transparency, we believe that Optimal Aquafeed is ideally positioned to bring these non-animal based, next generation ingredients to market in both conventional and recirculating aquaculture system specific feeds.


Aquaculture is expected to supply approximately 62 percent, or 93 million tons of the world’s seafood supply by 2030, according to a study by the World Bank. To serve this growing industry, Optimal Aquafeed will match appropriate feed formulations to the unique needs of producers’ fish species, rearing systems, and locales. The ability to create high-quality, high-performance feeds in specialized formulations will be key to sustaining and expanding aquaculture’s tremendous global growth.


About Green Plains Inc.

Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) is a diversified commodity-processing business with operations related to ethanol production, grain handling and storage, cattle feeding, and commodity marketing and logistics services. The company is one of the leading producers of ethanol in the world and, through its adjacent businesses, is focused on the production of high-protein feed ingredients and export growth opportunities. Green Plains owns a 49.1% limited partner interest and a 2.0% general partner interest in Green Plains Partners. For more information about Green Plains, visit


About Optimal Fish Food LLC

Optimal Fish Food is a feed company targeting the recreational fish marketplace by providing high performance fish feeds designed to grow trophy fish. The company employs a rigorous approach to feed formulations, ingredient selection, biological assessment, and specialized extruder technology.  Optimal Fish Food sells aquafeeds throughout the United States through distributors as well as direct from their online store.  For more information about Optimal Fish Food, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current views, which are subject to risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, anticipated financial and operating results, plans and objectives that are not historical in nature. These statements may be identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar expressions. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied include risks related to Green Plains’ ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Optimal Aquafeed joint venture and other risks discussedin Green Plains’ reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this news release. Green Plains assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements, except as required by law.


Green Plains Inc. Contact:

Jim Stark | Vice President Investor & Media Relations | 402.884.8700 |


Optimal Fish Food LLC. Contact:

Dustin Schulz | President| 605.692.3474 |




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Developing our Fish Feeds – Part 1


Optimal Fish Food endeavors to provide transparent dialogue, innovative solutions, and performance-based fish feeds that promote fish health and longevity. Throughout our journey, we cannot express our gratitude to all of you who have supported us, continue to support us, and provide us with great feedback, comments, information and observations.

We receive a lot of questions every day, and we are delighted to share what we can. In an effort to address some of those questions more openly, we are going to start a series to share how we go about developing our fish feeds.

We are continuously updating our feed formulations based upon the very latest of research—both internal and external—so our feeds are always at the forefront of discovery. We feel that if our feeds are not changing, then they are stagnant, and therefore they are not advancing the latest in nutritional advancements. However, we do not “experiment” on our customers and their fish. Instead, we work internally to test our feeds and then release them to you AFTER we are confident that they will provide good results. In contrast to other feed manufacturers that may want their feeds to “never change”, our feeds will continue to evolve so as to incorporate the very latest proven advances in nutritional know-how and expertise. This is our commitment to our customers.

Starting today, we will begin a series of posts in which we will dive into some of the behind-the-scene details of how Optimal Fish Food is made. We will talk about things we are doing differently and discuss the many moving components required to produce fish feed ranging from ingredient selection, to extrusion technology, to feeding trials.

Join us as we dive into some deeper aspects of how Optimal Fish Food is reinventing fish food and why we stand so confidently behind our product.

What’s left to learn?

The short answer:  A LOT.

There are many components that go into creating fish food.  In very broad strokes making feeds requires understanding the true nutritional requirements of various fish, selecting feed ingredients, formulating them into diets, and manufacturing the pellets. Each of those broad categories carries a multitude of decisions and complexities.  Throughout this series we will touch on a number of them, but a good place to start is a quick history lesson.

From their origins before the 1950’s when fish were usually fed raw protein like horsemeat, aquaculture feeds have progressed immensely over the past 50 years.   However, even at the present time, the compositions of feeds for different fish in various countries varies widely.  A strong focus on improvements in feeds for carnivorous fish like salmon and trout initially relied on very high inclusions level of fish meal—fish eat fish.   However, beginning in the 1990’s there was increased focus on environmental sustainability, as well as the increased knowledge of actual requirements of specific nutrients (ie amino acids, fatty acids etc) that were accumulated via intensive governmental funding by aquaculture-focused countries (like Norway) as well as the US to support aquaculture programs at academic institutions to develop better formulated fish feeds.  Such efforts have been enlarged and augmented by private companies based on a combination of commercial aquaculture experience and laboratory studies.  In fact, there has been more knowledge discovered and tested about fish nutrition, gut biology and feed manufacturing techniques in the last five years than there have in the previous twenty.  The pace of understanding and potential improvements in fish nutrition and feed developments is accelerating not slowing and certainly not stopped due to the fact that we know most of what there is to learn about these areas.

Our industry has now progressed to the point that aquafeeds are specifically formulated for particular species of fish, optimizing not only protein and fat levels, but also, specific amino acid requirements, specific fatty acid requirements, and specific levels of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal growth and health of a wide variety of cultured fish species.  Unfortunately, the “depth and breadth” of that knowledge differs depending on the market demand for specific fish species.

Many traditional fish food formulators employ a practice called “low-cost formulating” which is pretty much what it claims.  Since many ingredients that go into fish feeds are commodities, their prices can be fairly dynamic.  In order to ensure a set margin, companies are encouraged to change the ingredients to minimize the costs.  Although the diet may stay a fixed percent protein, the ingredients mixed together to achieve it can be vastly different.  We will expand upon this in our next post!

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