Summit Livestock Facilities Leadership
Ed Bahler - CEO
Miles Ridgway - President
For Miles Ridgway, the Summit Livestock Facilities tagline "Improving Your Profit Potential" is more than a slogan – it's the reason we're in business and it is what makes leading the Summit team personally rewarding for him.
According to Ridgway, "When we created the Summit brand several years ago, our objectives included creating facilities that not only help producers take better care of their livestock for improved animal performance and profit potential... it also included creating a better work environment and quality of life for our customers' family and employees.
For Miles, the focus has been – and will always be – on optimizing the value we bring to our customers. Our unique ability to stay focused, create value and make a positive difference for our customers is what drives the success of our company.
Miles grew up having a passion for the construction industry and graduated with a BS in Building Construction Management from Purdue University in 1988. Upon his graduation in 1988 he accepted a position as a Project Sales Consultant.
In his early years at FBi Buildings, Miles was recognized for his ability to understand and meet the needs and objectives of his customers. In 1999, he was promoted to Director of Sales. Then in 2010, he accepted the leadership role of President of FBi Buildings, Inc. In 2011, Miles initiated and led the creation of Summit Livestock Facilities. The goal was to impact the profit potential of livestock producers by utilizing our ability to collaborate with customers in the planning, designing, permitting and construction of their projects. Miles has been very happily married to his wife Peggy since 1989 and they have two children in college.
Brian White - COO
Brian was reared on a centennial family hog and grain farm in Washington County, Iowa. As a young man, he enjoyed school, sports, life on the farm, 4-H and showing livestock.
After high school, Brian attended Arizona State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Design in Architecture.
Upon his graduation in 1995, Brian began a career in design and construction project management where he gained experience in the supervision of multi-million dollar projects in both national and international venues. These projects included complex university research facilities, critical infrastructure facilities, biotechnology processing plants and multiple one-million-plus square foot semiconductor manufacturing facilities.
Brian’s passion has long been maximizing project efficiency and building value through the design and construction process. He achieves this by developing cohesion and cooperation among the project stakeholders and applying decisive problem solving to institute timely and cost-balanced projects.
In his role as our Chief Operating Officer, Brian recruits, develops and leads the team of design and construction management experts at Summit Livestock Facilities who work with him to ensure our customers get the very best building value possible.
In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family and (on occasion) practicing another skill he’s perfected–roasting whole hogs!
Sam Kaufman, P.E. - Director of Preconstruction Services
Sam Kaufman is passionate about building teams that effectively work together to find solutions and thrive on a culture of trust building and accountability.
As the Design Manager of Summit Livestock Facilities, Sam works with internal teams to drive projects from conception through to the construction hand-off. In this phase of our projects, client objectives are discovered and protected as we design to align with their scope, schedule, and budget expectations. Sam's focus is to thoroughly understand our client's industry needs, hot-buttons, and pain points that we can provide unique, cost effective, and process improving solutions that add to the client's bottom line.
Sam was reared in a small Japanese fishing and farming community, by parents both born and reared on farms in central Illinois. Growing up in a rugged region of Japan, he developed a passion for large-scale, complex, and creative engineering and problem solving.
Upon his graduation from Purdue University, he spent several years working on water resource, renewable energy, industrial waste, and wastewater treatment plant design and construction management projects for the largest Indiana headquartered civil engineering firm.
Sam holds a BS in Civil Engineering (emphasis in hydraulics) from Purdue University where he also minored in Interdisciplinary Environmental and Ecological Engineering. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Biogas Council.
Loren Honegger, P.E. - Agricultural Engineer
Loren Honegger is an Agricultural Engineer whose first love is farming and livestock operations.
For Loren, his work at Summit Livestock Facilities provides an opportunity to remain in agriculture and make a positive impact in the profitability and sustainability of livestock operations throughout the Midwest.
Loren enjoys collaborating with producers and being in a leadership role on a team with the ability to design and build structures that reduce labor, are easy to operate and improve livestock performance – therefore increasing profit potential.
When it comes to designing livestock facilities, every site is different and every customer need is different, so every facility design is different. Loren’s ability to innovate engineering solutions to the constraints of every project and customer requirement brings great value to each producer he serves.
Loren was reared on a crop and livestock farm in central Illinois. As a young man, he spent his summers working as a laborer on construction projects that often included the building of confinement livestock facilities.
While earning his BS in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Illinois, Loren focused his coursework on designing wood-frame structures and ventilation systems for livestock facilities. He began his career at FBi Buildings as a project engineer in 1997 and earned his professional engineering license in 2002.
Today, his engineering education combines with his farming and hands-on practical construction experience to enable Loren to engineer practical solutions to complex design problems. Typically these challenges include integrating a number of concerns (environmental, siting, financial, labor resources, feed source, manure handling, animal behavior) into a complete facility design that will produce a quality product and generate financial returns.
Loren’s family still operates the successful farming operation in central Illinois where he grew up. And Loren still enjoys spending time at work there when he can.
Bryan Culp - Poultry Specialist
Bryan knows a thing or two about how farms operate. That’s because he was born and raised on a small family farm. In fact, at the tender age of 8, Bryan started raising hogs farrow-to-finish with his brother. Something about being a successful livestock producer must have appealed to Bryan because he’s been in or near the business for the last few decades.
At FBi Buildings he worked his way up the ranks, starting out as a construction crewman, then moving on to Lead man, Foreman, Crew Manager, Repair/Renovation Manager, Project Sales Consultant and finally Poultry Specialist. After 33 years of experience, Bryan joins Summit as our Poultry Specialist.
When he isn’t busy helping poultry producers discover the perfect Summit solution for their operations, you’ll find this Dale Carnegie graduate with family and friends in the great outdoors snow skiing, golfing, bicycling, hunting and fishing.
Rich A. Hines - Producer Information Services
Rich has a real passion for connecting producers to the information they need to make sound business decisions and improve operating efficiency. And that is what our producer information services team is all about.
Since joining our company, Rich has been involved in the development of many presentations, articles, events, and meetings that deliver important information to livestock producers.
Examples include: stockmanship/low stress cattle handling articles and printed materials. He and the Summit Livestock Facilities team have facilitated stockmanship-training events that connected hundreds of beef producers throughout the Midwest with leading stockmanship experts, including Dr. Kip Lukasiewicz, Dr. Tom Noffsinger, and Dr. Ron Gill.
Other informative events have included seminars on: generational transition of farm ownership; assessing financial feasibility; and acquiring financial resources for business expansion.
Richard grew up around his grandfather’s 80-acre mixed livestock and grain farm in Indiana. After earning a BS in Business Management and Finance, he began his career in agriculture with New Idea Farm Equipment. At New Idea, he served as director of marketing and communications for several years.
Later he joined Indiana Design Consortium, Inc. (IDC), a 40-plus year old marketing firm serving clients in agriculture and industry. At IDC he became a partner and principal owner, and has served more than 25 years as an account executive helping companies involved in marketing livestock equipment, farm machinery, farm buildings, seed, and other inputs to agriculture.
Today he serves as a member of the Summit Livestock Facilities marketing team. Here he helps the beef producers we serve obtain the information they need to improve the profit potential of their feedlot operations.
Ed Leman - Beef Specialist
Livestock Facilities customers is helping to create easy-to-operate indoor cattle feeding facilities where "chores don't seem like chores" and cattle performance, cattle welfare and profit potential are all optimized.
Achieving that level of success in an indoor cattle feeding facility design requires a great deal of listening, fact-finding and collaborative effort. The success of each of Ed’s projects has its foundation in a deep understanding of his customer’s very specific needs and objectives.
Ed's ability to collaborate with his customers, the Summit engineering team, and others including environmental engineering firms, concrete contractors and the suppliers of all of the components used in an indoor feeding facility (drinkers, feed bunks, pens, gates, cattle working equipment, etc.) is a valuable asset to the producers he serves.
Ed was reared in northern Illinois and Colorado before moving to Congerville, Illinois, in 1987. There, 15 miles from the Centennial Farm where his father was born and raised, he worked for eight years on a 1400-sow farrow-to-feeder pig operation until finding his calling as a sales representative in 1995.
Ed began his career with FBi Buildings Inc., in 2006 and has since made significant contributions to the success of his Summit Livestock Facilities customers' operations through his input to facility design and construction. Ed’s passion is designing facilities that increase his customers’ efficiency and profitability, where chores are not a chore.
Actively involved in his community and church, Ed served eight years on the Congerville-Eureka-Goodfield School Board and currently serves on boards for a local nursing home and the Apostolic Christian Home for the Handicapped, serving persons with disabilities from throughout the United States. He also serves on the Congerville Rural Fire Protection District, with more than 20 years of experience as a firefighter and eight years as an EMT.
Sam Odom - Livestock Specialist
There are few individuals in the U.S. beef industry who have spent more time informing producers about the best practices of indoor cattle feeding facility design than Sam Odom.
During the past few years, Sam has presented critical considerations on the best practices in cattle feeding facility design to hundreds of producers at universities, feed company sponsored cattle feeder meetings, cattlemen's association conventions, veterinary clinics and other venues including the National Cattle Housing Symposium.
His knowledge of the cattle feeding business and his unique ability to think outside the box help producers understand their design options and lead to the development of custom cattle feeding facility solutions that meet very specific customer- and site-specific requirements.
Born and reared in a farming community in Indiana, Sam grew up on a family farm with a 20-sow farrow-to-finish hog operation. Along with his father and two brothers, they took care of all the chores and daily activities.
In his youth, Sam helped his grandfather farm 800 acres and, during the summer months, worked for a 4500-acre grain and specialty crop producer. While also a 4-H member, his interest in animal science was nurtured, inspiring him to attend Purdue University, where he took classes in animal sciences and agronomy. His passion for livestock and farming spurred his pursuit of a career in the agriculture industry.
Today, Sam serves as a representative for Summit Livestock Facilities, where his knowledge of agribusiness and animal science is a valuable resource to the beef and dairy producers he serves.
Mike Schluttenhofer - Beef Specialist
Mike Schluttenhofer helps his customers work through the complexities of livestock facilities design and construction.
His desire to gain a complete understanding of the producer’s needs and goals leads to good discussions that help his customers understand the long-term return-on-investment impact of the decisions they make early in the design/build process.
This includes the options regarding manure storage and management systems, commodity/feed storage, pen design, bunk space, location and specification of drinkers, as well as overall facilities design for low-stress cattle handling and the efficient, safe flow of cattle through the working facility.
In addition, Mike's attention to detail and his ability to drive the facilities design and construction process forward are valuable assets to the producers he serves.
Growing up on a small crop and livestock farm in northern Indiana, Mike stayed close to home and earned a BBA degree in Management from St. Joseph's College.
He came to FBi Buildings in 1998 as a Construction Coordinator and his role was to represent the customer's point of view in working with FBi's architects and construction teams. Because of his thorough knowledge of post-frame construction and services, he is able to assist in customizing construction options to meet specific needs.
Mike and his wife Roberta, along with their children, live in Thorntown, Indiana. He loves to spend time with his family and likes to read a good book. Fishing, gardening, camping and beekeeping are also favorite pastimes.
Matt Marvin - Senior Superintendent
Matt Marvin has a passion for building things that last... especially if those structures make a lasting difference in the success of his customers. This is what makes Matt's job as Senior Project Manager such a rewarding experience for him and for the producers he serves.
For the past several years, Matt has project managed nearly every Summit beef barn that has been built. For all those projects, he has supervised the Summit construction crews and driven the construction process to completion.
These days, for those customers who desire the fastest, most efficient track to cattle occupancy, he provides our general contracting services. In this role, he oversees the work of the Summit construction crews as well the work of (and payment of) all subcontractors. This includes excavation work, concrete work and building erection, as well as the installation of lighting and electrical systems, pens, bunk feeders, drinkers, cattle working equipment, and all the other components of the building.
Born and raised in Monticello, Indiana, Matt is married with two children.
Matt has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Indiana State University and more than 25 years of construction experience. He first worked as an FBi Buildings carpenter and foreman for two years. He spent six years as a Field Construction Manager for Aspen Group and is currently Summit Livestock Facilities' Senior Project Manager. Matt's role is to plan, organize, and manage the construction projects so that they get built safely, on time and with a high level of quality.
A carpenter by trade, Matt enjoys working with his hands on all types of building projects and doing yardwork. He also enjoys water-related activities such as boating, and likes to have an active role with his family, taking interest in their various hobbies.
Brent Blume - Estimating/Design Lead
One of the keys to getting cattle in your new beef barn quickly and efficiently has to do with the ease and speed of construction of your project. Quality, speed and efficiency are what Brent Blume is all about.
Brent is the final link between engineering and construction at Summit. His responsibility is to confirm customer expectations and that engineering, design and construction are easily understood and achievable by Summit foremen.
This involves using engineered drawings to create a comprehensive construction plan and a schedule of materials, which get staged and shipped to your location.
It's a complex logistical task that involves close attention to many details as well as knowledge of livestock facility design. Brent helps to ensure that your finished facility achieves your goals – to minimize livestock stress and improve operating efficiency.
The bottom line – Brent helps you get cattle in your barn efficiently and effectively.
Raised on a livestock and grain farm near Lafayette, Indiana, Brent has long enjoyed animals and farming. By the age of 9, Brent was doing chores for his 4-H beef and swine projects. He also helped with the small cattle herd his father owned. In FFA, he enjoyed the responsibilities of chapter President and avidly competing in livestock and dairy judging.
Brent earned a BS in Animal Science from Purdue University. This formal education focused on production and how animal health, genetics, nutrition and environment affect a producer's operation. And while earning his degree, Brent applied what he learned by working at a farrow-to-finish hog operation, gleaning valuable insight and experience.
Today he continues his passion for building construction and farm planning as a Livestock Specialist for Summit. Brent has helped design more than 40 large livestock and dairy buildings. With his animal and construction knowledge, Brent is able to assist producers in maximizing their operation with project planning and development.
Today, Brent and his family are settled near his father's farm. He appreciates being outdoors and assisting in grain farming when he can. Active in World Relief efforts, Brent enjoys making soap to be distributed to other countries. Spending time with his wife and four children is one of his favorite pastimes.
Bryan Steffen, CPA
Bryan Steffen is a CPA with a real passion for helping livestock producers assess the financial feasibility of business expansion plans. For Bryan, it's all about the numbers – risk management and return on investment.
In his role, Bryan has created a robust financial feasibility tool that he uses to help customers evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of their business expansion plans.
His work brings clarity to the business pro forma so that bankers, investors and family members understand the potential risks and the rewards and are prepared to make better, more informed decisions before they invest in a Summit Livestock Facilities building.
Bryan earned his bachelors degree in accounting from Purdue University before passing the CPA exam. He began his professional career in a position with the second-largest accounting firm in Indianapolis. During his four years there, he provided business consulting, compilation and tax services for various entities and individuals.
According to Bryan, “In the long run, environmental and financial sustainability must go hand-in-hand. If we are to feed the world, we must find better ways to achieve both perspectives on agriculture.” In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters, being active in his church community and playing basketball.