Eye on KELOLAND: Growing a new opportunity


FREDERICK, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota family is adding its own flavor to a well known breakfast food.

The Sumptions brought oats back as a rotational crop several years ago, but they’ve taken it much further since then.

“My great, great grandfather homesteaded here in 1882 and our family has been fairly prominent in the community ever since,” Anthem Oats CEO Taylor Sumption said.

The Sumption family is still deeply rooted in agriculture today at their home near Frederick.

Like many ag producers, they have faced frustrations over the years.

“Really grew tired of the game we’re forced to play as producers and wanted to kind of change that a little bit,” Taylor Sumption said.

His answer? The oat business.

“We take the oats that we grow on our family farm and mill, process and package it and sell it in retail grocery stores,” Taylor Sumption said.

Taylor is the CEO of Anthem Oats.

A consultant company helped the idea sprout to fruition.

“They really were fundamental in getting things moved forward because there was so many pieces I was unfamiliar with, you know how commercial packaged goods worked,” Taylor Sumption said.

Anthem Oats took its first orders this summer.

The family-owned business sells old-fashioned, one-minute, and steel cut oats, along with instant oatmeal packets and cups.

You can find the products on store shelves in the Midwest and beyond as well as online.

“I love oatmeal, but this doesn’t compare to anything I’ve ever had. It’s a lot different, the flavor, the texture is a lot better,” Anthem Oats administrative assistant Cassandra Sumption said.

Taylor’s wife Cassandra is the administrative assistant at Anthem Oats.

“It’s just really exciting every day to come to work and for me the greatest joy I get is when I do an order and see where it’s going, where it’s being shipped to. It’s really exciting,” Cassandra Sumption.

But Cassandra admits launching a new business venture can be scary at times.

“But I have learned that in order to be successful you have to step out of your comfort zone and do things scared and that’s what makes things work a lot of times,” Cassandra Sumption said.

Kelli Volk: Where do you see this business years from now?
Taylor Sumption: My first dream when we started it was to get our farm to a three-crop rotation, so oats would be a third of our acres. Now, it would be really good for me, a big success would be to have that grow beyond that to where we can start a growers cooperative or something like that to involved multiple farmers from the area to help grow oats for this.

Taylor also wants to inspire other farmers as he and his family continue to grow this opportunity.

“To me a big part of Anthem is…value added agriculture is something that…it’s the future. I think it’s what will save our small towns. It will what will save the economies in South Dakota and the communities like the one I grew up in,” Taylor Sumption said.

Taylor’s brothers are also part owners of the business.

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