International bio-based feed technology innovator looks to grow connections in S.D.

Innovative bio-based feed solutions are leading to global business growth for a Canadian bioscience company that is looking to grow in South Dakota.

CBS Bio Platforms is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, but has a new distribution facility in Volga.

“This company is positioned to do big things in our state,” said Joni Ekstrum, executive director of South Dakota Biotech. “When we look at the intersection of agriculture and bioscience, they sit right in the center of it.”

We caught up with Rob Patterson, vice president of innovation and commercialization at CBS Bio Platforms, for a closer look at the company and its growing connection to South Dakota.

For those who aren’t familiar with CBS – or even the bio-based feed market, help us gain a sense for your niche in the industry.

Absolutely. At CBS, our focus has always been providing innovative solutions that make a difference at the farm level. Our company began with a focus on helping farmers enhance their feeding programs with more natural ingredients, primarily via enzyme technology, and we have since broadened our portfolio of bio-based technologies while expanding to serve markets in over 20 countries.

Today, our CBS portfolio of Feed Science Platforms, FSPs, includes Bio-Catalyst Technology, Enhanced Yeast Technology, Grain Management Technology, Functional Fatty Acids and Phytogenics & Probiotics. We strive to keep positioned as a leader in these areas and in particular helping farmers apply these technologies to support their success.

How are you continuing to innovate? What’s new and emerging in your company, and how is the industry responding?

Our focus is always continuous improvement. The industry and farmers’ needs are always evolving. Our technologies must also continually evolve to optimize the advantages and benefits they provide to our customers. A big part of our DNA is science. We invest in science and have major relationships with research programs to keep new innovations coming through our commercialization pipeline.

Among recent examples, we’ve expanded and streamlined our enzymes category into a broader Bio-Catalyst Technology platform, and we’ve introduced a new type of Yeast Bioactives Technology.

You began operations in Volga in 2021. What attracted you to that community, and how has your launch gone there?

South Dakota is real farm and livestock country. The state has deep roots in agriculture and many advantages as a supportive environment for related science and business innovation. They are key reasons why we chose Volga as the home base for our new U.S.-focused CBS America distribution hub. The location also holds advantages related to materials access and supporting our U.S. customer base.

Another key factor was close proximity to South Dakota State University. SDSU is a global leader in animal agriculture research, particularly in swine, and a long-standing research partner of CBS.

Everything has been excellent with this initiative from launch to now. We have the benefit of being a part of the farming industry and biotechnology innovation community here, and looking forward, we are very excited about the future.

How do you anticipate continuing to grow in Volga? What kinds of opportunities do you observe to expand in and around the area?

There is a lot of growth opportunity as the demand for our technologies continues to rise.

Overall, the new advances in CBS feed technology include capability for addressing major challenges such as keeping feed costs low, utilizing alternative and “opportunity” ingredients, protecting health, reducing environmental impact, minimizing antibiotic use and dramatically enhancing overall efficiency and profitability.

These are all advantages that have never been more important. We see the role of our Volga facility and local partnerships continuing to rise for the foreseeable future to serve an expanding customer base.

Are you hiring in South Dakota or more broadly with work-remote options? If so what kind of talent are you seeking?

We are always looking for qualified individuals with the knowledge, skills, passion and energy to help make our team great. We have been hiring regularly to bolster our Volga and broader U.S. team and see that continuing.

Feed industry experience is always an asset, but there are many ways the right people can find a fit. Anyone interested in opportunities with CBS can check out the careers page on our website.

What made you decide to become a member of South Dakota Biotech, and how do you anticipate becoming more involved in the state?

The membership and community that South Dakota Biotech represents is very attractive. We firmly believe there is a lot of value in coming together to share knowledge, expand networks and work together to support shared interests. It’s a great organization to be a part of, and we look forward to getting more involved in the months and years ahead.

We believe the future is bright. It’s a great time to be involved in agriculture and specifically in biotechnology. There has never been more opportunity to innovate with bio-based solutions that make a real difference to farmers and other end-use customers. On behalf of our entire CBS Bio Platforms team, including CBS America, we extend our thanks to South Dakota Biotech and its membership for welcoming us into this community. There is a lot we can accomplish together as we move forward.

To get connected with South Dakota’s growing biotech industry, visit,