About Us

Meet Our Team

Jim Turner, Ph.D.

Director of Sulutions

Jim Turner is originally from McPherson, KS.  He developed his passion for agriculture at an early age while working with his stepfathers’ cow-calf operation.  He earned his B.S. in Agriculture (Range Management and Animal Science) and M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition from Kansas State University.  Furthering his education at the University of Arkansas, Jim became a Research Specialist while earning his Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition. During this time, he authored or co-authored over 60 refereed journal articles, progress reports and abstracts.  In 2004, Dr. Turner became an Assistant Professor/Extension Livestock Specialist for North Carolina State University.  Dr. Turner worked in all facets of Beef Production in western North Carolina, primarily concentrating on forage-based grazing and production systems.  He was heavily involved with the WNC Preconditioned Program, oversaw the Waynesville Bull Test, and coordinated BQA on both a state and national basis.  Jim conducted applied research with beef cattle and small ruminants at two research stations and presented at numerous county, regional, state, and national meetings.  Taking the opportunity to transition to the industry side of the beef sector, Dr. Turner began his career in the feed industry with Hubbard feeds Inc.  As a Beef Nutritionist, Jim supported individual/direct accounts, account managers and dealers across a wide geography of the eastern United States.  Jim influenced the management and buying decisions of many producers and dealers by providing ration formulation, marketing advice and technical support. In 2017, Dr. Turner’s career pivoted to the supplier side of the feed industry with Chr. Hansen as a Technical Service Manager. In this role he was actively engaged with the research, marketing, and sales of pre and probiotics in ruminants, as well as forage inoculants and preservatives.  Dr. Turner took a leading role in the launch of Chr. Hansen’s Bovacillus.  He was instrumental in the design and conduct of many Universities based research trials and practical field observation studies utilized to develop technical, sales and marketing materials.  He has also asked questions that will help steer the future research of many feed additives.  Jim is married to Diane, and they have two daughters. The family lives in Noblesville, IN.

Jeff Kafka

Director, Business Development and National Accounts

Grew up in south central South Dakota on a diversified farm and ranch with seven brothers and two sisters. Attended school at USDS, (now a state prison), for civil engineering then transferred to University of SD to pursue a possible law degree. While attending USD and paying for my tuition, I was spending more time working for a cattle feeder than going to class and eventually left school to work full time at the feedlot and managed a restaurant for a year. I joined the US Air Force and spent time in Texas, the Philippines, South Korea, and then while stationed at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, assigned to AWACS, went to Saudi Arabia/Kuwait for Desert Storm. I continued to take college classes everywhere I was stationed working for that college degree.

After Desert Storm I separated with my GI Bill and went back to SDSU to finish college where I worked with Robbi Pritchard, Dan Gee, and many other great professors. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. While at SDSU I bartended, cut meat, and cooked for Gordy’s Meat Market. After graduating I went to work for Alltech, Inc. when it was still a relatively small, mostly unknown company. I covered all species in SD, ND, MT, WY, CO, NE, and Western IA but eventually focused on beef, was moved to Oklahoma and was the Beef Team Manager for Alltech, setting up research studies and projects needed to prove the products to the Beef Industry. I found I really enjoyed the business-to- business sales and relationships that I developed and I have kept going back to that role ever since.

I left Alltech after 12 years and went to work for Vet Life covering most of the upper Midwest selling implants and feed additives to feedlots and feed manufacturers. Vet Life was purchased by Elanco, and I was in another hybrid role with the feedlot team managing the feed manufacturing relationships from a beef perspective. I worked for Elanco until January 1, 2018, when during some company re-alignment I was offered an early retirement from Eli Lilly and Co.

Started with Kent Nutrition Group on Jan 3, 2018, as the Beef Sales Manager. My focus was with outside feedlot consultants and managing the relationships and supplement bids for their feedlots and ranches. The bid business involved coordinating feed production, freight, billing and quality assurance for the consultants/feedlots and ranches. My position later turned into a hybrid role managing toll mill feed manufacturer accounts as well as managing the business and relationships with beef consultants where I worked in a business-to-business role with many of my career long accounts.

In early 2022 I was offered a unique offer with a start-up company, Vence, to be their director of sales and business development as they entered the first year of commercial sales. Vence was purchased by Merck and at the end of 2022 I made the choice to leave Vence and join Sulutions. With Sulutions I am excited to again be working with many of my career long relationship accounts.

Cliff Willms

Chief Scientific Officer

Cliff is a native Kansan who grew up on a diversified grain and livestock farm. Early in his life, his interest in livestock production was cultivated through 4-H and livestock judging. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kansas State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He managed the Beef Research Unit while working on his advanced degree at the University of Illinois. Cliff has been associated with the cattle business all of his life as either a producer, researcher, nutritionist, feed account manager, or sales trainer. He has over 35 years’ experience in the feed industry and a broad-based perspective through working with producers in a wide range of geographical areas. He has held various sales management and beef technical support and training positions with feed companies. He started his own cattle consulting business in 2008. Cliff has also been on over 12 trips to Africa mentoring men in business and life. Cliff and his wife Cathi live in Sioux Falls, SD and they have three adult children and six wonderful grandchildren.

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