Home > About > Team


  • CEO and Founder SweetPro®
    Bob Thornberg

    Robert (Bob) Thornberg, founded the Company in 1991. He has extensive experience in fuel alcohol, fermentation feeds, and product development. Bob has a passion for personal fitness and in the 1970s was a television news anchor and radio reporter. Bob received the 2001 National Tibbetts Award of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBIR program (Small Business Innovative Research) for work on what is now known as the ProBiotein® fermentation process.

  • President
    Brad Thornberg

    Brad has a business management background in varied industries. Joining SweetPro in 2003, Brad has helped build company sales and develop wholesale distribution to a nationwide footprint, becoming President of Harvest Fuel companies in 2022. He is also an avid pilot and photographer.


  • Vice-President of Operations
    Ryan Edelman

    Ryan Edelman joined the SweetPro team in 1996 and continued up to 2005. From 2005 to 2014, Ryan went to the pet food industry and worked for Crosswind Pet Foods serving as Director of Supply Chain Management. Ryan returned to SweetPro in 2014 as General Manager and in 2016 took over duties as Vice-President of Operations. Ryan’s love for livestock started at an early age and continued into college, where he was a member of the Garden City Community College meats judging team. He continued his education at Kansas State University, obtaining a BS in animal sciences and business administration. Ryan, his wife, Brandy, and their three children, Kendrick, Laura, and Ava reside on the family farm in Sabetha, KS where they run a 150-head backgrounding operation.


  • Vice-President of Science and Nutrition
    Abe Scheaffer PhD

    Dr. Abe Scheaffer’s interest and passion within animal and human nutrition is the physiology of nutrients – tracking, evaluating and understanding how consumed nutrients are processed and prioritized in the body. Abe’s interests span the spectrum from the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract to the processing of nutrients to achieve production goals throughout animal agriculture.

    Abe has the academic background of completing a BS in Biology from Northwestern College of Iowa, a MS and PhD from North Dakota State University and post-doctoral research fellowship at Colorado State University. His academic experience was structured around the field of metabolic physiology and he continues to pursue that field as Vice-President of Science and Nutrition.

    Dr. Abe lives in Sheldon, Iowa, with his family and wife Amy.


  • Vice-President of Finance and Business Administration 
    Debbie Thornberg

    Debbie’s areas of expertise include, Operations Management, Business Analysis, Supply Chain Management, Sales Management, Vendor and Client Relations Management, Process Re-engineering and Project Management. Debbie served as General Manager of a telecommunications manufacturer and as a business consultant/analyst for several companies before joining SweetPro in 2015 as head of Business Administration and Finance. Debbie also is an accomplished musician and private pilot.


  • Canada Sales Manager
    Erick Thornberg

    Erick has an education in Integrated Advertising and Public Relations from Minnesota State University Moorhead.  Erick’s start with the company began with building brand name recognition through involvement in the rodeo industry.  In 2016, his roll transitioned into developing SweetPro’s sales and market presence in Canada.  With great appreciation and one handshake at a time, Erick’s personal sales philosophy is built on gaining trust with the customer and providing a level of service that has their best interests in mind.


  • Quality Control and Food Safety Manager
    Mark Hertzel

    Mark Hertzel joined the SweetPro team in 2016 as its Quality Control and Food Safety Manager.  Mark has implemented a number of changes within SweetPro.  Shortly after his arrival, he successfully installed and implemented NIR technology.  In 2017, Mark achieved Safe Feed/Safe Food certification for the Horton, KS location and then in 2019 Mark achieved Safe Feed/Safe Food certification for the Walhalla, ND location.

    Mark, his wife Kari, and their three kids live in Sabetha, KS.  Mark grew up in the Sabetha, KS area and was previously employed at a pet food mill in its quality control department.  He earned his BS from Kansas State in Political Science.  Mark enjoys spending time with his family and loves to be outdoors fishing.


  • Sales and New Business Development
    Dave Thornberg

    Dave Thornberg has been with SweetPro for 19 years and helped build the sales and distributor network nationwide. Dave has had many executive, ownership and sales roles in several diverse industries. He has brought that wide experience to SweetPro and currently works with various new company projects. He and his wife Barb live in the Brainerd Lakes Area of Minnesota.


  • North Dakota Plant Manager
    Mitch Lee

    Mitch Lee is the Walhalla, North Dakota Plant Manager and has been with SweetPro from its earliest years. Mitch oversees both SweetPro and ProBiotein® production. He is the City of Walhalla Fire Chief and loves the North Dakota lifestyle, including fishing, hunting, gardening and beet harvesting in Fall.


  • Kansas Plant Manager
    Max Olson

    Max Olson is the Kansas Plant Manager. With over 30 years of feed mill management, Max brings high levels of operational expertise and efficiency to our SweetPro block manufacturing process. Max loves golfing, hunting, fishing and officiating sports. He and his wife Dorrine have 5 grown children, seven grandchildren and live in the Sabetha, KS area.