Keeping Northwest Horses Healthy for 43 Years
by Bethany Rice
Nutritional Services products have a long, successful history in the Northwest. Initially established in 1970 as Nutritional Services Inc, it was the mission of founder Bill Crocker to research and create a supplement that would correct the nutritional imbalances of feed grown in the Northwest. After thousands of forage and soil samples were tested from all over the Pacific Northwest, it was concluded that all areas had many similar characteristics. A nutritional blood evaluation study followed involving a large number of horses. The results reflected that forage imbalances were related to blood deficiencies and Northwest Horse Supplement was developed, tailor fit to the needs of Northwest horses.
Over the years, there have been numerous studies related to the bio-availability of essential nutrients. The initial studies conducted in the 1970s concluded that the most commonly fed horse diets of the Pacific Northwest needed additions of selenium, zinc and copper. It was found that the low blood serum levels of manganese were not correctable by the addition of manganese alone. The addition of suitable quantities of manganese and choline chloride (a B vitamin) provided positive results. Northwest Horse Supplement was the first to provide supplemental selenium and also contained supplemental zinc and copper at much higher levels than other supplements of that time.
Since its inception, Nutritional Services products have been milled in their privately owned feed mill located in Hermiston, Oregon. This fact insures that there is never a possibility for cross contamination with antibiotics or animal by-products as could happen in shared mills.
In the 43 years that Nutritional Services has been in operation, it has earned its reputation as a reliable way to ensure animals maintain balanced nutrition. It was never the goal to have superfluous nutritional levels, but rather to produce products that contained the most cost effective and nutritionally sound nutrient levels.
History is great, but how does it compare today? In April of 2012, the company was purchased by four local businessmen based in Hermiston, Oregon. Since then, there has been a continual effort to revitalize the products of Nutritional Services Inc. While the most visible changes have been the makeover the packaging received, the most important changes are the upgrades that have been made to the formulas. The new owners are “excited about the changes we have made and are proud to be able to supply these products.
After reviewing current scientific studies and analyzing current needs in the horse nutrition world, the decision was made to greatly improve the nutrition by upgrading some of the current ingredients to sources that had higher bio-availability. The most notable changes are the inclusion of 100% added selenium now coming from selenium yeast supplied by ALLTECH’s Sel-Plex and the amino acid complexes of cobalt, copper, manganese and zinc provided by ZINPRO Performance Minerals. Sel-Plex is ALLTECH’s proprietary organic form of selenium yeast manufactured to mimic Mother Nature. It is more readily absorbed, utilized and stored by the animal. Selenium is essential in many bodily processes including metabolism, growth, reproduction and immune support.
ZINPRO is known for providing superior trace mineral performance. Their amino acid complexes are proven to have the highest bio-availability on the market. ZINPRO Performance Minerals easily enter the bloodstream and affect numerous metabolic functions. Nutritional Services’ newly upgraded products now contain ZINPRO’s cobalt, copper, manganese and zinc. These nutrients effect digestion, immune response, reproduction, enzyme functions, coat health, collagen synthesis and protein synthesis as well as other functions.
Published December 2013 Issue