Total Feeds Inc.
After more than 30 years as a private consulting nutritionist for large feed lots from south Texas to Montana, Dr. Harry Anderson and his wife decided to start their own feeds business and in 2002 the idea for Total Feeds Inc. was born. Located in Weatherford, Texas, Total Feeds serves more than 1200 dealers in 48 states.
Accepting a challenge
Throughout his travels as a consultant, Anderson received a request from a veterinarian to create one single formula that would satisfy the nutritional needs of all horses regardless of age, activity level or breed. An unheard of concept at the time and relatively unique today, Anderson accepted the challenge. Pulling from his experience in the feed industry, as well as additional research, Anderson created a formula that is still the same today. The year was 1996 and ever since then, that formulated product called Total Equine has proven to be effective for all equine regardless of age or activity level.
“In the feedyard industry there is one figure that is more important than any other figure regarding profit and loss and that is feed conversion,” Anderson explains. “It’s all about how efficiently an animal can use the feed that it consumes to make weight gain or performance and growth.” This unconventional method has carved out a niche market in the equine industry for Total Feeds.
As a result of using Anderson’s formula, the feedback that he has received from customers is that the amount of hay required by their horses has decreased by approximately 30 percent even at the low feeding rate of Total Equine per day. Total Equine has also been shown to help regulate the behavior of some high-strung barrel horses. “We’ve taken many of those out-of-control horses and put them on Total Equine and all of a sudden they calm down and become a very focused performance horse,” says Anderson. “The same has been proven with rope horses that were defiant as well as in horses of many other disciplines. The main point is that the formula really works to establish compliance in the animal.”
Total Equine has also been found to correct hoof problems on horses, which has prevented animals from having to be put down. Customers have reported that horses with injuries such as navicular fractures and club feet have grown new normal hoofs within five months of beginning feeding of Total Equine formula. “The interesting thing is that many of these benefits were not envisioned when I created the formula,” says Anderson. “It has all been effects that have transpired as a byproduct of using the formula.”
For the first ten years after creating the Total Equine formula, Anderson did not market his product except to fellow consulting customers. In 2008, he began toy with the idea of producing Total Equine in extruded form rather than in pellets. “My customers at the time were skeptical because it was the best feed they had ever used and they didn’t want me to mess with it,” recounts Anderson. “They trusted me though so we tried it.”
Within three weeks Anderson was receiving calls from customers claiming that their horses had become more muscular and their hair coats were looking thicker and darker. What had transpired was the new extrusion process had now increased the digestibility of the product from 70 percent to 90 percent. “Through the extrusion process all of the starch is gelatinized to the point where it digests chemically and is absorbed in the small intestine. This means that only fiber reaches the horse’s hindgut.”
Continuing a successful venture
Total Feeds is a true family business. The company is comprised of four people including Anderson, his wife and their two sons. Using the word-of-mouth marketing technique along with a network of distributors has proven to be effective for the company as Anderson receives phone calls and emails daily from folks inquiring about becoming dealers of his product. “I have never walked into a feed store and asked someone to sell my product,” says Anderson. “My distributors are creating their own success story and I’m just giving them a great tool to do it with.”
The success of the Total Equine product has sparked interest from other breeders as well. Anderson recently created a version of his product for bulls called Total Bull, which can be used for other animals as well such as calves and show animals. “That product is really starting to take off because some of the best bucking bull breeders in the country are jumping on board with it,” says Anderson. “Some of the biggest names in the industry have gotten on the program.”
Through his work, Anderson says that the most rewarding aspect of what he does is the opportunity to increase the performance of animals while also being able to save them from destruction. “To hear the stories every day about how so many horses have recovered from injuries or even abuse is what makes my work fun,” says Anderson. “That’s what gets out of bed and at my computer at 5:00 am every morning.”
With the success of Total Feeds, Anderson says the company will enjoy continued steady growth. Since its inception, Total Feeds has doubled its annual revenue each year it has been in business. Anderson has continued to develop his formula into products for numerous animals including dogs, goats, deer and even humans. “We will look to grow through the success of our newer products,” says Anderson. “We also have some products in the works that have not been fully developed yet.”
With a passion for his work, Anderson, and Total Feeds Inc., remain as leader in the innovation of feed products and the feed industry.