Meridian Feed Mill Certified as Organic


The Feed Mill here has been certified as organic, becoming the first feed mill in Southern Idaho to meet the stringent requirements.

“We started getting new customers for our organic chicken feed almost before the ink was dry on our certificate,” said Jos Zamzow, chief operating officer of Dynamite Marketing, which owns the mill.

“Most people today want feed that is both local and organic,” he explained. “Before you could either buy local animal feed or you could buy organic feed. The ‘green’ customer wants both. Now it’s possible at the Meridian Feed Mill.”

The Feed Mill, built in 1911, has long produced all-natural feed for poultry, horses, cattle, swine, goats, sheep, llamas and small animals. Its special feed blends for state fair animals have produced award-winning swine and cattle almost every year.

“We’ve had more requests for organic feed every year,” Zamzow said. “People know that organic means quality. Even though we met most of the requirements already, we had been hesitant because the record-keeping required for organic certification is time-consuming and expensive. However, it became a business imperative. Our customers like the independent verification of quality that the organic feed certification gives us, and we are already seeing the payback in terms of increased sales.”

Alicia McFergy, a registered nurse in Boise, is one of the customers who is excited about obtaining organic feeds locally. McFergy raises chickens and goats to produce eggs and milk for her family and had been paying to have organic feed shipped to her home from other states.

“More and more people are turning to organic food to avoid pesticides and GMOs,” she said. “I am so happy that a local company is offering the animal feed that we need to have truly organic products.”

Typical customers are people like McFergy with small flocks of chickens and a desire for better eggs, as well as young people raising pigs, cattle and other animals as 4-H projects, Zamzow said. The Feed Mill serves some larger poultry operations as well.

The all-natural feed produced at the mill has always been free from antibiotics, meat and bone meal, pesticides and urea. No meat is permitted on the premises, as herbivores such as poultry and horses are sensitive to meat contamination. All feed batches are mixed by hand from premium grains.

“Becoming certified as organic was a year-long project,” Zamzow said. “It requires a map of our processes. We have to show where every ingredient originates, where it enters the mill and the path it takes through the mill, as well as locations where it might touch other ingredients.

“We also had to provide information on our procedure for flushing equipment between producing different batches of products, and to submit our first product, organic pellets for laying hens, for further inspection.

“A lot of people think of organic certification as providing proof that food is chemical-free, but it goes much further than that. We have to keep a paper trail documenting the entire operation,” he added

The mill is such as iconic part of Meridian that its image is on the city signs designating the historic downtown district.

The mill produces more than two dozen poultry feed blends for chickens and turkeys, including special blends for laying hens. Its popular products with 4-H members include State Fair Pig Grower, State Fair Steer Feed and State Fair Lamb Grower.

The all-natural animal feeds produced at the mill were developed by Jim Zamzow, a member of the family that owns Zamzows garden and pet centers in Boise and the surrounding communities. He also developed the Dr. Jim Z and Grandma Z lines of all-natural dog food and other products sold at Zamzows and produced at the mill. Custom-processing services also are available.

Located at 611 N. Main Street, the mill is open Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information or to schedule a tour of the mill, call (208) 888-4477. The website is

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Catalyst Certified As Safe Feed/Safe Food Facility


Catalyst, receiving one of the highest rankings possible for feed safety, has been certified by the Safe Feed/Safe Food Certification Program, administered by the American Feed Industry Association.

Only about 450, or 7.5 percent, of the nation’s almost 6,000 feed mills, have earned the certification. Catalyst received a score of 99 out of a possible 100.

Catalyst provides custom formulation and manufacturing services for worldwide customers in the livestock, poultry, pet, wildlife and aquaculture industries. Its full line of more than100 items includes feed and related products for animals of all sizes, including OCM™ Global, Swine Finisher Pak and Poultry PAK.

The voluntary certification shows that Catalyst goes “above and beyond” federal requirements to ensure that the highest standards in manufacturing and processing are followed each day, according to the association. It demonstrates and ensures continuous improvement in delivering safe, wholesome livestock feed.

“Even though it took more than six months and about 400 man-hours of documentation and training to comply with the requirements, we feel it is both a competitive advantage and an assurance to our customers,” said Jos Zamzow, chief operating officer of Dynamite Marketing, Catalyst’s parent company. “We’ve always had good quality control in place, and now we can offer proof of our practices to our customers. Our inspector told us that the typical company gets an initial score in the mid 80s to low 90s. He said we are the first he has ever seen to reach 99 out of 100.”

“Catalyst should be commended for showing leadership in this important program. The employees have gone the extra mile to demonstrate a strong commitment to food safety and offer reasons to their customers and consumers for increased confidence in the products they provide. The companies participating in Safe Feed/Safe Food are making outstanding efforts, ” said Joel G. Newman, president and chief executive officer of the American Feed Industry Association.

The certification program is open to livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, integrated producers, meat processors, feed purchasers, livestock producers and others who want to validate a commitment to food safety through pro-active leadership. They are participating in an approved risk-management program, and they are aggressively practicing risk reduction, Newman added.

Catalyst, formerly called Pharm-Tech, was established in the 1960s. Its OCM Global all-natural blend of minerals has been sold worldwide for more than 50 years in the poultry, cattle and other livestock industries.

Dynamite Marketing, based in Meridian, Idaho, purchased Catalyst in 2009. Dynamite Marketing, a fourth-generation company, produces horse feed, dog food and related products for virtually all living creatures.

The American Feed Industrial Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to representing the business, legislative and regulatory interests of the U.S. animal feed industry and its suppliers.

Members include more than 575 domestic and international companies and state, regional and national associations. Member companies are livestock feed and pet food manufacturers, integrators, pharmaceutical companies, ingredient suppliers, equipment manufacturers and companies that supply other products, services and supplies to feed manufacturers.

Additional information about Catalyst is available at or by calling (515) 254-1290. Additional information about the certification is available at