In my life, Purina is a quintessential part of what it means to be raised on a ranch in a rural area. The Purina brand adorned all of the products that we fed to our animals including pets. Our dogs were our pets, but they were also tools on the ranch that were expected to carry their own weight. They were an integral part of our life, and we could not function without them. However, they were larger dogs, and they expended a lot of energy in the daily function of herding various animals around the ranch including large animals like horses and cattle, but also chickens, chicks and everything in between. Everything on the ranch was fed with Purina products, mostly those we saw featured in Purina news. We even had an old Purina sign as repair roofing on our shed.
Our animals were part of producing the income that carried our family through many decades of growth, and the feed that we utilized made this possible. However, this made it seem as though it was part of an old mode of thinking when I initially went to college to study agriculture. Many different products were pitched to us throughout our education. I know now that in many cases these products were pushed to us because our professors had vested interests in some of the companies that they lauded, and they actually did not utilize the actual products on their own farms or ranches. I found this out the hard way because when I started my own ranch, I started to utilize some of the more expensive products that I had been led to believe would give me an edge over other ranches including my father’s ranch on which I grew up.
My father would only smile when I shunned the old Purina brand that he was utilizing. I promised that I would have more eggs, better dogs and horses. The results were almost immediately noticeable. At first, my chickens got mites. There are several ways to rid them, but my dad’s chickens never had parasites. Additionally, when our dogs worked together, his dogs would out work mine. It also seemed that my dogs needed a longer recovery time. Once I conceded that he was a better rancher, he told me to look toward the nutrition. He said that he was loyal to the Purina brand because it is superior, not because he was old-fashioned.