In 1933 — in the depths of the Great Depression — August and Carmalita Zamzow founded a livestock feed store in Meridian. Fast-forward 85 years and grandson Jim Zamzow continues to expand their legacy.
Zamzow and family have taken the business in new directions, from “creature” supplements to lawn and garden care.
While Jim’s father, Bernard Zamzow, focused on dairy feed, his son became interested in livestock supplements.
As a teenager, Jim asked his father why minerals and vitamins were added to dairy feed. Bernard’s answer would send his son on a lifelong quest of study and product development. The elder Zamzow said farming practices had depleted soils of nutrients needed by livestock.
Jim’s research eventually led to the founding of Dynamite Specialty Products in 1982.
He initially focused on supplements for performance horses. Working with trainers at Les Bois racetrack in Boise, Jim modified his formulas based on their feedback.
“I wanted to make our products so they work with the animal,” he said. “I call myself a purist. I am concerned about quality and how well the product performs.”
Dynamite supplements are now used by trainers with horses in Breeders’ Cup races and even the Kentucky Derby. Besides race horses, a wide range of equestrians use formulas offered by Dynamite, including polo enthusiasts, barrel racers, endurance riders, and breeders.
Jim stresses the success of the supplements is based on a balance between minerals and vitamins.
“Too much of one can suppress another, he said.
The marketing of the products created a another hurdle. He experienced difficulty getting stores to stock his formulas. He said the stores were focused on price instead of quality.
He realized users of Dynamite made the best salespeople. As a result, the products are marketed through independent distributors and online.
Dynamite products address basic equine nutrition as well as joint support, immune system boosters, hoof health and relaxing agents.
Jim has not been content with nutrients for horses. The line has been expanded to include all types of livestock, dogs, cats and even humans. Thus the company’s goal of having a “vision to improve the lives of all living creatures.”
The canine formulas and dog foods are used by pet owners and competitive professionals.
Dynamite products are used by dog musher Dallas Seavey. He won the Alaskan Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Testimonials are also online from stockdog competitors and handlers of rescue dogs.
Zamzow says his next big goal is “to try to get the life back into the soil,” for both farmers and home gardeners.
The Dr JimZ® line of fertilizers is designed to build up soils by adding carbon and trace minerals. The formulas help “soil microbes proliferate and feed the plant,” according to the website. Chicken Soup For The Soil is a “chemical-free, small-batch, liquid fertilizer developed with beneficial live prebiotics and all the elements found in the periodic table.”
“We are one of the only certified organic fertilizer producers in Idaho,” Zamzow said.