What started as a “dogmanitarian” project has become a burgeoning dog food empire for the Drummond Family.
Mighty Mix was first developed at the time of the "Big Snow" of 1992, when Christine and Colin Drummond were mustering on a high country station. "In this type of rugged high country dogs are pivotal to a successful farming operation, but the snows nearly had the dogs licked", she says.
The dogs traditional mutton diet was in short supply and the biscuits and other dry dog food, fed as an alternative to culled ewes, were proving insufficient to keep the dogs in working condition. In desperation, Christine took to her kitchen to help them through the harsh weather.
"I had studied naturopathy and homeoptathy", says Christine, "and I sought to make a product from natural foods which would sustain a working dog for a reasonable cost". She started experimenting with raw dried concentrates and fats - all in one mix. "I developed the mix as a palletised free-flow product, which could be stored in the freezer and scooped out by the cup full as required. Within four days of feeding it to my dogs, they took on a new lease of life - and their coats looked beautiful".
Out of concern for other farmers in the area facing similar problems, Christine offered them the mix for their own dogs. Christine's compassion for the canines of Kekerengu aroused such interest that she even appeared on national television. Other farmers from as far away as Waiau rang her to ask for supplies of her 'mighty mix'
"That's how it got its name", she says.
Her dogmanitarian project grew to a stage where the volumes of product she was making proved too much for her kitchen - she quickly set up shop in a large horse float.
"It was very much a labour of love", she recalls. The product was sold for the cost of the raw materials, the labour came free. "I saw a lot of malnourished dogs in the region, and demand was such that I just couldn't keep up. Farmers that I had helped and who had seen the worth of the product began to distribute it for me".
Mighty Mix Frozen Concentrate has been distributed by franchisees nationwide ever since.