Reader Challenges Feed Company

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Dear Cargill,

I’ll make you a deal! I’ll fill out your survey, if Cargill and Nutrena will answer the questions posed in the horse feed survey published in the June 2009 issue of Horse Journal.

Horse Journal is the ultimate in consumer reporting for the equestrian community. As a professional journalist myself, I believe the articles and the issues covered by the magazine are published in a fair and balanced manner. It’s like Consumer Reports magazine. Neither publication accepts advertising.

Why on earth, then, would only four of the 65 feed manufacturers contacted by Horse Journal respond to the magazine’s survey about the quality of the feeds they market'

I would be surprised if Cargill was not one of the 65 companies contacted. As a horse-feed consumer, I have a right to know the answers to those questions, such as, What toxins do you test for in your grain supplies' and What is the grade of grains used in your feeds' Among the four companies responding to the survey, there was only one company that declined to respond to one question, claiming the answer was proprietary.

Your company had better get with the program. In 2008, I bought more than $5,000 in horse and cattle feed, and I’m just a small-time horse owner. You can bet I will be buying my feed from among the four companies that responded to Horse Journal’s survey, if I can, and that I will not be buying Cargill feeds until the company demonstrates to me that it has become a better corporate citizen.

Tom Bower,
concerned-consumer

Trailer-Hitching Camera

I am a longtime subscriber to your wonderful magazine and wanted to comment on your June article on hitching up trailers. Two years ago, my friend gave me a wireless camera for hitching up my bumper-pull trailer. It came from Wal-Mart ($100) and has a camera that mounts above the license plate and wires into your backup lights (everything you need is included and I did it myself in 10 minutes). The monitor plugs into the cigarette lighter in the cab of the truck. When not in use I put it in the console.

Marilyn Carville,
California

Let’s Use Tape

I’ve used two trucks and two Land Rover Discoveries as towing vehicles for my two-horse, straight-load, bumper-pull trailer since 1995. The rearview camera was expensive (I had it in my Tundra) and, if it’s sunny, one can’t see in the mirror. The hitching rods are cheap, but if you ”bump” the trailer with the hitch they fall off. What’s worked best for me is a simple strip of bright-colored tape in the middle of the trailer and, if you have a truck, the middle of the tailgate or in a car the middle of the back seat high. Then you just line up the two, and distance is the only variable in the equation, not side to side.

Debbie Stanitski, M.D.,
Internet