Part of their success stems from a commitment to always having the latest equipment and technology in their plant. “We’re constantly modernizing to be more efficient and do a better, faster and more affordable job for the farmer. Our new mobile treater is a perfect example as it’s fully automated and provides proper application and amazing coverage at an extremely fast rate,” says Blenkin. The automation brings error rates down from 10 per cent, which is typical in the industry, to a measly 0.5 per cent. No wonder father and son talk about embracing technology. A Co-operative in the Truest Sense Not only do they look ahead, they look around and gather input from many sides. “We are currently working with our board on five- and 10-year plans and discussing a number of ideas,” notes Blenkin. “We’re also sitting down with farmers to get their opinions on where they’d like the plant to go from here. As much as we’re a seed cleaning plant, we’re really owned by the farmers and here to benefit them.” While those plans may include a new plant at some point, they’re considering other areas where they could be of service, such as exporting and blending of seed for feed. Their collaborative approach to planning for the future also extends to dealing with the present. “I think one of the reasons we’ve had such continuity of staff is our board of directors,” says Blenkin. “They’re very supportive and strike a good balance, giving us the freedom to run the plant and offering plenty of guidance when it’s needed.” The plant is a co-operative in the truest sense, in that customers have their input as well. “Our local clients are fantastic. They’re so encouraging and really want the plant to succeed which only gives us more passion to make that happen. We’re truly here to help each other and work together,” adds Blenkin. Their building may be long in the tooth, but there’s no shortage of youthful enthusiasm inside. “This operation is filled with energy. We have a young board and a solid foundation backed by the Alberta Seed Processors. Most importantly, we have managers and staff who love what they do: giving farmers the best product and service they can to help them grow their business.” When it comes to job satisfaction, this is one group that truly found its calling, and its customers are indeed lucky to deal with such a caring and enthusiastic group. Geoff Geddes “As a co-operative, we are here to benefit the farmer and keep their costs as low as possible.” —Chris Blenkin 23 Advancing Seed in Alberta | fall.2017