b'It Takes a VillageA large-scale upgrade requires support from the board, which was offered full heartedly, according to James Christie, chairman of the board.Christies passion for the agriculture industry began at a very young age. He grew up on his family farm, Arns Brae Farms, located in Trochu, Alta. His family grows canola, wheat, barley, peas and flax on their 4,500 acres. Christie joined the board for Three Hills Seed Plant close to 12 years ago, and now acts as the chairman. He chose to work with Three Hills not only because of its close proximity to his family farm, but also because of its great reputation in the area.We have a strong cooperative. Its a strong cooperative seed plant versus some other that are a little bit further away. Three Hills has a really good reputation of being proactive, explains Christie in a phone interview. Kyle Painter, Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant employeeWhile there are other plants in the area that he could have joined the boards of, he believes Three Hills Seed Plants willingness to reinvest sets them apart.His main goal as the chairman of the board is to keep dialogue open for our board members. We have a really young, progressive board. And with Greg, we have a strong general manager. So, we dont actively manage day to day by any means, but we can provide vision, strategic planning and some governance structure.Christie shares the same belief as Andrews that the current plant was adequate, but it needed something that was easier for them to offer greater services to their shareholders. The upgrade is not a new idea and is one the board has been considering for quite some time.Its been on the burner for about three years. We sat down about a year ago now and did some strategic planning, says Christie. We looked at where our fiscal position was with the current world affairs. Its never been cheaper to do it tomorrow. Wed been planning to do some upgrading and had a board that was aligned on where we wanted to go. Mitch McRea, Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant employeeThe board is funding the project through long-term savings.Before, our plant was running 24-7, 300 days a year. Now, were hoping to shorten those days a little bit. Also, on some of the turnout, were going to be able to unload trucks twice as fast. Just valuing the time of our shareholders more than anything. We should be able to deal with things in a bit more timely fashion and we should be able to value their time a bit better, Christie explains.The upgrade is a two-phase project.Phase one was to double the capacity. During phase two, were going to add some more storage to allow for larger lot sizes. This will mitigate some risks in dealing with larger pedigree lot sizes, he says.The plant has always been a consistent employer for the community, and the upgrade will solidify its role even more, believes Christie.No matter what kind of economic reality either ag or the world is going through, were very consistent and steady, he concludes. Zach Painter, Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant employee Ally RodenFall 2022 23'