Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant celebrates 60 years

Seed Cleaning Plant 60 Anniversary

The Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant celebrated 60 years of operation on Monday night at their annual gathering at the Three Hills Community Centre. Kicking off the evening was the shareholders supper meeting, followed by the general meeting in which the terms for three of the directors was up for election. The evening was filled with sharing of memories and laughter, as well as acknowledgement of those who have worked hard to make the plant what it is today.

The evening included an informal panel whose members were called upon to share memories of the progress of the plant. Among the panel was Jim Christie, the only remaining member of the original board of directors when the first plant was built in 1957. He shared his unique perspective, having seen the first and second plants through their entire history thus far. He remarked that “everything has to get a start” and that this seed cleaning plant is now “a complex we can all be proud of.”

Don Metzger summed up his time saying “it’s all a learning experience.” What mistakes they made they learned from, and when building the new plant all board members toured neighbouring facilities and compiled a list of notes regarding the positives and negatives of each. They took these lists into serious consideration when deciding to build the new plant in 1990. Looking back, members acknowledge the confidence and insight this gave them which enabled them to build an efficient facility centred upon the needs of the community.

Gordon Park remarked that when the plant first was built the largest truck needing to go through it was a one ton farm truck. Since then farm machinery has evolved so entirely and the seed plant has had to learn to keep up with these changes. He says that “the board has been very productive in meeting the needs of farmers over the years” and that in addition the seeds from this plant have successively exceeded the quality of other cleaners in the province.

Among the improvements and upgrades the facility has undergone, the two pieces of technology unanimously celebrated are the colour sorter and the addition of electronic weighing and ticketing. It is these items which have kept the Three Hills and District facility in the top five cleaners in Alberta for the past 20 years.

The second part of the evening featured the plant’s Annual General Meeting. Financial details were summed up by Corey Miller of Perry Cruickshank LLP, who highlighted a very fiscally productive year at the plant. As well, the terms of three board members were up for expiry and while Don Metzger and Kevin Niemi let their names stand, Chair Don Boles announced that he would not be returning.

Outgoing Boles thanked everyone who worked with him during his 18 years at the plant and noted that this seems like a perfect time to step down as he is confident in the mix of youth and experience that the board currently has.

In Boles’ stead, Sarah Hoffman steps in as a new board member; the first woman to be elected to the board in its whole 60 year history. The Board of Directors now consists of Jamie Christie, Mark Ferguson, Dwayne Haller, Sarah Hoffman, Tanner Kubinec, Don Metzger, and Kevin Niemi. The new Chair and Vice-Chair will not be chosen until the board’s November 15th meeting.

The Three Hills and District Seed Cleaning Plant thanks all shareholders for their support of the facility over the years.