An official ceremony was held on January 29th 2016 to transfer the Sebringville Feed Mill from from Hensall District Co-operative, Inc. (HDC) to Homestead Organics Ltd. In attendance were local elected officials, media representatives, business partners, organic farmers, and customers of Homestead Organics.
Homestead Organics and HDC have been in discussions and have agreed upon a private purchase transaction. Tom Manley, second generation owner at Homestead Organics, explained the rational for the transaction: “While our long term vision includes geographic expansion, we were not actively in the market to purchase a feed mill. But when this opportunity came up, we seized it. In Perth County, Sebringville is centrally located in prime agricultural territory amid a growing network of organic grain growers and livestock producers. The growth rate of organic agriculture, about 10 to 15% annually in North America, suggests a strong market demand and an opportunity for more processing capacity in the region of Perth County.”
Feed Business Unit Manager at HDC. Founded in 1937 as the “South Huron Farmers’ Co-op”, Hensall District Co-operative, Inc. operates 25 locations and has 5000+ members who realize the importance of local control of a high-volume agri-business. HDC continues to grow and consolidate its operations in larger feed mills and elevators. The Sebringville location, purchased by HDC in 2014, was a surplus to its needs.
Perth County Warden Mert Schneider was on hand for the transfer: “We welcome Homestead Organics to Perth County as an additional resource for our thriving agri-food industry.” Perth East Mayor Bob McMillan offered the continuing support of the municipality and added:
“We welcome Homestead Organics and thank you for choosing this fine area to establish this operation.”
Homestead Organics started in 1988 and is a family business that focuses on the mission “to serve and develop organic agriculture.” The company currently operates two plants at Berwick and Morrisburg in Eastern Ontario. Homestead Organics intends to convert the Sebringville feed mill to manufacture certified organic feeds and to distribute organic feeds farm supplies in the south western regions of Ontario.
As for next steps, Tom Manley explained: “We have two months to recruit and train staff, perform some maintenance, and organize our logistics. The mill is in good condition and was operating recently. A re-start will not be difficult. We expect operations to start in April. We are hiring two staff initially and will probably count 4 staff by the end of the year.”
On hand for the transfer, in the photo above from left to right are Steve Herold, manager at HDC Mitchell Feed Mill, Perth Count Warden Mert Schneider, Tom Manley. Perth East Mayor Bob McMillan, and Dave Delbridge, Feed Business Unit Manager at HDC.
Homestead Organics www.homesteadorganics.ca