Blair Peregrym, manager Stony Plain Seed Cleaning Plant, Stony Plain, Alberta
Blair is the general manager for the Stony Plain Seed cleaning plant in Central Alberta. Blair has been at the plant since 1985 which gives him over 26 years experience in the seed industry.
He operates one of the largest plants in Alberta with a staff of eight. His recipe for success and for that matter the success of any business is always being able to step out side the box and think outside the box. He believes that there are three principles to remaining effective in business and he says they are all “first priorities”.
He ranks them in this order remembering that they are all important.
Quality, putting quality into everything you do, obviously delivering an exceptional product by making sure it exceeds your clients expectations. Service, being able to offer unbeatable customer service, making sure your customer feels as though he is the most important person to the success of your business. Efficiency being cost effective and finding ways that you can continue to offer value.
How does 20/20 seed labs fit into Stony Plain’s seed cleaning plant operation?
20/20 has been a service provider to Stony Plain since 1993 and Blair comments that we have continued to offer good service with immediate response time. He says being located in Nisku is a huge benefit because convenience to his operation is key. His results are time sensitive as he relies on keeping his product moving all of the time.
He says that our diversification and innovation to stay current both in seed and plant health testing as well as being tutors for grading courses is very important to the industry. Several staff at the Stony Plain Seed Cleaning Plant have participated in the grading courses as he believes in investing in their education. He now operates with a full complement of qualified staff that can work in many facets of his operation.
What challenges do you face in the Agriculture industry?
Blair claims that the export market can be volatile, as seed is a living entity the quality can change very rapidly. He remarks on some of the challenges we all faced last year with the exceptionally poor growing and harvest conditions. “Managing inventory last year was especially tricky” says Blair; “seed tested in the fall with high germinations of 98%-100% would plummet to the low teens in April”. He felt that we were quick to respond with solutions last year by identifying the issues that were contributing to the decline in germination as we would flag the symptoms early. He also appreciates the proactive updates and newsletters. His own day to day challenges involve setting machines and equipment to handle the variety of products that they clean. “The equipment is precisely tuned and adjusted to process seed as quickly as possible and every seed lot presents its own uniqueness. Obviously being experienced to be able to recognize these situations is a must” states Blair.
How can 20/20 seed labs assist you now and in the future?
“Keep thinking ahead” is Blair’s advice! “Stay connected to the industry and continue to be innovative. Offer solutions as Mother Nature always has a way of throwing you a curve ball.” He feels that working together as a unit is powerful and our experience supports his business. For Blair having all the information on germination tests and why seed behaves the way it does is paramount in making sound decisions quickly.