Bill Sinclair, plant manager for the Bashaw Seed Cleaning Co-op
Who better than Bill Sinclair the plant manager for the Bashaw Seed Cleaning Co-op to start off the 2009-10 crop season? For those of you who do not know Bill, he always has the first and the last word. Over the past fourteen years Bill has been very instrumental in the seed and grain industry. He is well known for promoting seed testing and grading, and has been a driver in bringing new technology to use.
The Bashaw Seed Cleaning Co-op first opened their doors for business in 1959. With all those years of experience, they recently celebrated their 50th anniversary this past July, and I understand that 300 people turned out for the event. The seed plant has seen three major upgrades in the past 50 years, and it continues to grow. The plant set a record this past year by cleaning 600,000 bushels of seed and also treated 65,000 bushels for their client base of 200 farmers and seed growers. He commented that he hopes to continue this record setting pace.
Bill’s mandate is to play an active role in the Association of Alberta Co-op Seed Cleaning Plants and he has a keen interest in the activities of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Seed Growers Association. In fact at the time of writing this article for Seed Row, Bill was hosting a client appreciation as a co-sponsor of Bashaw Ag Days. The event was very successful with over 60 people present including key speakers from many aspects of the industry.
How does 20/20 Seed Labs Inc fit into his operation?
Bill has chosen our laboratory because we are fully accredited, independent and are not affiliated with any other seed companies. He believes that we have been diligent in bringing the best testing procedures to the industry and have displayed the most innovation for developing new services. He trusts our testing capabilities completely and has complimented us on our system for providing user friendly and easily accessible information. These attributes are essential to his operation.
What challenges does Bill face in the agriculture industry?
He comments that to remain viable in business you must be innovative, and always have your sights set on future needs. He recently introduced a color sorter and this new enhancement for the plant has been a very good fit for his operations. After the initial set up and calibrating the equipment, he has been able to improve the quality of his cleaning, by removing very difficult contaminants. Bill shared an example of how beneficial this machine had been recently when he removed ergot pieces from a rye sample. He took this sample from “undesirable” to a food grade quality. As most seed cleaning personnel will agree, removing ergot completely from any cereal is almost impossible. This machine has surpassed his expectations and he is excited at all of the opportunities this will provide for his customers. He has also been successful in removing green immature seeds from peas.
Bill, like many of us recognizes that attracting qualified employees is often a challenge, “there are just not enough trained individuals in our line of work”. I think that we would all agree that finding and keeping good staff is one of our priorities, especially in agriculture.
How can 20/20 Seed Labs Inc assist you now and into the future?
The Bashaw Seed Cleaning Co-op thrives on having quick and accurate tests, and he needs the assurance that we will remain leaders in solving the challenges that present themselves in the future. He has, like many other industry personnel, witnessed our ability to be proactive in disease and genetic testing. In fact he comments that those services will be the ones that are most sought after.
He believes as long as we remain a well rounded business, his company will support our services and will continue to be affiliated with us. There’s nothing like having the last word Bill; I think I can assure him that we will continue to offer the best services available and we will always keep our sights on meeting the demands of all of our customers.