Grow­ing busi­ness

The Glengarry News - - The Classiifii­eds - BY MAR­GARET CALDBICK

Stand­ing out against the sky on Sach­sen Farms just south of Dalkeith on County Road 23 is an im­pres­sive new sight that bodes well for the lo­cal grain sup­ply chain.

This sum­mer, Theodore Fin­ger and his son, Wilko, who farm 2,000 acres of crop­land, added a new 54foot di­am­e­ter, 3,500-3,800-tonne ca­pac­ity bin and two grain el­e­va­tors, a 125-footer and an 95-footer, to their al­ready sprawl­ing grain han­dling fa­cil­ity.

Work on the ex­pan­sion be­gan in late July with 30 men from Que­bec in­staller CASA (Comp­toir Agri­cole Ste-Anne) on site to erect the shiny new GSI bin, one of the tallest and high­est ca­pac­ity the Illi­nois, U.S., com­pany of­fers.

Also new is a high ca­pac­ity over­head for high-speed fill­ing, a cer­ti­fied bulk weigh­ing scale, and an­other large com­mer­cial stor­age bin added to their ex­ist­ing five grain bins.

The Fin­gers are es­pe­cially proud that their op­er­a­tion and the fam­ily home largely op­er­ate on so­lar power.

“We pro­vide our own power on a net me­tered ba­sis; what we don’t use goes back into the grid and we get cred­its for it,” says Theodore Fin­ger. “It ba­si­cally takes care of 75 per cent of my to­tal us­age.”

The Fin­gers also have a so­lar sys­tem strictly for rev­enue on an­other of their farms and plan to add more so­lar in­stal­la­tions in the fu­ture.

So­lar power

“Be­cause of the so­lar, we can be very com­pet­i­tive in our pric­ing,” says Mr. Fin­ger.

Mr. Fin­ger holds a grain li­cence and the fa­cil­i­ties are now open for busi­ness to dry and store grains and beans and also to pur­chase from farm­ers.

Un­til 2007, the Fin­gers ran a small dairy op­er­a­tion; in 2008 they lost the farm’s barn to a fire. From its foun­da­tion rose the grow­ing col­lec­tion of stor­age bins and a dryer and now the new el­e­va­tors and other com­mer­cial grain han­dling equip­ment.

“This ex­pan­sion is for the fu­ture and we al­ready have plans and the de­signs for three more bins,” says Mr. Fin­ger.

The fa­cil­ity is the only el­e­va­tor in the area be­tween Van­kleek Hill and Lan­caster and has at­tracted lo­cal cus­tomers but the Fin­gers in­tend to ex­pand.

Mr. Fin­ger says that his 22-yearold son Wilko’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to be a ca­reer farmer con­vinced him to make the in­vest­ment.

“Wilko is the main op­er­a­tor of the farm and I take care of the el­e­va­tor,” says Mr. Fin­ger. “We’re are ac­tu­ally in a very good lo­ca­tion here be­cause the St. Lawrence River is nearby for in­ter­na­tional ship­ping and we have big con­sumers and big ports nearby.”

MAR­GARET CALDBICK PHOTO

NEW EL­E­VA­TOR: Grain dealer Theodore Fin­ger stands in front of the new grain el­e­va­tor and other grain han­dling equip­ment that now sit on his farm.

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