by Lawrence Lannoo
Ever since Ron Jefferies started his seed plant operation in 1994, he has slowly but steadily built his sons into the operation that now serves customers across the province.
Cale Jefferies, the oldest son, takes care of sales for Jefferies Seeds today, while his brother Riley looks after the equipment side of the operation.
Their father oversees the book work and the entire operation, which has also served customers in the United States and Europe.
In an interview July 23rd, Cale considered the current predicament their farming customers are facing with the dry weather.
“This year has been a little more challenging than normal with the drought,” Cale said. “It’s a lot of heat blasting on flowering crops, so that has been tough.”
At the same time, Cale noted there are other parts of the province much drier than the Glenboro area, so we also have much to be thankful for in terms of precipitation.
Noting the challenges facing farmers in the area with livestock, Cale said Jefferies Seeds is selling seed screenings leftover from their operation to local producers, providing some added help feeding their animals during the feed shortage.
Jefferies Seeds offers seed cleaning and the sale of a variety of seed pedigrees and seed services to area farmers.
These include processing certified seed and selling Pioneer products for farm operations.
Cale said they work with at least 15 different types of seed varieties, including wheat, barley, oats and rye.
The family completed the construction of a new seed plant two years ago, and Cale recognized how the new operation has improved seed cleaning with the technology now available.
“There is a lot more technology in the new plant,” Cale said. “We have a higher capacity for grains and cleaning, and we produce a better product in the end than our old plant did.”
He said the new plant is capable of doing something the old plant could not, and that has been getting them international customers.
“Our new plant is food graded,” he said. “We have ... safety protocols that allow us to produce food products such as edible beans, and we ship them to Europe and all over the world.”
That sales reach suggests the long road Jefferies Seeds has travelled since Ron Jefferies sold his first 80 acres of certified seed to a farmer in 1994, thus expanding his operation from farming to seed cleaning, Cale said.
Recognizing his own appreciation of his father’s efforts and how much he likes working with area farmers, Cale summed up the basis for the success of Jefferies Seeds.
“Working with family has its benefits,” he said, “but at the end of the day, we trust each other and we work really well together.”
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