Burgessville Grain and Feed is a family owned and operated feed mill business located in the heart of Oxford County’s abundant agricultural sector. The facility has been operating since 1982 and President Bart Veldhuizen is no stranger to the business of farming.
“Our family has pretty deep agricultural roots. I grew up on a farm with my dad being a dairy farmer. I myself went from farming, to banking, to real estate, to buying a small grain commodity brokerage from someone who was ready to retire.” The business has expanded over the years and is positioned to continue growing. “We’ve added more trucks, more systems, and we are well positioned to steadily grow it out,” says Bart.
The company offers a full range of commodity services and does business in Southwestern Ontario, Michigan and Western New York. “We are basically supplying feed ingredients to the livestock industry. The bulk of those are either primary products like corn, grain, oats, soybeans, and our customer base both grows and consumes those. We truck and trade those commodities from field to processor and then we take it back to feed the livestock chain which is essentially the food chain.” He adds that some of those products are direct, for example, wheat is used in bread and other products while corn will go into feed, ethanol and fructose syrup production. “All that stuff needs to be moved around, bought, sold and traded,” says Bart.
A big part of the feed business is watching and knowing the markets. “We are on the Chicago Board of Trade which is the futures component of commodities. We’re watching that, pricing and buying daily, trucking daily and we also have an elevator on site to receive grain from local farmers.”
Agriculture has become a sector that has embraced technology and new digital trends. Bart says the app his customers use has been a tremendous asset. “It’s a great convenience for customers. It allows our grain customers to see what our bids are on their phone and generate a contract right there. It is also connected to our system so when they deliver a load to our elevator and we process the ticket, they will instantly see how much they delivered, what grade it was and if it sold, the value of the grain.”
Bart says they are not a retail business as they focus on delivering and distributing. Aside from feed, the company does offer some dairy, poultry, horse and other speciality products delivered weekly.
As mentioned, Burgessville Grain and Feed is a family business and Bart gives much of its success to his son. “The motivator or primary driver of the business is my son Steven. He’s the chief trader and logistics guy. He also farms on the side with chicken, hog and beef farms in addition to his full-time duties. We have a bit of an addiction called work,” adds Bart. His daughter Janna Ryksen will return to a part-time sales role once her maternity leave is over.
Family and business can sometimes be a difficult mix, but Bart says they just make it work. “In the office I am known as Bart. The kids call me by my name and everything inside the walls of the business is fair game. It does get a little intense, but at home its dad. I have the ability to be very frank with them and they have the ability to be very frank with me. We have a mechanism to deal with friction.”
For more information on Burgessville Grain and Feed, check out their website at https://www.burgessville.ca/.