HDC History 1988-2012


Jerome Ducharme hired as operations manager

30,000 mt fertilizer/grain storage terminal – 4 domes

Plumbing and heating department expanded

Small engine repair business

Won 8 federal contracts totalling more than $3M to supply corn for the Canadian International Development Agency.  30 extra people hired to handle the 330,000 50-kg bags and load them onto 275 railcars for shipment to Halifax, then by sea to Mozambique and Angola.  Work continued 24 hours/day, six days per week and final bags loaded March 9


New Seaforth location development 1-1/4 miles east of Seaforth, including installation of new “state of the art” Waconia dry fertilizer blender, 80 foot scales, new warehouse – moved grain receiving elevator from Frank Kling’s gravel pit

Acid-based fertilizer plant phased out of Hensall

Zurich – increased lumber storage and new office at feed mill


T.B. Allen Limited and Allboro Elevators Limited in Londesboro purchased from T.B. Allen family

Tom Jarrett hired as manager of former T.B. Allen business

Don Leader remains manager of Wingham location

Fertilizer blender, anhydrous tanks & equipment and crop products warehouse added to Londesboro elevator complex

10,000 bushels per hour receiving capacity built at Hensall elevator bringing total intake capacity to 25,000 bushels per hour

Installed 3 new Law rotary cleaners in Hensall-elevator increasing cleaning capacity to 10,000 bushels per hour

Purchased fertilizer business in Brucefield from Agrico


Purchased Gay Lea building in Seaforth

Sold fluid-blend fertilizer equipment

Started dry fertilizer/chemical impregnation business in Hensall 

Key-lock gas and diesel fuel tanks and equipment installed at Londesboro elevator

Merger of Exeter District Co-op with facilities in Exeter and Ailsa Craig

New 7,000 bushel per hour receiving elevator and crop products warehouse built 1-1/4 miles south of Exeter

Purchased tanks and equipment at Exeter Gas Bar and fuel truck tank and equipment from UCO

Max Dawson hired as Petroleum Manager


2,500 bushel per hour Dorsser dried installed at Hensall Elevator at a cost of $500,000

Farm, commercial and residential fuel business purchased from Rowe Fuels

Increased floor space at Seaforth Co-op Store from 2,400 to 5,600 sq. ft

Closed the Wingham location and the Brucefield feed mill operation

Added an 18,000 U.S. gal. propane trailer to fleet

Key-lock diesel equipment and tank installed at Exeter Co-op Gas Bar

Built fifth 7,500 mt fertilizer/grain terminal dome in Hensall

Five 120 ft. conveyors added – built by C. Arnold conveyors.  Used to load and unload domes directly to and from Hensall silos


Purchased Forest, Ilderton and Parkhill Co-operatives from U.C.O. for $1,000,000

Moved fertilizer building from downtown Seaforth to Hensall and reconstructed it to a 2,000 tonne feed ingredient building at a cost of $225,000

Peter Veldman hired as Credit Manager

Richard Rompf hired as Quality Control/Human Resources Manager

Steve Pockett hired as Computer Systems Manager/Analyst


July Grand Opening of the $2,500,000 world class bean processing facility in Hensall

Acquired Ailsa Craig fertilizer business from Cargill

Three new rogators purchased for custom application of farm herbicides


Hensall Livestock Sales property in Hensall was purchased

Built a new 10,000 square foot bean warehouse and shipping facility

Gord Pryde hired as Bean Marketing Manager and Derwyn Hodgins as Bean Production Specialist

Six HDC stores converted to Howden’s franchised Do-It Centres

HDC became a member of Farmland Industries, Kansas City, Missouri  with sales of $8B


New $2,000,000 Co-op Do-It Center constructed in Exeter featuring 15,000 sq.ft of retail area

Closed Hensall retail hardware and farm supply store

Constructed a world class $2,500,000 coloured bean receiving, cleaning, drying and storage facility


New seed plant and warehouse constructed at the Hensall location to handle increased volume of seed bagging and treating

Established a Dekalb seed dealership

New dryer and storage constructed at Londesboro elevator


Hensall Co-op is the first international certified AG21 dealer for Farmland


Additional 110,000 bushels of storage added to coloured bean storage facility increasing capacity to 220,000 bushels at the coloured bean receiving plant

Sale of 5 Do-It Centers to RONA Cashway, located in Exeter, Seaforth, Zurich, Forest and Ilderton.  HDC maintained ownership of the property and buildings.


Hensall Global Logistics, a full service international freight forwarding company was established at the Hensall location.  They currently ship products to over 50 countries worldwide.

New world class soybean processing plant, including 150,000 bushels of concrete storage at Hensall location

190 full time and 56 part time employees at HDC.  Sales of $134M


Crop products and elevator departments were consolidated into Food Products Division

Additional grain and bean storage added


HGL expands operations to include inland container trucking acquiring 4 highway tractors, 7 sets of reverse B-train chassis

Installation of $1.5 M automatic bagging and palletizing system

Increased GSI storage capacity

Celebrated 65th Anniversary on July 10th with 1500 member families attending

Zurich feed mill updated at a cost of $400,000

Purchased 75 acres of land from the Caldwell family


Feed mills HACCP approved

Increased GSI bean storage capacity

Achieved 1 year no lost-time accidents. 

New tanks and equipment for energy department purchased at a cost of $500,000

Londesboro feed mill updated at a cost of $300,000

1 terragator and 1 rogator purchased for custom application at a cost of $600,000

246 employees


New 60,000 square foot bean warehouse constructed on Mill St.

2 new terragators purchased

Awarded as the 2004 Private Motor Carriers Truck Council-Zurich North America Safest Largest Private Fleet in Canada.  Over 3.75M km. driven annually

2 tanker style feed delivery trucks purchased at a cost of $470,000

Londesboro and Zurich feed mills upgraded at a cost of $500,000


$550,000 upgrades to the Londesboro and Zurich feed mills.  

Two tractor/trailer trailer units purchased for feed delivery.

$800,000 propane and petroleum tanks and pumps

First six 100 mt Store King seed tanks

1 new feed truck in Zurich

2-45,000 bushel GSI bins erected at the coloured bean receiving plant


First self-serve gasoline pumps installed at the Exeter Gas Bar

HGL freight forward division purchased 4 tractors and 10 container chassis trains

Ten – 100 mt Store King seed tanks

$500,000 propane and petroleum tanks and pumps

Awarded the 2006 Private Motor Carriers Truck Council for the second time.  Zurich North America Safest Largest Private Fleet in Canada.  Over 4.2 million km driven.

4-100,000 bushel concrete bushel silos erected in Hensall for edible soybeans

2-45,000 bushels GSI steel bins for the coloured bean receiving plant


$500,000 Petroleum/Propane tanks/pumps

700,000 bushels of edible beans/soybeans storage

Four – 100 mt Store King seed tanks (total of 20)

HGL adds 2 tractors for inland container trucking to Toronto.  HGL now operates a total of 10 tractors for ocean container trucking.

Exeter, Seaforth and Zurich store locations sold.

Greenfield Ethanol proposes a $150M – 160 million litre ethanol plant to be built on 43 acres of property sold by HDC.  The plant will require 16,000,000 bushels of corn annually.

Celebrated 70th Anniversary on June 29th with 1100 members/employees attending. Entertainment by the “Dixie Chicklets”.  

Achieved 1 year of no lost-time accidents.

 230 full time employees and 60 part time employees.  Sales and service revenue of $225,000,000.

Secretary, John Campbell retires after serving HDC for 26 years.  Bill Wallace is selected by the Board of Directors as the new secretary.

 Second truck scale added to Hensall to speed up receiving

 Sale of 43 acres of property to Commercial Alcohols (Greenfield Ethanol on October 10, 2007).


$425,000 warehouse extension and new mill equipment added at Zurich Feed Mill

$325,000 new mill equipment and bins added at Londesboro Feed Mill

$650,000 on propane tanks and equipment

$650,000 on petroleum business area expansion and new pumps and equipment

$900,000 -200 metric tonne per hour world-class Waconia fertilizer blending tower in Hensall

2- 28% liquid tanks in Hensall - $60,000

White bean receiving facility built in Owendale, Michigan at a cost of $200,000

200 ft conveyor replaced for filling the 5 domes

Genie-lift purchased to improve safety and assist in preventative maintenance

New fuel truck purchased

$500,000 upgrades to the soybean processing plant

$3,500,000 to increase storage in Hensall.  2 domes completed with the third to be completed in fiscal year 2009 at a cost of $3.5M.  Total capacity of 1,500,000 bushels.

289 employees

On April 24, 2008, HDC purchased the Great Canadian Bean Company edible bean facilities located in Ailsa Craig and London.  This includes processing and storage facilities.

Purchase of Thompsons Feed & Supply in Ripley

At 2008 AGM, all outstanding Patronage Loans ($1,250,000) including 2006 plus previous years were redeemed.  Approximately $700,000 paid in cash and $500,000 transferred to Mandatory Member Loans


289 Employees

New electronic sorting machines for the edible bean and soybean processing plants

10 Store King seed bins (now 30 bins)

Second self-serve gasoline pumps installed at the Exeter Gas Bar

$35,000 – 28% liquid storage tank in Parkhill

$325,000 new mill equipment and bins added at Londesboro Feed Mill

Achieved record sales of $328 million dollars


$900,000 Petroleum/Propane tanks/equipment

Zurich and Londsboro feed mill bins and equipment - $442,100

Food Products Crops Department equipment - $552,000

$2,850,000 Hensall Elevator 60’x88’ Dorsser Millenium drier and dust collector system

$2,300,000 purchase of Exeter Distribution Warehouse (CanGro canning factory) in Exeter effective December 1, 2009.  300,000 sq ft of warehouse and 150 acres 

$800,000 installation of electric eyes in edible bean and soybean processing plants

Hensall administration computer upgrade - $120,000

Purchased Boyds Elevator facilities in Kurtzville/Brussels - $9,000,000

400 employees

Achieved record sales of $330,000,000


Installed roadway from Exeter Distribution Warehouse to Airport Line - $185,000

10 Store King storage tanks for seed (total of 40) - $365,000

4 Liquid fertilizer hopper tanks and concrete dyke - $220,000

Londesboro Dorsser Millenium Dryer - $2,250,000

Hensall Cimbria seed treater - $1,050,000

First 24mt Doyle bulk seed delivery trailer - $65,000

Westfield Elevators leased in November 2010 - to purchase in 5 years

General Mobile Homes (GMH) 80,000 sq ft warehouse leased to purchase in one year

4 replacement highway tractors for HGL - $457,000

Equipment upgrade to edible bean main processing plant  built in 1993 - $600,000

Leased Greenway Elevators from Huron Grain Ltd. for a 20 year term

Hensall --Alvin & Marilyn Taylor’s residence purchased on Nelson St. - $180,000

First John Deere crop sprayer - $215,000

Hensall grain trucking fleet now managed by Hensall Global Logistics Division – total HDC trucking fleet now operates 101 power units and 133 trailers.  The fleet travelled a record 5,190,000 kilometres (equivalent to 130 trips around the world)

Parkhill crop products facilities closed.  Retail store remains open

Achieved record sales of $466,000,000


Hensall – buyout lease of General Mobile Homes (GMH)warehouse 80,000 sq.ft. - $625,000

Hensall – 5 of 9 SK1335 hopper bottom liquid fertilizer tanks - $210,000

Hensall – upgrade 1991 corn drier to a Dorsser Millenium Dryer - $800,000

Petroleum/Propane tanks, trucks and equipment –$800,000

Hensall 4 – 40’x120’ concrete silos (total now 14) for edible soybean plant - $2,000,000

Hensall purchased Mansfield’s house and lots on the northwest corner of Mill St. & Soldan St. - $240,000

Final installation of Shaw Tracking computer management software for over 100 trucks - $80,000

New Hamburg gas bar signage/computers - $50,000

Exeter Gas Bar Self Serve/Full Serve canopies - $180,000

Greenway upgrade – asphalt corn pad, liquid fertilizer, concrete dyking, 2-28% tanks, 5 Wilmar spreaders, fertilizer/seed delivery trailer - $350,000

Brussels - Dorssers Millenium Dryer, storage, elevator legs and cleaners - $3,500,000

Hensall - Major retrofit for Speciality Edible Bean processing line  - $1,500,000

Ailsa Craig – 1200 mt fertilizer storage building ,Waconia Blender at the New Ontario Road elevator location - $1,400,000

Ailsa Craig – 90’ truck scale and hydraulic grain probe - $150,000

Kurtzville – purchased house for $160,000 , new 10,000 bu hour leg & overhead bins - $300,000 

London bean processing plant closed.  Storage facilities remain operational.

HDC’s 413 employees achieve one year of no lost-time accidents.  Previous achievements were in 2007 & 2003.

75 commercial trucks achieve a record 330,000 km per incident.  Previous record was 235,000 km.  Commercial travel record of 5,400,000 km in 2011. (135 times around the world).

Purchased Timmermans Elevators with 2.80 million bu. storage on July 13, 2012

Hensall - Celebrated HDC’s 75th Diamond Anniversary on July 11th with 1200 members/families and employees in attendance.

United Nations in New York declares 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives.  Recognizes the value of the Co-operative governance structure on a global basis.

HDC achieved record sales of $513,000,000

HDC History Links...


Go to...