Rural Entrepreneurs Have Not Forgotten Their Roots – for Sep. 6, 2010

im and Sue Culbert manage a mixed grain/beef cattle operation near Hague, Saskatchewan. As a means of diversifying their farm, the couple established a business,

Yellowrose Enterprise that specializes in supplying parts for offshore/ grey market Kubota tractors in 1992. Both Jim and Sue have years of experience in parts and mechanics. Jim began his career fixing tractors then went on to become a service representative for numerous major agricultural companies. He is a heavy-duty diesel mechanic and has Ontario farm equipment certification.

Sue has also been involved with mechanics since an early age. She was nine when she performed a car engine tune-up. By the age of 12 she was rebuilding engines and by 16 she was operating her dad’s machine shop. She, too, has worked for major agricultural companies as a parts specialist.

Yellowrose Enterprise is a licensed farm equipment dealer with dealer certification. The rural business, located on the Culberts’ farm north of Hague, specializes in supplying OEM and aftermarket agricultural parts for any make and model of agricultural equipment. Yellowrose can also supply replacement and chrome parts for restoration projects of antique tractors. It offers hydraulic hoses with fitting sizes from one-quarter to three-quarter inch, chain, bolts, belts, bearings, filters and more. Since Yellowrose could not possibly stock everything, Sue can order it either as an OEM or aftermarket part. Environmentally friendly cleaning products such as industrial cleaners, household and hand cleaners are also available.

Yellowrose Enterprise is the North American distributor for the Stockstill product. The Australianmade electronic device was invented for use on sheep during the shearing process to eliminate unnecessary movement resulting in less stress and fewer nicks to the skin. Further research was conducted on other animals and the device was found safe to immobilize livestock during castrating, dehorning, hoof trimming and assisting with difficult births.

The device works off a six-volt flashlight battery and is equipped with the proper clips, wires and electrodes. Stockstill can be used safely on cattle, ostrich, emu, elk, bison, deer, pigs, sheep, horses and donkeys. Once the animal is restrained (head gate, chute, lassoes) the typical connection is the lip/tail method; front electrode clips on the side of the top lip and the needle electrode is placed in the caudal fold under the tail. The unit can then be turned on and an electrical current immobilizes the animal without any pain; there is also less trauma and usually less post-operative bleeding. The handler can then perform the procedure with more precision and less chance of self-inflicted injury during restraint.

Once the handler has finished with the procedure, the electrodes are removed and the animal is instantly released and walks away without any side-effect. The device has been used in Australia for over 30 years and has proven effective in reducing stress on the animals and handlers. This drug-free method of restraint not only saves time but money, by requiring less labour and physical strength, less personal injury and downtime.

ADDING SERVICES

Jim and Sue have continued to add services to their business to best serve their customers. Most recently, Jim has designed and built versatile livestock windbreaks and Sue has introduced promotional laser engraving.

The portable windbreaks have been designed to match up with the livestock producer’s loader frame so that they can be lifted over fences rather than pulled through a gate. The support legs are pivotal to allow for easy transport. The 30-foot windbreak frame is constructed of heavy walled steel piping. Three rows of 2×6 boards are horizontally mounted by screws onto the frame allowing the vertical boards to be fastened to it. The vertical boards are nailed at alternating spacing to allow air to flow through without causing damage.

The innovation comes from the idea that “if we need it other people need it,” says Jim, who is always thinking of ways to improve a design or make life simpler for a farmer. “In order for it to work for me, it has to be simple and not complicated.”

“We farm too,” says Sue. “We know what farmers are up against. And what better way to help someone out than to offer them quality services at comparable, if not better prices.”

Jim is also working on a bale shredder that fits on a loader to effectively monitor/control the amount of bedding put out. It can also be used to spread hay for feeding.

Sue has now expanded her line of service to include laser engraving. She does not do the engraving herself, but is assisting a Saskatchewan businessman to market his services. The Delisle-based business, Prairie Promotions/Laser Engraver Inc., offers a large selection of laser engraving of promotional items like pens, knives, glassware, barbecue sets and more. Engraving can be done on wood, acrylic, stainless steel, glass, leather, mirrors, plastic and marble. The selections are endless and there are no hidden costs.

“The price you are quoted is the price you will pay,” said Sue.

Yellowrose Solutions, a new division of Yellowrose Enterprise, provides the expertise and ability to provide an inventory control or maintenance system designed to fit each farmer’s individual needs. Sue will come to the farm to plan, organize and set up garages and shops in an orderly fashion.

“Whether a farmer comes from an auction with boxes and pails of items that need organizing or just wants to get the shop in order, I can assist them,” says Sue. “Trying to sort and organize a garage, shop or binful of miscellaneous items can be overwhelming.”

When inventory is stored unorganized it takes time to locate the item, but when stock is organized and labelled, the farmer or business owner can easily find what is required. A quick look will indicate if the part is not in stock. Items purchased at auctions are only a cost saving if you can locate and use what you purchased.

Sue’s expertise and experience in the parts department is definitely an asset to her newly established business. Knowing the belts, bearings, hoses and bolts is relevant to organizing stock and inventory. The experience and reputation with Yellowrose Enterprise is advantageous when Sue prices out products for the customer. Her connections with suppliers enable her to offer a variety of purchase options by researching and comparing product price and quality, resulting in cost savings to her customers.

“Many times farmers do not have the time or desire to research products to get the best deal for their money,” says Sue. The size of the project is not important — it could be rebuilding an engine or just pricing filters and lubricants.

Yellowrose Solutions’ services are not limited to farmers. Sue will provide inventory control and maintenance services to small businesses in either organizational or business setup.

“I like to look at ourselves as ‘country folk doing business the country way,’” says Sue.

Jim and Sue Culbert can be contacted at 232-5570 or 232-4952.

VivianNemishwritesfromBlaineLake, Saskatchewan

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