Deep in the heart of Southern Alberta looms a towering cement structure, which should make every grain grower, in the lower half of our province, extremely happy. Competition is good for any industry and the new Lethbridge Inland Terminal (LIT) is open and the staff anxiou provide the best customer service in the area.
The opening of this facility is timed perfectly for a year where many cattle producers in Southern Alberta have switched some of their efforts from livestock to grain. The new company is anxious to build its customer base and there are definitely more customers out there this year, with volume of grain to market. The terminal is conveniently located just south of Highway 4 on Secondary 845. LIT already has its first train filled with Canadian Wheat Board wheat, ready to be shipped to the coast for export.
“Local ownership by shareholders, many of which are actual grain growers, keeps the decision-making process here in Lethbridge,” says Dave Seifridt, marketing and logistics manager. “There’s no head office outside the province telling us what to do. The terminal was built with the grain grower in mind and, with decisions made at a grassroots level, we can provide optimal customer service. Our connections give us access to international markets which we pass on to our customers.”
Seifridt wants to make one point extremely clear that “anyone can deliver to this facility. This terminal is open to all grain growers, not just shareholders,” he says. “We’ve aligned ourselves with the Inland Terminal Group which also includes South West Terminal in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan and North East Terminal in Wadena, Saskatchewan. Together, we’ll be a marketing force in key agricultural, international markets.”
The 41,000 metric tonne capacity facility is state of the art with all technology Canadian made. If grain needs to be cleaned, the terminal can process 120 metric tonnes per hour. Even the grain legs are situated external of the terminal for fire-proofing situations. Future plans for the facility will include fertilizer and chemical sales as well.
Not only will grain producers appreciate this addition to their grain marketing repertoire but so will anyone who hauls grain in to the facility. This is a trucker’s paradise. There’s one long driveway to follow into the terminal, then the truck gets scaled-in, then the load gets probed. The trucker never needs to leave his truck. Staff at the terminal brag, “We can unload a SuperB in five minutes!”
For grain growers in Southern Alberta, the next anticipated program to be launched by Lethbridge Inland Terminal will be its malt program for the 2009-2010 crop year. Seifridt says one very nice benefit for the producer is the program involves all barley being picked up at the bin. “Malt programs have not generally been the most stress-free process in the experience of most farmers,” says LIT’s marketing manager. “One way we’re going to alleviate the cumbersome process through our upcoming malt program is the barley will be picked up at the farmer’s bin. Blake Gamroth and Terence Koshman, our producer service representatives, are eager to venture out to the farmer’s bins and probe for samples.” Producers can look forward to LIT’s malt program within the next few weeks.
To contact Lethbridge Inland Terminal’s marketing manager, Dave Seifridt, call (403) 317-1746. For all grain producers in Southern Alberta, the facility, along with its international expertise and commitment to customer service, will be a welcomed addition to the grain marketing basket.
Shelley Wetmore is owner of Market Master a feed grain brokerage and consulting service based in Edmonton. You can reach her at (800) 440-8390 or visit: www.grainwatchdog.com