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Emerge Ag Solutions: Knowledgeable Farming Solutions
A local ESSO dealer and farmer founded Emerge Ag Solutions (Emerge) in 1980 originally as Eston Farm Chemicals Ltd. (EFC). Today the growing business offers products and services to assist Saskatchewan farmers achieve growth goals and expand their businesses. Rob Owens, current president of Emerge, became a partner within one year of working for the company. “I bought him out in 2005,” Owens explains. “We changed the name in 2012 when we started expanding.”
The company continues to grow, as 2013 marks the first full year of operation for Emerge’s second branch. Emerge’s original location serves the area of Eston, while the new office is located 60 miles away in Kyle.
Despite expansion, Emerge continues its focus on value. Owens has found a solid balance between quality products and services, as he grew up farming with his father in Saskatchewan. “I’ve been a farmer for 30 years, and I’ve been with the company for 20,” Owens details. His knowledge and experience have helped to shape the business, ensuring that customers receive personal attention and access to the team’s bank of knowledge.
Products and Services
Naturally, Emerge is an agricultural-based business. “We provide herbicide, insecticide, fertilizer and knowledge to grow crops so our farmers can support the world with food,” says Owens. “The agronomy and service we provide really sets us apart in the market.” The Emerge team offers seeds and crop nutrition products in addition to crop protection products, as well as a slew of useful services. Local farmers utilize farm planning, crop advising and other farm services, including equipment rentals.
Owens and his team are constantly looking for ways to help farmers grow, and recently, the business has gotten into promotional services. “We started doing some marketing,” Owens explains. “We’re developing that service now to help farmers market their grain crop. Right now, people are really looking for that service, so it’s important for us to get into it. We’ve hired a new team member to take care of that growing service.”
Additional services and locations ensure Emerge remains competitive in a tight market. “Right now there are a lot of takeovers and expansions,” Owens explains. “We expanded, too, because we were a single outlet. For our area, we were about 65 percent of the market. As everyone is getting bigger, we have to grow, so we opened our second location. Some companies have as many as eight. We buy from the suppliers of the world and broker to farmers. We’re the last line of defense for the farmer. There are new products and techniques that we deliver to our customers. It’s important to us to provide the information to keep them going.”
Emerge also credits trusted partnerships for the company’s success. One relationship in particular is with Dynamic Manufacturing Solutions (DMS), which provides Emerge with information technology (IT) consulting, as well as services and support for all locations. According to Marc Driessen of DMS, the company is focused on streamlining the IT environment and allowing for future growth in the area. “They [Emerge] are a pleasure to deal with, as they approach business in the same entrepreneurial spirit and strive to provide their clients with great value,” Driessen says.
While the recent global recession and local cycles have had an impact on most businesses in the area, Owens says the outlook for his region is very good. “The agricultural business is doing well,” he explains, “And we’re an agro-based province. We also have oil and gas which is booming right now. It adds a strain on us, and makes it harder to find good employees. However, our industry is doing quite well now and for the foreseeable future. The population is growing and some farmland is getting taken out by city expansion, but people have to eat.”
The climate has been cooperating with Owens and the local farmers’ needs, too. Whereas some regions have faced dry spells, Owens notes that Saskatchewan has had a few good years. “We have had moisture, just enough” he explains, “But not too much like other areas. Our growers have a strong line of product, a lot of it durum wheat.”
As local farmers see continued success, Emerge grows alongside the agricultural sector. Owens notes that it may again be time to grow. “Our original location is 10 acres,” he explains. “The building is about 15,000 square feet. Our second location is 5 acres and the building is about 7,500 square feet. We will expand some more in the next few years. We will probably soon be looking into opening a third location.”
Owens and his team provide invaluable products and service to local farmers. As the business grows, so does the local industry. Emerge employs 10 knowledgeable sales and service people, all of who are dedicated to helping farmers grow food and businesses. With unmatched experience and expertise, the company is positioned as a market leader. Under Owens’ leadership, Emerge Ag Solutions will continue to flourish as a regional agricultural asset to many growers and buyers.