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By Marvin Baker
A necessity to get machinery across the international boundary and a growing list of customers in North Dakota has prompted Canadian farm machinery manufacturer SeedMaster to set up a parts and services hub in Kenmare.
It’s the first office that SeedMaster has located in the United States and calls Kenmare it’s North Dakota flagship.
Existing dealerships have carried the SeedMaster name in North Dakota, however, this is the first time that the Emerald Park, Sask., manufacturer has a staff of employees outside Canada.
Currently dealerships in Havre and Glasgow, Mont., are the only other U.S. implements carrying the SeedMaster line. Fifty-four dealers are located throughout the prairie provinces including Saskatchewan dealerships South Country Equipment in Weyburn and Nelson Motors in Oxbow.
“We’re excited about this,” said SeedMaster marketing and communications manager Cory Beaujot. “This is a valuable step for service, parts and sales in the United States.”
Retired postmaster Barb Gottschall is SeedMaster’s office manager. She is joined by service technician Brett Mohr and ACE adviser Jason McKee.
“Barb is a fantastic addition to SeedMaster,” Beaujot said. “And, as you know, she knows a lot of people.”
Beaujot said that getting parts across the border has always been an issue and would sometimes take a week to service producers in North Dakota.
Now, with the Kenmare location, getting parts to the field will be almost assured overnight.
“This is our shipping hub in the United States,” Beaujot said. “It has streamlined our shipments. We expect we’ll see the need for others, but for now we’re concentrating on Kenmare.”
The majority of SeedMaster customers are located in North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Washington, with the majority of the North Dakota customers located in Bottineau, Renville and Ward counties.
“We want this to be our hub for the United States,” Beaujot said. “We hope this solidifies our core, which is in North Dakota.”
Rochelle Beaujot, the sales manager for SeedMaster, said the company is actively engaged in expanding its dealer network in North Dakota and other parts of the Midwest.
“Our main focus in opening this new office is to make sure our customers are well cared for as we continue to grow our business in North Dakota,” she said. “Our customers have been asking for this and we’re listening.”
She said delays in shipping parts across the boundary was a hurdle that just had to be crossed.
“A week is much too long for a customer to wait, especially during spring seeding,” she said. “Our Kenmare location will be fully stocked with SeedMaster parts so customers and dealers no longer have to worry about delays at the border.”
According to Cory Beaujot, the parts inventory in Kenmare will be larger than any dealer stock, which will add to the efficiency of the Kenmare office and getting parts to the U.S. customers.
SeedMaster officials worked on setting up the Kenmare office for about three months before it all came together, according to Beaujot.
However, he recognized Duane Ingerson of Dakota Sign Scapes in Kenmare as an important piece of the puzzle. SeedMaster’s Kenmare office is located in Ingerson’s building on U.S. Highway 52.
In addition, Beaujot credited Kenmare farmer Ron St. Croix as being very helpful in the endeavor to create a U.S. parts presence.
“He was influential in getting us established,” Beaujot said. “He helped us locate the office, drove us around looking for the right site. He was very influential.”
St. Croix, who has been operating with SeedMaster equipment the past 10 years, acknowledged that he has given a lot of pointers to Norbert, Cory and Rochelle Beaujot in getting set up,.
St. Croix said two things about SeedMaster really stand out, in addition to the quality of the seeding equipment.
First, SeedMaster is a totally family owned business and second, when there was farmer concern after Cenex in Mohall phased out big machinery including SeedMaster, the company followed through to get a presence back in North Dakota.
“Norbert is convinced that Kenmare is the place because it’s on the main route from Regina into the United States,” St. Croix said. “Norbert was here in February and I showed him around and introduced him to some people. I’m really enthused about it and enthused about their commitment to locate here.”
For more information on SeedMaster, please see the printed insert in this edition of The Kenmare News, call Gottschall at 701-334-6159 or visit (www.seedmaster.ca)... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!