Molesworth Farm Supply Ltd. expands with a charitable twist

Proceeds from the first load of grain delivered to the new feed manufacturing facility at Molesworth Farm Supply will be donated to the Canada Foodgrains Bank.

The feed company has recently completed its largest expansion in 40 years. 

MFS has been a supporter of the charity since Ron Coghlin and his wife Susan purchased the business in 1977. It was Ron who introduced the charity to Ray Dykstra, a long-time MFS customer and supplier who along with his son Joel, delivered the inaugural load of corn from their local farms Sept. 3 to the new mill. 

Why it matters: The Dykstra families and Molesworth Farm Supply Ltd. have been long-time supporters of the Canada Foodgrains Bank, and saw the opening of the new mill as an opportunity to donate. 

Ray said he rolled around the idea of being the first load delivered to the mill for months and approached MFS president Andrew Coghlin with the idea of donating the proceeds to Canada Foodgrains Bank, a Canadian international development organization. 

“My hope was to honour Molesworth Farm Supply and recognize our long history of working together,” he said. 

Coghlin was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to match the donation.  “I was over the moon when Andrew said he would match it,” said Dykstra. “We really want to thank MFS for their generous support to the Foodgrains Bank.”  

Dykstra said while he is not the biggest customer or supplier to MFS, his relationship with the company goes back to his start at Windy Lane Farms Ltd., a local cash crop operation. He said the company has been instrumental in his success, as well as the success of his son Joel, who operates JRD Farms Ltd., a nearby hog and cash crop operation. 

Ray Dykstra, left, and his son Joel (not pictured) provided the inaugural load of corn to the new mill. Ray and Molesworth Farm Supply Ltd. Chairman Ron Coghlin have had a customer relationship and supported Canada Foodgrains Bank for nearly 40 years.

Kristy Nudds

MFS operates Synergy Swine Inc., which Ray said allowed Joel to farm on his own at an early age rather than expanding Windy Lane Farms. “Synergy took him under their wing, and he’s really prospered.” 

Ray said once Joel heard that he was donating one full load of corn to Canada Foodgrains Bank, Joel asked if he could participate as well by offering half of a load. “As a young farmer and father of seven, I did not want him to feel obliged to participate so I was very pleased when he approached me with the offer,” said Ray. 

Mill expansion

MFS president Andrew Coghlin said it is strong customer relationships and the company’s commitment to the area it serves that led to the expansion of the company’s feed manufacturing capability. He said the new mill, which began construction at the end of 2019, will more than double its current production capacity. 

“It will allow us to continue to grow, which we have had the luxury to do because of the success of our customers,” said Coghlin. Situated between Perth and Huron counties, Coghlin said the growth in the farming industry in the area has led to the success of his customers, and MFS is thankful to be a part of that. 

Ensuring customer success was a key factor in the development of the new mill. “Historically we have been a rolled feed manufacturer. The new mill will continue on with that but will also have the capability to pelletize a percentage of the mill’s output. It will give us opportunities, more flexibility to meet customer demands in the future,” he said. 

Coghlin said when thinking about design and equipment for the new mill, he didn’t just look at existing feed milling technologies, but to industries such as pharmaceuticals and food processing where automation and pelletization are further advanced.

“A lot of the milling infrastructure is getting old,” he said. “If we’re building new, we wanted to make sure we weren’t just doing the same thing as what was done 20 years ago.” 

The new mill features leading-edge technology and is fully automated, allowing the night shift to run on its own. If something needs attention, an alarm is sent to Coghlin’s or another employee’s phone and they will be able to diagnose, or even fix, the problem at home. 

With plans for the new mill and the COVID-19 pandemic keeping MFS busy, its commitment to Canada Foodgrains Bank was reignited by Ray Dykstra’s offer to donate the proceeds of the inaugural load to Canada Foodgrains Bank, said Coghlin. MFS not only matched the donation, but spread the word to its customers as well. 

In total, he said donations from the Dykstra families, MFS, customers and community members reached nearly $40,000.