MORRISBURG, Ont. – A delegation of Thailand agriculture experts toured Homestead Organics here today.
The group is on a fact- and idea-finding mission as they toured the plant on Allison Avenue as well as the Berwick facility. They are also making stops at McGill University and Niagara Falls as part of a four-day tour of Ontario.
Their arrival is timely as Homestead Organics President Tom Manley says the plant is coming online this week. “We did a test run (of cleaning buckwheat seed) and we discovered a couple of technical issues that we’re resolving. Later this week we’ll be in operation,” Manley told Cornwall Newswatch.
The 26,000 sq. ft. plant has been in development since December. Manley has invested $1 million in the Morrisburg operation, which will focus on handling and cleaning food grains like soybeans. The plant was processing some of last year’s crop today during the tour.
Manley says the group got a better understanding of grain markets. “When someone comes from a big rice producing region. While they might deal with more market gardeners ours is a grain territory. So grain handling, livestock feed, food grains such as soybeans going to food markets. This was something new for them,” he said.
Manley says, to his knowledge, this is the first international delegation to tour his organic agriculture plants. He says they have a lot of school tours but this is the first out-of-country visit.