Location Spotlight: Seaboard Special Crops, Avonlea




Location: Avonlea, Saskatchewan, Canada

Affiliate: Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea

Year opened: Our group became part of the Seaboard family in 2017.

Products/Services offered by Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea:

Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea plays an important role in purchasing and processing inventories for Seaboard Special Crops. We purchase a variety of pulses and special crops such as Lentils, Peas, Chick Peas, Beans, Flax and Canola directly from producers. Products are cleaned, bagged (if required), and loaded out using different type of transportations to the requested locations.

Describe a normal day at Seaboard Special Crops – Avonlea:

We have our buyers at the plant that work together with Seaboard’s procurement team to determine the most effective market prices for commodities and what are the acceptable prices and targets from producers. After agreeing on pricing, we work with producers to gather samples and send them in for quality assessment. The product will then be examined to verify if it meets our specific requirements and fits our end use customer’s needs. Once provided sample is approved, we will prepare a detailed contract with specific grading, price, tonnage, and terms and conditions and it is sent to the producer.

The Producer will then deliver their products to our facility. Each load will be graded again to ensure the quality agrees to quality on the contract. After that, we will prepare grain receipts with all detailed information for each load and send them to Regina office. Grain receipts will be processed and recorded in their inventory system. The Logistics group in the Regina office will provide shipping information, and we will ship processed products to required locations.

How many employees work in the office?

Presently we have fourteen employees at our Seaboard Special Crops Fillmore location; General Manager, 2 staff members in administration, 2 grain buyers, 1 individual in quality control/receiving, 3 cleaner/operators and 5 shipping employees.  The GM, administration and buyers all work together as a team to handle the marketing and procurement/payment of product.  Quality control, cleaners and shipping work closely together to make sure the processing side of the plant, from delivery to loadout work smoothly and error free.

What are the typical daily challenges Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea faces?

Effective communication is the biggest challenge for us. Our buyers need to ensure they communicate with producers and provide all payment instructions and other requirements to the Regina office. Staff in different departments need to communicate and ensure they provide each other information they needed to perform their tasks. Communication is crucial to our business as it keeps all functions operating smoothly.

What makes Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea unique or different to others?

Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea is unique as we have been working together for a long time, and we understand each other fairly well. It helps to achieve not only better understanding of our company’s goals but also a warm and friendly working environment. We are all working together as a big family to achieve business success as well as contributing positive effects on the market and our local community.

What was the last social event, gathering, or celebration you had? Please include pictures

The most recent social event was the annual Christmas Season lunch.  We ordered in a delicious lunch and enjoyed visiting with our co-workers and shared our plans for the holiday season.


How’s life in Avonlea, Saskatchewan Canada? Weather, economy, infrastructure, traffic, government, society, etc.?

Avonlea is a village of approximately 400 people, located in southern Saskatchewan and is less than an hour from the city of Regina, the city of Moose Jaw as well as some other towns that are within a close distance.  Due to its proximity, approximately half of the facilities employees commute to work from other communities close by.  This can present a challenge in the winter with Saskatchewan’s highly unpredictable weather as snow and icy roads are a guarantee at some point throughout the winter.  The average winter temperature is roughly -15 C, although the lows in the winter can drop below -40 C.  The average summer temperature is around 20 C, with highs ranging from 30-35 C, an extreme difference from the winters.

Avonlea has focus on community, agriculture and a relaxed friendly rural living.  There are many families that are focused on farming for a living, with livestock, fenugreek, peas, lentils and grain crops.  There is also a presence of mining in the area as Saskatchewan is Canada’s second largest oil producing province and is the world’s largest potash producer with many potash mines located throughout the Southern half of the province.

What is special about the Seaboard Special Crops Avonlea’s location? Touristic spots or interesting things to see and do, etc.

Avonlea is located in southern Saskatchewan, nestled in the Avonlea Creek Valley and the Dirt Hills,  80 km to Regina, 76 Km to Moose Jaw, 50 Km to Ogema.  Less than an hour from all of these locations residents can take advantage of all the sites to see in those locations but other interesting sites to see that are in their own backyard are the Long Creek Golf & Country Club,  Avonlea Heritage Museum and tours of the Claybank Brick Plant.

Long Creek Golf & Country Club

Avonlea is home to the Long Creek Golf & Country Club, a destination golf course for golfers in Southern Saskatchwan and neighboring provinces.  Not just for the beginner golfer as it is known for its narrow fairways and creek ravines that must be crossed to meet the green.

Avonlea Heritage Museum

A tour of the Avonlea Heritage Museum will take you through Pioneer exhibits of an old barber shop, general store and blacksmith with all varying artifacts, agricultural displays, and the original Avonlea rail station built in 1912.  There is also a wide display of  murals from a local artist that depicts the life in Avonlea of years prior and current.

Claybank Brick Plant National Historic Site

Just 13 Km from Avonlea, exists a gem that not many people know about, North America’s Best Preserved Brick-Making Site.  Tours of the facility offer an educational and interesting experience of the brick making process from “Clay to Kin”.  There are trails around the facility to explore the wildlife and Clay Canyons.