United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (UFA) celebrated the grand opening of its new 1,000 sq. ft. farm and ranch supply store, sitting on six acres in Ponoka’s industrial park, on Friday, Nov. 8.
The new store, built by Ponoka company Calanah Builders, is located at 3604 – 67 St.
MLA Ron Orr was present for the occasion, as well as Town of Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett, Glenn Bingley, UFA’s chief operating officer and UFA’s new CEO Scott Bolton, this being his first public engagement.
After what Kevin Hoppins, UFA board chair, called, “one of the most stressful harvests” in his farming career, having the grand opening to celebrate was most welcome.
Bolton says that although the new location was announced a year ago, it was a much longer process from start to finish.
“That’s really what cooperatives are about and should be doing … investing where members live and work,” said Bolton, adding that in the current economy and after a difficult harvest, you don’t see too many grand openings around Alberta.
“We’ve got one here today and we’re very, very proud of it.”
Bolton also thanked the Town of Ponoka for helping to get the project done on time, and on budget.
Mayor Rick Bonnett says the new store “couldn’t be a better fit” for Ponoka which has deep agricultural roots.
When he was told about the possible new site for the store, he says he was sworn to more secrecy than the President of the United States.
As it turned out, he says the new location in the industrial park, in close proximity to other ag-businesses and easy access to Hwy. 2A, is much more suitable than the old location by the high school.
The town is also optimistic the new store is a sign growth will continue in the industrial park.
“We’re hoping this is just the start.”
The site has new features including wider aisles, a drive through warehouse, a larger yard by two acres and a 3,500 sq. ft. crop protection products building.
The old building has been closed and is being offered for sale.
The nearby UFA Petroleum Agency is also getting some upgrades, including a renovated office and warehouse and new double-walled tanks. Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) will also be added to the cardlock for big rigs.
For more information, visit UFA.com.