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Jones Feed building new plant in Linwood

Jones Feed Mils Ltd.l is building a new $27-million state-of-the-art facility in Linwood. Taking in the work that started last week are Peter Draper (sales manager), Frank Karley (maintenance manager) and Brent McDermott (controller). [Veronica Reiner / The Observer]

A $27-million expansion at its Linwood location is the latest growth spurt for Jones Feed Mills Ltd. Construction got underway earlier this month on a new state-of-the-art plant capable of producing some 200,000 tonnes of feed each year.

It’s the latest growth spurt for a company that traces its roots back three generations to 1930. Jones Feed has been particularly busy in the last couple of decades, acquiring mills in Heidelberg, Wroxeter and Mitchell and, now, expanding in Linwood, where it all began.

“We’re very excited to be able to expand this way,” said Peter Draper, sales manager at Jones Feed Mill Ltd. “It’s because of the loyalty of our customers. And we never forget where we came from, and who got us to where we are. We’re doing this to be able to continue to bring quality products to our customers. Part of the thinking behind this project is we wanted to lessen some of the activity in the mill that’s at the front of the property. So we’d like to move away from a night shift there, just to be a better neighbour.”

The new facility will be modernized and unique to the industry in certain ways.

“There’s a few things actually: the process is computerized right from receiving to output,” said Draper. “So that’ll be semi-unique to the industry at this point in time. The mixers and pelleters are very modern and they’re completely automated and computerized. That’s very unique in itself. It won’t require a lot of people per tonne. So the capacity and efficiency is extraordinary. And the process will create a very high-quality product.”

President Jeff Jones announced that the new mill will be named the George Roberts Jones Production Plant, in memory of his father, who was the second generation of Joneses to own and manage the business. Jones Feed Mill began in 1930 when Earnest Jones and his wife Alice bought a mill in Linwood. The business was taken over by the couple’s son George and his wife Jean in 1949.

The industry and business itself has expanded significantly over the years, which prompted the latest move, Draper explained.

“The industry and the business has grown pretty rapidly,” he said. “There’s significant growth in population, people are living longer, and there’s a lot of demand for diversified food. It’s competitive.”

A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility was held July 11, allowing Jeff Jones to acknowledge the customers that help bring about the company’s growth.

“The investment in this mill will better position Jones Feed Mills within the industry, while it continues to demonstrate our commitment to our customers by bringing them quality feed at a fair price,” said Jones during his address.

There were comments of congratulations from Wellesley Township Mayor Joe Nowak, Kitchener-Conestoga MP Harold Albrecht and Rick Weber, president of Camar Systems Ltd.

“The ceremony was terrific,” said Draper. “We had a beautiful day. We had all of the contractors and financiers and staff. And press, it was terrific. I think there were around 65 people. It was intended to be small and private. We’ll do an open house when we’re underway. “

The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2019. Anyone interested in more information can go to Jones Feed Mills Ltd. 

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