By Andrew Macklin
When pennies become the difference between a hearty profit and a devastating loss, any investment that can be made to gain an extra financial advantage is worth considering. Seeing both the short-term and long-term benefits of adding new technology, for the health of its bottom line, has led the Integrated Grain Producers Co-operative to make significant investments in its Aylmer, Ont., ethanol production facility.
In less than 15 years, the IGPC facility has grown from little more than a pipe dream to one of the largest agricultural co-operatives in Ontario, and one of the largest ethanol production facilities in the country.
The idea was born when a group of farmers met and discussed their collective intention to start an ethanol facility somewhere in southern Ontario. The government of the day was offering incentives for starting a facility of this kind, and the farmers decided to move ahead with their new initiative. At conception, that group was just a handful of regional farmers. Today, that group has grown to somewhere in the range of 850-900 members.