Local business digs into another community

A local business in digging into another community.

Robert’s Farm Equipment Sales Inc., based in Chesley, is acquiring the Owen Sound and Meaford locations of Earth Power Tractors and Equipment.

Brian Osterndorff is the president of Robert’s Farm Equipment.

He says there was an opportunity to work with Earth Power to keep that business thriving and develop the Kubota brand in Grey and Bruce.

“We’ve been growing our business for the past 20 something years, and we’ve acquired several locations, did some mergers, things like that,” said Osterndorff. “So our business continues to grow and we have to be thankful for the communities we participate in because the growth comes from there.”

Earth Power employees have been guaranteed gainful employment with Robert’s with the locations to remain as they are with new branding coming in July.

“Leaving a legacy of a very successful Kubota One dealership was important to us. That’s a big reason  why we selected Robert’s Farm Equipment; they’re family owned and operated, in addition to already being a Kubota dealer. So, the fit is very natural,” said Cindy Barton, Earth Power spokesperson and  daughter of the late Jim Kelly, who owned and operated Earth Power since 1998.

Osterndorff says it’s people that have allowed them to drive the business forward.

“People that we deal with, our customers, and our employees that have relationships with customers,” added Osterndorff.

The deal is expected to finalize July 1.

As for the industry as a whole, Osterndorff says farmers haven’t been given enough credit for the work they’ve done over the past two years.

“They never stopped. Agriculture is such a huge part of Ontario, a huge part of Canada. And without that our business wouldn’t be the same and our economies wouldn’t be the same.”