Don Bezjack of Stettler’s JTL Industries stands in front of a grain bin aeration hopper that won the company the Ag Innovation Award last month at the Agri-Trade show in Red Deer. JTL topped 21 other contestants.

Stettler business fills bin with innovation award

A Stettler company, JTL Industries Ltd., won the Ag Innovations Award at Agri-Trade last month in Red Deer.

A Stettler company, JTL Industries Ltd., won the Ag Innovations Award at Agri-Trade last month in Red Deer.

JTL’s line of grain bins and replacement hoppers, incorporating an aeration system, earned the company the top prize among 22 competitors.

“We were really privileged to win this,” said Ken Warkentin, who manages JTL’s Alberta division from Stettler, where the company set up shop three years ago.

“We really like Stettler because it is so central. It’s an ideal location for us.”

The Force is a new concept from the metal-fabrication company, which has its headquarters are in Neilburg, Sask.

JTL Industries had only been building the innovative design for two months, and completed it just in time for Agri-Trade, Warkentin said.

The Force’s patented design has incorporated the skid base and support legs into what has become a simple but effective aeration system, he said.

The skid base is 24 inches wide, a design that is purported to be able to provide greater stability and doesn’t require a cement base.

“The ease in which the fan can be mounted onto the Force is another one of the features our bin presents,” Warkentin said.

“We didn’t invent the hopper-bottom aeration system, but we perfected it.”

The Force can be purchased either as a hopper-bottom bin or as replacement hopper, which is available in various diameters, compatible with existing grain bins.

Employee Don Bezjack delivers JTL products and assisted with the Red Deer trade show.

“It is pretty cool for a small-town company to be producing world-class technology,” Bezjack said.

The Legacy is another grain bin product manufactured in Stettler. The flat floor replacement allows farmers to replace old wooden floors when they rot out with steel floors and add storage capacity at the same time.

With a 72-inch sidewall, the Legacy can add up to 1,500 bushels more capacity.

A bonus feature of the Legacy is the patented JTL-style door, the company representatives said. The user-friendly door is wider, with no obstructions, and allows easier access for both an auger and human entry.

Bezjack said the JTL-style door allows a grain auger deeper access, resulting in few bushels of grain left in the bin.

“The Legacy is a cost-effective alternative to hopper-bottom replacements,” he said.

At its Neilburg location JTL Industries also manufactures oil production tanks, including “leading-edge designs.”

Owner Lester Thiessen puts his ingenuity to work to come up with the innovative designs, Warkentin said.

He said the company had two display booths at Agri-Trade — one inside and one outside — and deemed the company’s participation to be “a great success.”

“We had phenomenal interest,” Bezjack added. “Our booth was exceptionally busy.

“The weather was pretty tough this year.”

Despite the poor weather, Warkentin said the trade show generated sales.

“It went better than expected,” he said.

Stettler-area farmers have contributed to multiple sales of new products, Warkentin said.

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