Company on the move Success in farming, as it is in most businesses, is based rather simplistically, on dollars and cents. Its true value, however, is derived from a curious blend of product knowledge and delivery, an overriding passion and commitment to excellence, attention to detail and a keen business sense. Diversity and an innate sense of timing are two other components that often provide an added boost to that defi nition of success. Interestingly enough, Bramhill Seeds embodies all of these facets, and through the vision and hard work of its current president, Carl Coleman, the Palmerston, Ontario-based company continues to grow and prosper. For Carl, the road to this level of success actually began in 1984, when he originally left farming and stepped into trucking. Th rough a series of twists and turns during the next seven years, he discovered he had a knack for fi ne-tuning computer software for farming operations. Th at became a full-time job, during which time he also trained to be a certifi ed netware engineer and then a certifi ed netware instructor, a position that had him training businesses on networking and troubleshooting from Hali- fax, Nova Scotia to San Jose, California. By 2000, Carl realized his passion for agriculture had never really diminished, and within two years, his opportunity to “get back to the fi elds” returned with Bramhill Seeds. A proud family business -and that innate sense of timing Bramhill Seeds has had four diff erent owners, starting in 1958 with Clendon Bramhill, who is Carl’s wife’s grandfather. From there, it passed through the hands of the next two generations, Laverne and Leonard, until 2003 when Leonard stated his intent to exit the family business. At that point, Carl’s background in computers and experience with the outside business world became valuable tools in managing the company, ushering Bramhill Seeds into a new era. Th e primary focus was not on change for the sake of change: Carl’s vision was to take a proud family business and make it even better. He did that by introducing four basic business fundamentals: Increase sales through improved customer relations, increase volumes, sound fi nancial management of the company and improved effi ciency. According to Carl, the fi rst and second components go hand-in-hand, while the third is a refl ection of what he learned while building computer networks. Th e fourth component comes from having excellent staff and investing in key pieces of equipment. Since 2003, the company has more than doubled its sales, investing the majority of its profi ts back into the business’s infrastructure, including hiring more skilled workers to improve effi ciency, and adding more storage bins to enhance their sales, service and product lines. Focus on meeting customers’ needs Carl’s infl uence is obvious in other ways, as well. Prior to his taking over, fall sales in 2002 were a very small part of the yearly total, yet by 2008, that percentage had jumped to nearly 30 percent. Th e seed cleanout percentages are typically three to fi ve percent higher than industry standards, and that is the case across all of their product lines, from oats to wheat to barley. Bramhill Seeds also supplies soybean seed, as well as a forage oat variety from the U.S., a forage triticale which they mix with forage peas, and a cereal pea variety. Customers can choose from SeCan or Advantage Seeds varieties, as well as those varieties licensed exclusively by Bramhill Seeds. Such diversity of product is refl ected in the diversity of their coverage area: they sell across most of the prime farming region of Ontario. In winter wheat, they have customers from Windsor to Ottawa; in spring grains, they cover the region from west of Highway 400, and north of London and Highway 402. And in soybeans, Bramhill Seeds services the 2500-2850 heat unit regions. Th e bottom line on what Carl and Bramhilll Seeds off er is the focus on quality; they provide quality service and a quality product at a fair price. To quote Carl, “I get great satisfaction out of providing a quality product with an extra high level of service.” For Carl Coleman and everyone at Bramhill Seeds, that is the true measure of success, and it is worth more than just dollars and cents.