By Ben Voss, President & CEO, Morris Industries Ltd.
2019 is a special year here at Morris Industries, as we proudly celebrate the 90th anniversary of our company’s founding in 1929 by George Morris.
It is a time to pause and reflect, not only on our beginnings, but also on our growth as a company over the years and the path we will take from here.
As President and CEO, I feel we are at another turning point. We have many great people who’ve helped build this company and have served it for many years. In fact, it is interesting to note that some of our people have been with Morris longer than some of our competitors have been in business.
By no means, however, are we focused on the past. In recent years, we’ve experienced a renewal, with younger people coming in with new ideas and boundless enthusiasm. New technology is pouring through the door every single day. We are growing rapidly, with new products, new markets and surging sales.
Why am I so confident about the future of Morris Industries? It’s because we know who we are, and we know why we are here.
From 1929 until today, we have listened – intently and sincerely – to the farmer. Over the years, farmers have told us what they need to be successful and we have worked hard to translate innovative technology into products that help farmers succeed.
We don’t tell our customer what they should want in the area of precision seeding technology. We ask them what they want to do, and we help them do it.
It’s a simple idea, but a powerful one. Consider that most of the big equipment in agriculture is made by huge companies with global footprints. By contrast, almost all the new ideas and innovations for precision seeding technology come out of companies like Morris. Smaller, and privately owned, we operate at a higher speed and pace of innovation than large corporations that may be slowed down by complicated approval processes and greater distance between departments.
I sometimes think of Morris Industries as a seed planted in fertile ground, namely, Saskatchewan. There’s an ecosystem here – which of course includes our colleagues in Manitoba – of engineers, agronomists and farming experts who have grown up in Western Canada. These professionals care deeply about agriculture and use their knowledge and experience to continually bring the farmer fresh ideas and better tools. Many of the best and most passionate of these people work right here.
Though grounded in the prairies, we have also grown an extensive network that expands well outside of our Western Canadian home base. Our ProAg and Morris product lines serve customers both in the Eastern provinces and south of the border, nurtured by our American employees.
Of course, none of this is possible without our dedicated dealer and distributor network. They help ensure that our products are well supported and by doing so, help farmers be as successful as possible in the short term and the long term.
Look back to the business news of 1929, and seek out familiar corporate names that are still with us today. You won’t find many.
Looking ahead, our eyes will be focused on the outside world to find promising new solutions and technology in our relentless pursuit of ground-breaking innovation.
At the same time, we’ll keep our feet planted firmly on the ground, listening to farmers and talking to dealers about what they need from us next.
As we have since 1929, we hear you.