P+H reworks Lake Huron grain terminal for larger boats

Dust control also added at Goderich site

A vessel loading at Parrish and Heimbecker’s Goderich, Ont. grain terminal. (Photo courtesy P+H)

Grain and agrifood firm Parrish and Heimbecker has built out the mooring structures at its Lake Huron grain terminal to allow “all configurations” of boats to load and unload there.

The Winnipeg company announced Friday it has completed a new mooring dolphin at its terminal at Goderich, Ont., as well as a new vessel-loading spout designed to cut down on dust emissions.

A “dolphin” refers to an isolated structure built on piles at a port terminal, allowing a facility to accept longer vessels where it’s impractical to build out a pier, wharf or shoreline.

The dolphin structure is used to secure and stabilize a longer vessel attending a terminal as it loads or discharges cargo, and also allows for safer manoeuvring by larger vessels in the harbour area.

P+H said it reworked its “entire site layout” at Goderich for the mooring dolphin project, noting “extensive collaboration” between the company, Goderich town staff and Goderich Port Management Corp. on the design.

The terminal’s new vessel-loading spout, meanwhile, uses digital sensors to monitor and control grain flow at the discharge end.

From the deck, P+H said, its operators are thus able to manage a “concentrated cylinder” of grain, placing it much closer to the bottom of the vessel and “reducing unwanted dust emissions.”

The Goderich terminal, which P+H has owned since 2012 when it took over Ontario grain handler Thirdcoast, is served by Canadian National Railway and has 105,000 tonnes of grain storage capacity.

P+H describes the site as a “vital link” for southwestern Ontario producers to export grain, as well as to move eastbound wheat from the Prairies to Ontario flour mills.

“These two significant investments will allow P+H to handle increasing volumes of Canadian grain while doing so in an environmentally responsible manner,” Matt Gardner, P+H’s director of Ontario terminal operations, said Friday in a release. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

In many ways, Stephen Hughes has become the face of the sustainable beef movement in Canada. He’s spoken at conferences, given numerous interviews, and appeared in videos and commercials for McDonald’s sustainable beef initiative. Now the fast-food giant has named the Longview rancher the first “flagship farmer” in Canada. But while he’s willing to stand in the spotlight, it’s only because it’s a way to showcase the beef sector and the good work it is doing. “To me, I’m representing my peers and my industry,” he said. “By no means do I think I’m doing a better job than anybody else. But I’m willing to talk about it.” McDonald’s started the flagship farmer program a few years ago in Europe to recognize “ranchers who were exceptional in their field, whether they were innovators or people sharing best practices,” said McDonald’s Canada CEO John Betts. “He’s a natural leader in his own humble way,” Betts said of Hughes. “I think that what we’ve learned in Europe from these efforts is that the individual in the role can broaden his own experience by sharing it with others. He’ll be sharing with the international farmers as well.” Hughes, a third-generation rancher who operates Chinook Ranch, has been an advocate of sustainable farming long before that term was coined. For example, he started rotational grazing in 1996. [caption id="attachment_120668" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] “By no means do I think I’m doing a better job than anybody else. But I’m willing to talk about it.” – Stephen Hughes[/caption] He was the first rancher in the country to sign up for the McDonald’s beef sustainability pilot and the first to become verified under the program in 2015. His involvement in the flagship farmer program was announced at the Western Canada Grazing and Soil Conference in front of a room of about 550 attendees. In this role, Hughes will help raise the profile of the work that he and other sustainable beef producers are already doing, said Betts. “It’s not about McDonald’s. It’s not about Stephen because he represents everybody,” he said. “He’s a humble guy, but he’s also confident, and he knows the importance of what he can accomplish with this. “He has a drive for positive change in the industry and his willingness to spread his knowledge makes him the ideal fit for the McDonald’s flagship farmer program.” But there are many others in the provincial beef sector who are great ambassadors for their industry, he aded. “We’re fortunate in Alberta,” said Betts. “If it was a sports game, I would say that it’s a very deep bench of leaders in Alberta who are passionate and care about the environment and the industry. “It’s really cool that the guys in Alberta have established the goalposts, if you will, the standards for sustainable beef in the world.” Hughes said he supports the beef industry’s partnership with McDonald’s. “They want to sell more burgers, obviously, but they are working hard to pull my industry forward and they’re spending a lot of money doing it,” he said. “They’re very positive about the good stories in our industry and they want to tell them.” In his speech to the crowd at the grazing and soil conference, Hughes vowed to do his best to represent progressive Canadian producers through the flagship farmer program.

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Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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