Northeast Parts & Ag Ltd. opened its doors in Canora on January 19, after purchasing M & A Billy Equipment from Alex Billy, who had started the business with his father Metro 55 years earlier in 1963.
Northeast Parts & Ag is owned by two couples: Marcia and Todd Griffith of Norquay, and Marcia’s uncle Terry Burym and his wife Sheila of Canora.
The business has hired Wilf Leson of Canora, a semi-retired farmer, as their parts manager. The operation sells new and antique farm parts as well as farm equipment, including being SeedMaster dealers.
Terry Burym grew up on a farm near Stenen, but his future turned out to be elsewhere.
“After leaving the farm I moved to Canora and worked in the oil field for 27 years, and then Sheila and I bought the Esso station in Canora, which we owned for eight years.”
They have two adult daughters, Katie and Brooke.
The Griffiths farm about 15,000 acres of cereal grains and oilseeds near Norquay, where they live with their young children, son Jax and daughters Tyler and Charlie. Marcia is in charge of the livestock, including 63 cattle, nine horses and around 80 chickens.
They say they enjoy taking advantage of any opportunities to spend time together as a family. In winter, snowmobiling is a favourite activity. During the summer months, Marcia rides with the Norquay Trick Riders in her spare time.
Todd said the business partnership between the two couples was something that came together over an extended period of time, largely because of how much he enjoys different aspects of the agriculture industry.
“About two or three years ago I began buying and selling farm equipment on the side while running the farm, which I found I really liked. Around the same time, Terry was looking for something to keep him busy after selling the Esso station, so he started driving a combine for us on the farm during harvest time.”
Eventually Todd convinced his future partners of the viability of the business, and the partnership was born. He said it helped a great deal that all four of the partners get along really well.
Griffith said the former M & A Billy Equipment facility was an ideal location to start their business. Since the business was still active, the transition was much easier than if it had been shut down. Area farmers are used to coming to this location for their parts and equipment needs, which is a significant asset.
Griffith said Alex Billy was very helpful in making the transition and getting the new business started. He marveled at Billy’s detailed memory, especially when it comes to parts.
“We were talking to him about Case tractor parts. He said he had ordered some clutches 30 years ago and he remembered which tractors they were for.”
Griffith said they have a good stock of vintage parts available, and will be carrying “what’s important to farmers,” including parts for seeding, spraying, tillage, harvest and semi units, as well as some automotive parts.
Northeast Parts & Ag is open five days a week to start, but Griffith expects the doors will open six days a week during busy seasons such as seeding and harvest, with extended daily hours as needed.
He said he and his partners look forward to serving the Canora agricultural community, always keeping their motto in mind: “If you need it, we can find it.”