“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
As we wound up the last few days of 2016 at the WestGen offices, I could not help but look back on what an incredible year it has been. Despite setting the bar as high as we did in 2015, WestGen still managed to significantly increase its market share in terms of doses sold. It’s also been an excellent year of performance for Cryogen, and Boviteq West continues to progress as well- you can look forward to hearing exciting news from them this year, as the company will be announcing some new services that will help make the benefits of Boviteq West accessible for all producers!
However, perhaps the most impressive feat from 2016 is that we managed to achieve all that we did while also successfully navigating what was undoubtedly our most monumental task of the year – the move to our new Abbotsford location. From the first days of planning, design, and research, to the final days of packing, logistics, and troubleshooting- the office move was a team effort like no other, and I’m tremendously proud of how well everyone at WestGen worked together to make sure this move went as smoothly as possible.
Whether you’re moving an office or relocating a 300-cow dairy barn, we all anticipate that it can’t be done without a few mishaps. The fact that a move of this size was able to be made without any major catastrophes is a true testament to the incredibly diligent planning that was achieved through everyone’s excellent teamwork. After more than 10 years of planning, I’m very proud to be able to go back to our members and say that we succeeded in delivering this massive project as promised, on time, and under budget. As we go forward into 2017, our next major project will be to take what we’ve learned from building our new office, and apply it to Phase 2- the construction of the new barn.
While I’ll save the biggest announcements for our 2017 AGM, I will say that our members can expect to be very proud of the steps we’re taking and the plans we have for Phase 2. This project is not just about relocating WestGen’s barns- it’s about building for WestGen’s future. When WestGen began as the Lower Fraser Valley AI Association in 1944, its lab was nothing more than a re-purposed milk house. As the company expanded to become the BCAI Centre, it outgrew its milk house and ended up needing a full facility at its new Milner location. Now, having learned from experience that WestGen has a habit of exceeding expectations, we know to design future facilities not just to accommodate what WestGen is, but also what we know WestGen can become. That’s why both our office and our barn-to-be are designed with room to grow. There are big things on the horizon for WestGen, and we’re going to be ready!
I want to end the year by sending my sincerest thanks to you, our loyal members and customers, for supporting WestGen through another exciting year. Despite all the changes this company has seen over the last few decades, WestGen remains a company that is owned and directed entirely by Western Canadian farmers, and everything we do is done in an attempt to better the lives and futures of the beef and dairy producers that continue to stand with us and support us. Although our physical office may stand in British Columbia, we as a company are proud to stand behind all our producers, in each of the four provinces that we represent. WestGen is a company that was made by farmers, for farmers, and that’s something that will never change. On behalf of everyone at WestGen, I wish you and your loved ones the very best in 2017, and I thank you for your ongoing support.
CEO, WestGen Group of Companies