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History: Gold Medal Seeds Ltd

On December 1, 1971, Gold Medal Seeds Ltd (GMS) became an incorporated company. The original owners were Peter Petersen, Bob Asher, Gerry Freundl and Lloyd Smigorowski. The plant was located at the end of 1st street and 4th avenue east Brooks (currently 1st street runs all the way through to the old rodeo grounds but at that time the GMS plant was the end of the road). Throughout the next few years, GMS supported all aspects of the alfalfa seed production sector in Southern Alberta.

In 1980 Peter Petersen became the sole owner of Gold Medal Seeds Ltd. Unfortunately for Peter, his ownership of that building would only last just over a year. On December 1, 1981, on the 10th anniversary of the Gold Medal Seeds Ltd’s incorporation, a fire broke out and burned the building so badly that it was a total loss. Peter and the staff worked long and hard that day to minimize the damage, and by 2:30 pm that afternoon, they had office manager Karen Redelback set up with a working office in a building located at 2nd avenue and 5th street. This was where all the office operations would take place for the next 7 months and during this time all seed sales were done out of a building located on a farmyard just outside of Brooks.

Then in July of 1982, the Gold Medal Seeds Ltd office was moved into the new and present location at 439 Aqueduct Drive and was one of the first buildings in the area of what is now a thriving industrial area located on the south side of the railway tracks on the south end of the city. The new plant was fully operational 4 months later in November 1982.

Over the next 35 years, the plant would expand its storage and handling capabilities. Peter Petersen and his family, with the help of Karen Redelback, would keep Gold Medal Seeds Ltd a successful entity in the ever-changing alfalfa and forage grass seed market.

After spending most of his life in agriculture, Peter Petersen decided it was time to retire. In July 2007 Peter sold Gold Medal Seeds Ltd to Forage Genetics International. Peter would try to stay on for about another year to help with the transition, but he had to take a leave during the 2007 alfalfa cleaning season due to health issues. Peter returned towards the end of the cleaning season in 2008 to finish the transition and fully retired in August 2008. Karen Redelback also stayed on during the changeover and was very instrumental in the transition process when Peter took his leave. Karen and the plant operators Victor Matthews and Thomas Ivany kept the plant running during this time. Then after 42 years in the agriculture business, Karen retired in January 2010.

Gold Medal Seeds Ltd is currently owned by Forage Genetics International. Plant operators Victor Matthews (20 years with GMS) and Thomas Ivany (12 years with GMS) have continued on with FGI. General Manager Erick Lutterotti was added to the team on March 3, 2008, bringing with him 15 years of agricultural experience. Office Administrator Shannon Wenner was added to the current team on April 4, 2015, bringing with her an extensive knowledge of office systems. Our latest addition to help out with our warehouse and cleaning team is Kris Hynes.

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