While other high school students had paper routes and part-time jobs bagging groceries, Barry Schmitt, President of Barr-Ag Ltd, decided to try farming instead; he has been involved in agriculture in one capacity or the other ever since.
Upon completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture at the University of Saskatoon, Schmitt took a position as Assistant Farm Manager for Olds College in Alberta and later became the College’s Farm Manager. This experience afforded him valuable management experience and gave him firsthand knowledge of the dairy industry as well as other facets of agriculture. Leaving Olds College in 1994, Schmitt transferred his management skills to hay and forage operations until he started Barr-Ag in 2004 and began exporting hay to Asian markets. His understanding of agriculture, both the hands-on production end, as well as business and management, have served as a great foundation for Barr-Ag, Canada’s leading exporter of compressed, non-GMO Timothy hay and forage products to dairy operations and horse owners in Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.
We attribute Barr-Ag’s success to honest business practices, down-to-earth customer service and the quality product we supply. While Barr-Ag is the largest hay exporter in Canada, our customers say they like dealing with us because we aren’t a large corporation. We are a family-owned, farm-to-farm operation. We enjoy long-standing relationships with our customers, producers and core group of employees. Unlike most hay exporters, we grow 60% of what we sell; this gives us a lot of control over our operation. We are able to export some of the highest quality hay and forage in the world because of responsible husbandry and the idyllic and pristine conditions found along the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.