Country Junction Feeds purchases Cowlick Minerals

The Gole and Sons sign still hangs at the Cowlick Minerals feed mill.

Country Junction Feeds has purchased Cowlick Minerals, a long-standing Alberta feed business.

Cowlick Minerals operated a vitamin/mineral premix plant at Innisfail, Alta. Its customers were mainly cow-calf producers who purchased a range of CFIA-registered products, including loose minerals, pressed blocks and molasses-based tub supplements from the plant. It was also registered to use medicated ingredients.

“We are very pleased to announce the Country Junction Feeds purchase of Cowlick Minerals,” says Darrell Kimmel, manager of Country Junction Feeds. “This move brings together two of the most long-standing Alberta feed businesses. It adds to our capacity and options for beef producers. It ensures continued strong support for Cowlick Minerals customers.”

Country Junction Feeds, headquartered in Wetaskiwin, Alta., officially took ownership of Cowlick Minerals on Sept 1, 2019. Jim Gole, co-owner of Cowlick Minerals, will stay on in a senior sales and nutrition role as the company integrates with Country Junction Feeds.

The Gole family has a long history of operating businesses in the area, going back to one of the region’s first feed mills in Didsbury. This facility was built on the property where the Rosebud Pancake Flour Mill once stood. Allen Gole, Jim’s father, bought the flour mill in 1951.

Allen and his son Stan rebuilt and operated the mill, known as Gole and Son, for a number of years until the twins, Herb and Jim, were old enough to help.

This initial business evolved into Gole and Sons in the 60s, a full feed facility with expanded ownership including Jim and his two brothers Stan and Herb.

The family also owned the Innisfail mill, which was purchased in the 60’s. This feed mill burned down in the late 1960’s and in the aftermath, the business was rebuilt as the vitamin / premix business which eventually became Cowlick Minerals.

Jim Gole and wife Susan bought out the business from the other partners in 1999 and changed the name in 2000 to Cowlick Minerals. In a nod to the mill’s history, there is still a sign on the top leg of the premix plant that reads “Gole & Sons.”

“It was a big decision when we took over” says Susan Gole, “and it’s amazing to think we’ve gone 20 years with it. I think for the past 10 we’ve been considering a shift and always said okay, one more year. That shows how much we’ve enjoyed the business and the many relationships. Jim in particular really appreciates the daily interactions with customers. They are always calling him for advice — he enjoys it and has a lot of knowledge to share.”

Both Susan and Jim were involved in the business. Susan oversaw the administration and regulatory obligations of the business and authored all the policies and procedures. Jim’s relationships, history and feed knowledge were also important to the business.

Country Junction Feeds is also an established Alberta-based feed business with roots in the regions. The mill is a division of Wetaskiwin Co-op, which was established in 1917.

“We have been truly honoured to work with local producers over the past 20 years and now the journey for Cowlick Minerals continues under the new ownership,” says Jim Gole. “Susan and I sincerely thank all of our customers past and present for the support over the years. I personally look forward to continuing as part of the Country Junction Team. Our customers can expect the same quality and service provided by Cowlick Minerals to continue.”

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