Kroeker Farms Ltd.
Immer Besser – Always Better
By Jennifer McFee
That’s the vision of Kroeker Farms, which has grown exponentially since 1928 when Abram and Elizabeth Kroeker began growing crops for their new company located near Winkler. As the potato farm took root, it spanned 280 acres of cultivated land plus another 80 acres of pasture and poplars.
Since the company incorporated in 1955, it has continued to expand. Today, the business retains its headquarters in Winkler with farmland that stretches all the way from the U.S. border to the west side of Carmen.
In 2002, Wayne Rempel became the first non-family member to be named CEO of the company that specializes in all kinds of potatoes. It’s colourful yield includes reds, yellows, whites, russets, three shades of baby potatoes as well as seed potatoes.
The secret to their success stems from a concept best summed up by the German phrase “Immer Besser,” roughly translated as “Always Better.”
“For us, it’s all about constant improvement. I love the challenge of always trying to do better,” Rempel says. “We’re constantly learning. We’re always travelling and looking for new ideas and better ways of doing things. We don’t think we have all the answers. That’s why Immer Besser fits the way we think.”
The positive results of that motivating mindset are clear to see, since Kroeker Farms earned an Excellence in Business Award from the Winkler Chamber of Commerce in 2015.
Over the years, the founding family has transitioned to roles on the board of directors and as shareholders.
“We implemented an employee shareholder program, so lots of our employees are shareholders too. In winter, we have about 140 employees, and in summer, we have close to 300,” Rempel says. “We transitioned from a family who originally owned the company to employees who are shareholders.”
Over the eras, Kroeker Farms — which is a major potato supplier for Peak of the Market Ltd. and Old Dutch — has remained a renowned source of quality products that are both tasty and healthy.
With an eye on the future, the company will continue to focus on its founding principles that have allowed it to flourish over the decades.
“We aim to meet people’s needs through innovative agriculture in a way that honours God,” Rempel says. “That’s our Mission Statement at Kroeker Farms — and it applies to me on a personal level too. We can honour God in business by treating people fairly, by having integrity and by working hard.”