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Three Great Skid Steer Attachments for the Long Canadian Winter

HLA Attachments

HLA AttachmentsWinter weather arrives early in Alberta and British Colombia, lasting from September all the way through April in some parts of the provinces.  In order to get through the season, you need the right skid steer attachments, including snow blowers, snow pushers, salt spreaders, and more.

One of the top manufacturers of these attachments is HLA Attachments.  For decades, they’ve been a leader in innovation in this industry, and their products have a reputation for being well-engineered and thoroughly tested. They are so dedicated to their product line of winter-season attachments that they market them under their own brand, HLA Snow.

Here are three of the top products manufactured under the HLA Snow brand that should be a part of your winter accessories linuep.

Six Way Blades

HLA’s six way blades allow both sides of the blade to be moved independently.  They can form a scoop, V-blade, or angle blade depending on what the situation requires.

Six Way Blades

Their standard spring trip cutting edges ensure that when the blades hits an obstruction, it springs back rather than holding its position.  This minimizes the damage to both the blade and the vehicle it is attached to.

Six way blades also us replaceable and reversible steel cutting edges, allowing you to swap them around when they start to wear down (thus doubling the useful life of the blade).  The optional rubber cutting edges give you a cleaner finish when plowing if that’s what you prefer.

The Six-Way blades comes in two models.  The model that is ideal for skid steers and small tractors is the SB3600V.

Scattershot Spreaders

Clearing snow and ice is half the battle, but you’re also going to need a sand and salt spreader to help keep it from sticking in the first place.  HLA’s Scattershot, made of durable galvanized steel, is up to the task.  Internal agitators in the unit prevent materials from building up or clumping so that you can get the most out of every load.

Scattershot Spreader

Snow Bucket

Once you’ve cleared the snow off your lot a few times, it’s going to start piling up.  That’s why, in addition to snow blades, you’ll need a snow bucket to move all that white powder out of the way.  HLA’s snow bucket comes in nine different sizes suitable for skid steers, from 60″ all the way up to 108″.

Snow bucket


Ida Supply is Closing!

The owners of Ida Supply are retiring and will be closing down the business on June 30th!

After 40 years of being a leading supplier for British Colombia’s outdoor power equipment needs, after the end of the month Ida Supply will close.

All inventory in the store must be sold off, which means only one thing–it’s time for a retirement sale!

15% off

From June 15th through June 30th, everything in the store will be 15% off.

That’s 15% off lawn mowers, brush cutters, chain saws, safety gear, and everything else we sell.

Don’t miss this chance to save big on outdoor power equipment!  Come in to Ida Supply and take advantage of this opportunity while supplies last.

All sales are final–cash or debit cards only.

Oregon -vs- STIHL Lithium-ion Battery Tools

STIHL vs Oregon


Oregon and STIHL are two of the leaders in the outdoor power equipment industry when it comes to lithium ion battery tools.  But who comes out on top in a head-to-head matchup of Oregon vs STIHL?

Read on to compare four common outdoor power tools offered by Oregon and STIHL, and see why they’re leading the pack in battery-powered tools.

Oregon CS300 Chainsaw vs. STIHL MSA 200 C-BQ Chainsaw

Ditch the cord and leave the fuel for your car with a battery-operated chainsaw! Both the Oregon CS300 and STIHL MSA 200 C-BQ models offer a laundry list of high-end features for optimal performance. Both saws boast:

  • Quiet operation
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Convenient, instant start

The STIHL weighs in at just 10.19 pounds with its battery, while the Oregon model is just slightly heavier at 12 pounds including the battery. Both models offer special chain features: the Oregon saw uses its PowerSharp self-sharpening system to cure a dull chain in seconds, while the STIHL chain can be adjusted without using tools for added convenience.

Both chainsaws also use lithium-ion batteries, which promise high power and torque, as well as long run-times on a single charge. Whether you measure battery strength in time or number of cuts, these saws have you covered there, too. The STIHL saw can make up to 230 cuts in 4” logs on a full charge, while the Oregon model can last up to 240 minutes.

Oregon BL300 Blower vs. STIHL BGA 85 Blower

Cordless, gas-less blowers are the blowers of the future. Oregon’s BL300 and STIHL’s BGA 85 blowers are two of the most efficient in the market. Choosing to add either to your arsenal of tools you can expect:

This time, the Oregon tool wins in the lightweight category, weighing in at just under 9 pounds with the 40-volt lithium ion battery. The STIHL model weighs 10.7 with its 36-volt lithium-ion battery.

Don’t let the quietness or light weight of these blowers fool you–they pack a lot of power and air flow. The STIHL blower provides up to 385 CFM at the nozzle, while the Oregon blower features 400 CFM on High, and an astonishing 507 CFM using the Turbo button. The best part? The Turbo setting still meets most community noise regulations at 64.6 dB(A).

Oregon ST275 Trimmer vs. STIHL FSA 56 Trimmer

Say goodbye to the awkward, heavy trimmers of the past! The Oregon ST275 Trimmer and the STIHL FSA 56 Trimmer are lightweight, eco-friendly tools to help you keep your lawn prim and proper. Both trimmers feature:

  • Comfort and control in a lightweight, balanced design
  • Low noise
  • Long-running battery

Sensing a pattern?

The STIHL trimmer weighs in at 9.5 pounds, features an adjustable loop handle as well as a hanging loop for easy storage. Its cutting range is a 12-inch swath, and the FSA 56 runs at a lower vibration thanks to its limited moving parts.

The Oregon trimmer’s key feature is its advanced cutting system. Dual lines of Advanced Platinum Gatorline allow for faster cutting and are resistant to cracking and breaking. Loading the line is a breeze as well because of the Oregon Swift Load trimmer head on the ST275. What’s more, this trimmer is a 2-in-1 tool, converting quickly and easily from trimmer to edger.

Oregon HT250 Hedge Trimmer vs. STIHL HSA 66 Hedge Trimmer

Finally, the Oregon HT250 and STIHL HSA 66 hedge trimmers are top-of-the-line tools to complete your battery-powered collection. Like the other tools, these hedge trimmers promise:

  • Quiet operation
  • Lightweight portability for precision and ease
  • Environment protection with zero exhaust emissions
  • Instant-start performance

The 10.6-pound STIHL hedge trimmer features a 20-inch blade with a tip protector and optimized blade geometry and diamond-ground edges for the cleanest cuts possible. The large wrap handle allows for more easily-controlled sculpting and shaping of shrubs, and its 36-volt battery allows for up to 2500 strokes per minute.

The Oregon HT250 hedge trimmer boasts a durable 24-inch blade with laser-cut precision blades to promote clean cuts and healthier plants. The 40-volt lithium ion battery is 4 times quieter than a gas trimmer and can operate up to 2750 strokes per minute. For your convenience, all Oregon cordless tools are compatible with their Cordless Battery Packs, including the HT250 hedge trimmer.

Ready to start (or complete) your collection of battery-powered tools? Contact Ida Supply today to have an expert help you find the best tool to fit your needs!

New Standards for Leaf Blower Power Measurement Makes Comparing Products Easier

leaf blowers

leaf blowerBecause there haven’t been consistent standards for leaf blower power measurement, the task of choosing the perfect leaf blower hasn’t always been easy. Typically, you’ve had to rely on blind faith, in-store advice, or internet reviews to help you make the decision.

This process may work well for an everyday cost-efficient tool like a hammer or screwdriver, but it isn’t very effective when it comes to a new leaf blower, which tends to be a pricey investment. This is due to the fact that leaf blowers have never really had an industry standard to which they can be assessed and compared.

Luckily, trends such as lithium-ion-powered outdoor tools and other advancements in outdoor equipment technology are blossoming, allowing for new industry standards to emerge.

Introduction of new Standards for Leaf Blower Power Measurement

While it’s true leaf blowers had specs on which both consumers and professionals relied on to make their choice, these specs were often misleading or inaccurate. They typically consist of air volume and air velocity measurements, but the inconsistent ways in which the products were tested led to inaccuracies across the board.

Fortunately, there is now an industry standard that removes misleading specs from leaf blowers, and it’s all thanks to the American National Standard Institute. This new standard is actually a minor addition to current standards with major impact.

Instead of relying solely on air volume or air velocity, leaf blowers can now be measured by the powerful force of air that flows from blowers. This method allows leaf blower testing to take big leaps toward accuracy in performance specs, allowing the industry to eliminate inaccurate or misleading measurements.

How the New Method Works

While leaf blowers will still take air velocity and volume into account, the introduction of measuring the direct force of air will take measurements to a new level. By combining all of these measurements, the industry is able to introduce the Newton, the traditional measurement of force.

In addition to measuring on air volume and air velocity, there will be a new specification called “the Newton Rating”. Dynamic companies like STIHL have already begun incorporating the Newton in their leaf blower spec sheet.

In this case, the higher the Newton Rating, the more powerful the force of air from the blower will be. This straightforward method is already taking the industry to new heights and allowing consumers and professionals alike to make more informed decisions when it comes to their tools.

How Ida Supply is Handling the New Standard

As a major outlet for STIHL and other prolific outdoor power equipment manufacturers, we not only embrace this new standard but praise the manufacturers incorporating it as well. This is because it aids in making a well-informed decision on the investment of a new leaf blower, and makes our customer’s lives that much easier.

The Goal and Benefits of Lithium-ion Outdoor Tools

lithium ion tools

lithium-ion outdoor toolsThese battery-powered tools seek to bring further ease and less hassle to homeowners and professional landscapers alike by making outdoor tools function in a simpler and more efficient way. These options also serve as perfect gifts for holidays and birthdays for power-tool savvy friends and family.

The benefits of lithium-ion powered tools over more traditional methods are numerous. For starters, using battery-powered tools gets rid of pesky and obtrusive power cords, which only get in the way during work around the home. Often, the only time a cord is needed with lithium-ion tools is when they need to be charged, though there are a few exceptions in which a cord is necessary for smaller-range tools.

Another benefit of these tools is cutting the hassle, mess, and costs associated with using traditionally fuel-powered options. Compared to fuel or lead-acid methods, lithium-ion battery-powered tools can last far longer on a single charge than traditional tools can on a full tank. This also adds an element of safety to outdoor tools without the worry of misusing fuels like gasoline.

Who is Using Lithium-ion Batteries?

Surprisingly, these new battery-powered tools aren’t just emerging from new or independent companies who are trying to break into the industry with a new idea. The bulk of lithium-ion powered tools is actually being manufactured and sold by big names in the outdoor power tool world like STIHL, Snapper, and even Oregon.

Options for Every Budget

Brands like STIHL are ensuring that everyone who uses outdoor tools can benefit from lithium-ion battery-powered options. To do this, they offer selections of tools for every budget and need range, from the condo owner who only needs to trim a few bushes seasonally all the way to the professional landscaper with heavy usage daily.

Their mid-range line is perfect for the typical homeowner who gets outdoor work done regularly or frequently takes on dynamic home-improvement projects. The devices, across all budget ranges, include trimmers, weeders, leaf blowers, chainsaws, hedgers, and even mowers.

Where Can I Buy?

At Ida Supply, we proudly embrace the innovative and industry-changing lithium-ion outdoor tools. We have several brands, lines, and options to choose from for any budget or any usage need as well. If you’re ready to add these innovative tools to your landscaping arsenal, contact us today and we’ll help you select the perfect tools for your needs.

Ida Supply Now a Sun-Mar Dealer


At Ida Supply, we pride ourselves on the quality of our corporate partners; it’s our job to ensure our partners offer the same dynamic qualities that we do. This allows our highly-valued customers to have access to the best supplies while supporting companies who care. This is why we are proud to announce that Ida Supply is now a dealer for Sun-Mar composting products.

About Sun-Mar

Sun-Mar was born when Hardy Sundberg developed the very first self-contained composting toilet in the world in 1971. Soon after, Sundberg went on to incorporate new technologies and improvements upon his invention. Today, Sun-Mar is still in the family with a descendant of Hardy Sundberg currently leading research and technology to continuously improve and develop new methods of composting. Sun-Mar is the only composting business in the world to have earned a certification by the National Sanitation Foundation and is the only approved supplier for residential and cottage use.

Why Composting?

But, why composting? As Sun-Mar describes it, “composting is nature’s way.” Composting delivers a method of dealing with waste by returning to nature’s roots. By utilizing a Sun-Mar composting toilet, waste is recycled and can be used for its nutrients to promote natural fertilization in soil. This is due to the patented internal drum method, which takes liquid and solid waste, evaporates the former, and extracts safe nutrients from the latter.


While the benefits to nature are numerous, a Sun-Mar product isn’t only for those looking to harvest rich nutrients from waste. In fact, a Sun-Mar composting toilet has several benefits including making septic systems obsolete, working without harmful chemicals, and running on various power sources such as electric, solar, or no power at all! These benefits ensure an easy, safe, and environmentally friendly way to rid of waste.

Where Sun-Mar Composting Toilets can be Used

Composting provides waste solutions in a variety of situations. In areas featuring an outhouse such as a cottage, park, or campground, the luxury of an indoor restroom is now possible. Since these toilets operate with little or no power while utilizing an internal drum system, they are also a fantastic and eco-friendly choice for boats, pools, RVs, and cabanas. Additionally, many find that composting toilets are a fantastic choice in their own homes, as they offer a green, septic system-free alternative to typical waste management options.

Odor-Free Solutions

With Sun-Mar composting solutions, odor simply isn’t an issue. During the National Sanitation Foundation’s certification test, these composting products were tested over the period of 6 months at maximum capacity and produced safe nutrient extraction without any odor at all. While improving their patented technology over the past 46 years, the research team continues to ensure their composting solutions afford the same odor-free benefits as a typical waste management system.


There are Sun-Mar products available for a variety of needs and spaces. Self-contained portable models are ideal for boats and RVS, electric powered self-contained, central-flushing, or dry-flushing models are ideal for homes and cottages, while non-electric self-contained units are a perfect solution for outdoor areas like campgrounds, parks, and pools.

We are very excited to welcome Sun-Mar composting products into our collection at Ida Supply, and to offer these solutions to our customers. With over 40 years of experience and a personal and professional level of service, we make it our goal to ensure our customers receive the utmost care and quality by offering products for a wide range of solutions from dynamic companies. Contact us to learn more about our Sun-Mar products today!

STIHL Lightning Battery System

STIHL Lightning Battery System

While battery systems may be an afterthought when choosing new landscaping tools, this shouldn’t be the case. Using tools equipped with high-performance batteries is the difference between completing projects in one day versus having to frequently interrupt your work to recharge or refuel.

Fortunately, there’s a new battery system on the market that makes the lives of both homeowners and landscaping professionals much easier. The STIHL Lightning Battery System changes the way power tools function for the better for a more efficient and effective experience.

To put it simply, these battery-powered tools are simply more efficient, easier to use, and much more manageable than gas-powered tools. Best of all, there’s a battery series for every type of use—from products perfect for weekend yard work to professional-level tools. Read on to find the right STIHL series for you!

AI Series

Ideal for smaller yard and condominium upkeep, the AI Series features an all-in-one battery and charging system. By plugging the system directly into an outlet during use, it ensures a steady charge essential for completing quick tasks.

STIHL Lightning Battery SystemProducts featuring the AI Battery Series include the FSA 45 Trimmer which is perfect for getting rid of weeds, the BGA 45 Blower which takes care of yards cluttered with fall leaves and debris, and the HSA 45 Hedge Trimmer which ensures the beauty and maintenance of hedges and bushes.

With AI Series tools, you can trim 1,312 linear feet of weeds, 262 feet of hedges, and blow away 2,153 feet of leaves from your yard—all on a single use. This means, no cutting your necessary yard work short to recharge or refuel which leads to faster completion and more time to enjoy the day.

AK Series

The AK Series is where high-value meets exceptional performance. Designed for frequent or weekend work around suburban yards, this series ensures quality, portability, and efficiency. Once these tools are charged, you’re able to disconnect and tackle the to-do list of yard chores cordlessly and quickly.

STIHL Lightning Battery SystemProducts featuring the AK Battery Series include the MSA 120 C-BQ Chainsaw for felling, pruning, and gathering firewood, the FSA 56 Trimmer, the BGA 56 Blower, and the HSA 56 Hedge Trimmer. The latter products function just as well in the AI Series with one exception—better power.

When utilizing a single charge on AK Series tools, you can achieve 100 chainsaw cuts, 1,640 linear trims, 6,458 square feet of yard decluttering, and 918 feet of hedge trimming. The AK Series ensures a day of hassle-free and steady yard working time to finish tasks early.

AP Series

The AP Battery Series is perfectly suited for professionals or homeowners passionate about their curb-appeal. You’ll find the widest range of products utilize the AP Battery Series to ensure the highest level of performance, endurance, and quality for any project.

STIHL Lightning Battery SystemJust some of the tools in the dynamic range of products featuring the AP Battery Series include RMA series lawn mowers, HTA series pole pruners, and FSA series trimmers. The wider variety of tools in this series ensure all-around lawn care and maintenance with steady and reliable power for a project or task of any level.

On just one charge of AP Battery Series tools, you can achieve 200 chainsaw cuts, 2,559 linear trims, 10,333 square feet of leaf blowing, and 1,673 feet of hedge trimming. For large projects that require exceptional long-lasting power, the AP Series is a perfect choice. A unique feature within the AP Series is the option of a portable battery pack. This pack is worn in a safe and convenient backpack style to ensure even the most massive tasks are completed as efficiently as possible.


An innovative way to tackle yard tasks, the STIHL Lightning Battery System makes projects more enjoyable by delivering performance free of messy and inconvenient gas-powered methods—all while delivering unmatched power. If you’re ready for a smoother, more efficient, and powerful way to complete outdoor projects, you’re in luck. At Ida Supply, we are not only a proud supplier of STIHL products but a leading resource authority for yard work done right. Contact us today and let’s get your next project started.

Three Great BCS Tractor Attachments for Gardeners

BCS Tractors

BCS TractorsAs the largest supplier of BCS in British Colombia, we here at Ida Supply understand better than anyone that BCS manufactures one of the most versatile two-wheel tractors in the world. Users ranging from homeowners with large gardens to commercial nurseries agree: BCS tractors are ready to handle whatever you throw at them. When you add one of the tractor attachments, these very functional machines become even handier than before. Here are some of the tractor attachments that gardeners, whether pros or amateurs, will find most useful.

Rotary Plow

BCS’s Rotary Plow attachment is nicknamed the “Groundblaster,” and it certainly lives up to the hype, working its way through a number of tasks with high-performance ease. The Rotary Plow’s four spiral blades, spinning at 250 RPMS on a vertical shaft, can effortlessly penetrate soil of all types, regardless of its rockiness. As the plow discharges any debris from the soil to the right, users can build a raised bed with ease.

The attachment’s depth wheel allows engagement up to 12” deep, and the wheel also allows users to transport the attachment efficiently. If you’re looking to accomplish the following tasks, the Rotary Plow will make the job easier:

  • Power hilling
  • Building raised beds
  • Creating ditches for drainage
  • Breaking new ground
  • Power composting cover crops

Rear-Tine Tiller

A BCS Tiller is more than a just a means to dig dirt; it’s a very versatile tool that will aid gardeners in busting sod and prepare seed beds during the growing season. In addition, it will assist with power composting after the gardening season is past, ensuring that your soil will be ready when spring rolls around again.

The main advantage of a BCS Tiller is the effortlessness; you’ll just be along for the ride while the tool does the work. The Tiller’s chopping action prevents plant material from getting tangled up in the tines, and its large wheels help it to avoid “tine walking,” requiring next to no downward pressure on the Tiller’s handles. A model of compact design, it’s also incredibly easy to maneuver through your garden’s turns.

If you’re concerned about taking the Tiller between your plants, BCS has a solution for that. Every BCS tractor comes with a second speed that’s dedicated to eliminating weeds from your garden as it creates dirt mulch without the worry of over-pulverizing soil; when you switch to this particular gear, the tines will turn just 10 times with every revolution of the wheel, preserving your soil as it accomplishes the task at hand.

Rollerblade Flail Mower

One of the newest additions to BCS, the RollerBlade Flail Mower is an attachment that gardeners will love. It was created to assist gardeners with aiding decomposition with shredded cover crops.

The RollerBlade is better-suited to the specific needs of market gardeners than its predecessor, the standard Flail Mower for several reasons; here are a few of our favorites:

  • The Rollerblade is better for rough terrain; if you’re planning to mow in V-ditches, the RollerBlade is your best bet thanks to the proximity of the roller to the tractor wheels. Other flail mowers use skids or castor wheels, making the machine longer and more unwieldy.
  • When you adjust the mower to the lowest possible height setting, the RollerBlade won’t “scalp” your lawn, even when you’re mowing on soft soil or a raised bed.
  • The blades on the Rollerblade are thicker and wider and it’s housing is lower; this is an improvement over the standard Flail Mower because it produces a smaller particle size in one pass.

While the RollerBlade is capable of mowing anything bendable, BCS doesn’t recommend using it with tall or dense materials.

If you’re interested in learning more about BCS tractors or the attachments that make them the gardener’s best friend, contact Ida Supply today!

Master the Art of Hedge Trimming

Hedge TrimmingA properly trimmed and well-maintained hedge achieves many things for a home or business owner. An attractive hedge can add curb appeal while shaping the feel of a garden or overall landscape. Hedges contribute to the ecosystem by providing shelter and protection to many types of animals and insects, while also protecting the surrounding soil from heat and strong winds, preventing excessive evaporation and soil erosion.

To ensure that your hedges look their best while performing these vital functions, you must understand the importance of consistent trimming and pruning, and master the art of regular hedge maintenance.

Hedge Trimming Technique for Tall Hedges

Hedge trimming can, of course, be done by hand, but to achieve the cleanest, most consistent finish, the use of proper power tools is recommended. This is especially true for tall or extra-wide hedges. Using a long-reach hedge trimmer for taller hedges will not only save you time but also the hassle of setting up a scaffold or other working platform in order to access the hedges.

According to STIHL, most long-reach hedge trimmers have a swiveling cutting head, which would allow you to set its angle to trim along the top of a taller hedge. In addition to reaching above head-height, a long-reach trimmer can also assist in pruning the sides of taller hedges. Again, by adjusting the angle of the cutter head, you can easily cut according to your working position. Be sure to keep the trimmer straight while at close range, and at an angle while standing at a distance.

Finally, the elongated shaft of a long-reach trimmer will also allow you to reach over flower borders and beds that may separate you from the taller hedge.

Hedge Trimming Technique for Medium Hedges

Medium-height hedges can be easily maintained with standard hedge trimmers. If you can, use a trimmer with double-sided blades to trim the sides of your medium hedges. Cutting the sides vertically, in a sweeping arc-shaped movement with your double-sided blade will save you time as you cut in both the upward and downward stroke. Walk forward as you trim, cutting along the length of the hedge.

Cutting the top of a medium hedge requires you to hold the cutter bar horizontally at a slight angle, around 10°. As you move across the top of the hedge, use a sweeping motion to remove the clippings. You’ll likely see more success as well if you trim the sides of medium hedges first, followed by the top.

Additional Hedge Trimming Tips

There are several additional general rules of thumb to remember as you plan and execute your hedge-trimming routine:

  • Prune new hedges from an early stage to establish the shape you desire and to prevent leggy, unhealthy growth. Be sure to research your type of hedge to determine how much to prune back.
  • If you lack experience, you may not be ready to trim and cut your hedges just by eye alone. You can use taut lengths of string to set your guidelines before you cut.
  • Often the only remedy for a neglected formal hedge that has gotten out of shape is to severely cut back the branches. Again, be sure to research your specific type of hedge, however, as some species will react negatively if you cut into old wood.
  • Cutting seasons and trimming frequency will depend on your hedge’s species, but formal evergreens such as a box or privet should be trimmed 2-3 times a year during the growing season (roughly May to September), while other fast-growing conifers may need more frequent trimming to be kept in control. Also key to remember: hedges are homes! Refrain from cutting too early in the year to avoid disturbing any birds that may have chosen to nest in your hedge.
  • Keep your tools clean and sharp. A blade with sap build up will not be efficient; use approved cleaners to keep blades in top condition. Dull, blunt blades will also do more harm than good, tearing branches rather than producing clean slices. If your hedge’s trimmed tips appear ragged or light in color, or if your trimmer’s blades snag on the hedge, it’s probably time to sharpen the blades.

Ida Supply can ensure your blades will be sharpened properly if you choose to bring your tools into us for routine maintenance. You can schedule your blade sharpening service on our website. Contact us today!

Ida Supply Customer Helps to Build Largest Hop Farm in Canada

If you ever find yourself traveling along the North Thompson River across from Westsyde, you might view something quite puzzling. Stretching out for 220 acres is a forest of poles and wires. What you are seeing is Hops Canada, a hop farm that is the brainchild of founder Joey Bedard. The farm was established in 2015 in partnership with the Tk’emlups Indian Band.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur, an Ida Supply customer himself, estimates he will sell more than $2 million worth of the flowering plant from his warehouse located in nearby High Country Cold Storage. A brokerage company has been set up to buy and resell the hops to pay the bills down on the farm.

The farm is a multimillion-dollar investment in irrigation, equipment, and labor. Sixty-five acres of hops were planted in March 2015. The remaining 155 acres were planted in the spring of 2016.

Bedard believes Hops Canada is offering the right product at the right time. That belief is supported by a study released in 2015 for the provincial and federal agriculture ministries, stating that the demand for hops is exploding, fueled by astronomic demand for craft beer. In B.C. alone, Province newspaper beer writer Jan Zeschky estimates there are 130 craft breweries.

Bedard has always been driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. While he grew up in a farming area in Ontario, his business experience involved building remote camps in Northern Alberta for the oil patch and fishing camps on B.C.’s West Coast. Add in a number of other companies he started and sold before Hops Canada and you’ll get an accurate picture of the depth of this young man’s ambitions.

Bedard raised capital for his latest business venture by selling two-thirds of Hops Canada to the Tk’emlups Indian Band. However, the farming operation was not his original idea. His initial intent was to open a craft brewery. He quickly realized, though, that the market was flooded with new entrants. That’s when he recognized this popular trend represented another opportunity: supplying those brewers with the hops they desperately needed.

Hops Canada currently employs about 10 people year-round, with another 15 to 20 seasonally, making the business an excellent source of long-term revenue for the Tk’emlups Indian Band as well as an employer for people in the community.

Always looking ahead, Bedard has stated that the next phase of the business involves installing a processing facility. This facility would enable Hops Canada to convert the fresh hops into dried or pelletized form; that’s the way most all hops are sold and shipped and it’s the preferred form for brewers everywhere.

Still, the pelletizer equipment needed to grind and reconstitute the hops is expensive and the process is a delicate tightrope walk— should the hops become overheated during reconstitution, all of the essential oils and aromas that make them the brewers’ best friend is lost.

Looking to the future, Bedard has stated that he plans to expand the farm acreage and start growing his own varieties of hops through a selective breeding program. That’s a wise goal as many of the most preferred hops in the world are licensed and protected. Developing a preferred hop that brewers want and is only available from Hops Canada would protect the local business from future market downturns.

Hops Canada owner Joey Bedard’s accomplishments, as well as his plans for the future. makes one realize just how dedicated Hops Canada is to providing unparalleled customer service and the highest quality products.  It’s a company led by an entrepreneur who possesses a passion for hops matching those of his customers, the craft brewers.

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