A.E. McKenzie Company

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

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A.E. McKenzie Company

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Dates of existence

1896-1994

History

The A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. was founded in 1896 by Albert Edward McKenzie as The Brandon Seed House. In 1906, the company underwent a change of name when A. E. McKenzie, who up until that point had been running the company on his own, decided that the growth of the country demanded a larger seed institute than could be managed by just one man. As a result, the company was incorporated under the Joint Stock Companies Act as A. E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd., under the Statutes of the Province of Manitoba, and new personnel were hired. Initially comprised of three divisions, The Brandon Seed House, Brandon Nurseries and Brandon Greenhouses, with each division registered under Dominion Patents, the company was later divided into Retail Mail Order, Wholesale and Commission Packet Trade divisions, as well as some export business. Located at 30 9th Street, Brandon, Manitoba, the head office and plant of A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. housed all the facilities and staff of the company, except the regional sales offices and warehouses. In 1908 the first branch of the A. E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. was established at Calgary. In the following sixteen years additional branches were established in other Canadian cities. In 1930, McKenzie Seeds created the Seed Marketing Co. as a means of supplying distressed farmers with seed. This was accomplished through a Seed Grain Mortgage; this agreement was made before planting took place. Following harvest the mortgage was to be paid off. The Company fell into default and ceased to exist in 1962. In the years 1944-1945, the McKenzie Foundation was created, at which time 90% of the shares of the company were turned over to the Manitoba Government for the benefit of higher education, specifically Brandon College. Since 1975 the crown has held all shares of the McKenzie Co. through the Province of Manitoba. A.E. McKenzie died on September 25, 1964 at the age of 94 and was succeeded as president by a number of individuals. Late in 1971 A. E. McKenzie Co. Ltd. purchased its largest competition in packaged seeds - Steele Briggs Seed Co., and at the time of the acquisition the company changed its name to A. E. McKenzie Co. - Steele Briggs Seeds. Other acquisitions included McFayden Seeds (1941), the Canada Seed Company, which merged with Steele Briggs in the 1930's, Brett-Young Seeds (1971), and Pike & Co. (1982). In 1994 the Manitoba Government sold the A.E. McKenzie Seed Co. Ltd. to Regal Greetings and Gifts.

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