Safe-Grain, Inc. Celebrates 60 Years in Business and Helping to Feed the World in the Process

Posted On: March 23, 2015

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Safe-Grain's 30,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Wapakoneta, OH.
Safe-Grain’s 30,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility in Wapakoneta, OH.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the world soon will be facing a food crisis, and in fact, we are already confronting this global challenge. Nearly a billion people today are undernourished, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and by 2050, the FAO projects that population and economic growth will result in a doubling of demand for food globally.

This is a very real problem that Scott Chant, president of Loveland, OH-based Safe-Grain, Inc. takes seriously and does what he can to ensure that the company is doing its part to store food safely for later consumption.

“We’re going to have 9 billion people to feed by the year 2050 – that’s a lot of people we are talking about,” says Chant. “I tell people we help feed the world, and I’m very serious about that. We have a great responsibility (as a company), and our products, when used as intended, significantly improve the odds of feeding the worldwide.”

Chant notes that what often goes unpublicized is that protein consumption worldwide essentially has doubled in our lifetime, and the grain industry hasn’t promoted the fact effectively that it has continued to meet rising demands for food consumption. “Without a proportional increase in agricultural inputs, we’ve tremendously increased yields,” he notes.

While the challenge to feed 9 billion people isn’t an easy one, Chant says we collectively must produce more food and keep it safe, until people want to consume it – which is where Safe-Grain comes into the picture.

Simply put, “we keep grain safe, until you’re ready to use it. That’s one of our goals,” Chant says. “Our primary focus is temperature detection for storing grain, aeration of stored grain, dust control equipment, and hazard systems for grain handling facilities.”

Celebrating 60 Years in Business

Team Photo 8-2014 (2)
Key Personnel

This year marks the company’s 60th anniversary since Safe-Grain’s founder Fred Yoder opened doors for business in 1954 in Dayton, OH, working as a rep for various companies selling equipment and services to the grain industry.

In 1975, Yoder began manufacturing his own temperature detection equipment and established a service and manufacturing branch in Waynesfield, OH. By 1984, Fred was about to retire. Chant had joined Safe- Grain to become an equity partner with Yoder’s son, but the partnership turned out to be short-lived. Chant purchased Safe-Grain that year and began growing the business, which included the acquisition in 1992 of Maxi-Tronic, Inc., a manufacturer of motion controllers, belt alignment and bearing monitors, PC-based monitoring systems, and other material handling system controls and sensors.

Today, Safe-Grain’s flagship temperature detection products and services include the SafeTrack PC-based wireless grain temperature system featuring remote scanning and reporting over the Internet, auto alarm text messaging, approximate level displays, and exhaust fan controllers. The company also offers grain temperature monitoring cables, portable grain temperature systems, and temperature system service.

Aeration products include aeration fans to 100,000 cfm, roof exhaust fans, half-round and full-round aeration ducts, corrugated and flat-sheet aeration screens, 5,000-lb. drive-over and standard flush-floor supports, canola screens, and aeration system design for any type of grain storage system. c

On the Maxi-Tronic side of the business, the company’s equipment monitoring systems consist of the MaxiTrack predictive maintenance system with wireless monitors, auto alarm text messaging, and minute-by-minute system history tracking.

Additionally, the company produces motion sensors and controls, BeltTracker and rub block belt alignment sensors, hot bearing and gear reducer temperature monitors, PLC and PC input conditioning, maintenance run time hour meters, and UL-labeled systems. RadarTrack, LevelMax, and RotoTrack level indicators, along with flow/no-flow controls and monitoring systems, round out the offerings.

Chant says that nearly 99% of the company’s products are utilized in the grain industry, 35% to 40% of which will end up outside of the United States depending on the year. Its sustained growth and expansion have been steady thanks to increased, existing, and future demand for its products and services – and the company is confident that this trend will continue.

“One of the things we have done is we have increased our production capacity,” says Chant. “Three years ago, we had about 7,500 square feet of space; today, we’ve got 36,000.

“We’re doing all we can to meet the demand. We’re so blessed. We’re gearing up to double in size in the next five to 10 years,” he notes.

Staying Competitive

In order to realize the kind of growth that Safe-Grain is anticipating, the company must remain competitive, and Chant says that the quality of the company’s products, its experience, and ability to service customers (including some outliers) is what will help propel the company forward in a field of contenders.

“There’s a lot of good competition out there,” Chant admits. “We like to think we’re better, because we’ve been doing this for a while, we know what we’re doing, and we’ve got products that work really, really fast and really, really well – they’re very reliable,” he says.

While other manufacturers certainly can make similar claims, Safe-Grain continues to innovate using the latest technology and combining it with six decades of experience to stay ahead of the game—and the competition.

“We’re not saying others do not have reliable equipment, but we’ve taken the best of both the analog and digital worlds

and combined them into our wireless SafeTrack grain temperature detection system,” he explains. “On the aeration side, we’re doing the difficult aeration jobs that others do not want to tackle. And with 60 years of background knowledge, we’ve seen a lot of things come and go, and that experience pays off. We’ve probably seen your problem before -and provided solid solutions for your problem before.”

Ultimately, Chant says that Safe-Grain “wants to be recognized as the leading experts in custom monitor and control equipment in the global commercial grain industry,” plain and simple. And in the meantime, the company is doing its part to help make the world a better place by being socially responsible and by taking its role in shaping the future earnestly.

“This is serious stuff!” Chant reiterates. “We have a huge responsibility to feed the world. While all the technology and entertainment in other industries is very nice, it’s not if you don’t eat – next to water and air, food’s about third on the list of necessities.”

Thanks to companies like Safe-Grain, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that one of the world’s most basic necessities will be in the experienced hands of people who are so committed to ensuring it remains a sustainable resource for generations to come.

“We’re a 60-year-old company that can’t wait for the future,” Chant says.

Rob Nieminen, contributing writer
Permission to re-publish from the Grain Journal.