'It's about leaving a footprint' – Troy Seward, Golden West Produce
Troy Seward likes to grow things. And he believes you have to take risks to get to the next level. “I like the challenge of trying to make something work in a very competitive business,” says Seward, President of GW Farms LLC and Golden West Produce LLC, and CEO of Prosource Inc.
Golden West Produce LLC
Seward abandoned plans to become an architect and took over the family farm in the mid-2000’s ultimately expanding the farm from about 900 acres to 2,200 acres.
Golden West grows, packs, sells and ships onions.
When the devastating winter of 2017 caused the collapse of six of Seward’s buildings, including his packing shed, a long term expansion plan was put into action.
Multiple consultants gave him concepts for a new storage, processing and packing facility, but only Tolsma gave him the one that worked for Golden West.
“The moment the buildings fell, I called Dim Jan,” says Seward. “I wanted them on my team because of their international experience. They designed the line first, based on our unique needs. Then the building, rather than the typical, other way around. I liked that they focused on the onion, not just the air in the storage facility,” explained Seward.
Tolsma’s ability to collaborate, commitment to service, their worldwide experience, the proximity of the warehouse and parts in Boise were key. Seward said anytime he needed something, Tolsma was there with a solution.
“Every packer does things differently,” explains Seward. “We all put onions in a bag. We grow and buy, but we want the utmost flexibility in our line. I want to be able to change colors and variety at a moment’s notice.”
The new 65,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility gives Golden West that flexibility and much more. The vertical integration and automation will help Golden West double hourly production, cut labor costs, attract more and better customers and, importantly for Seward, push against the status quo.
“If you don’t keep up with your facilities, if I don’t step up to the next level it puts me at a disadvantage,” says Seward.
The first of its kind in the region, the facility pays homage to the legacy of the Seward family farm and Troy’s architectural training. Like many farmers, Troy started with nothing. Now he stands beneath the most sophisticated onion storage and processing operation in Idaho.
“I am really proud of our heritage. I want to preserve the history and carry the torch moving forward. It’s about leaving a footprint.”