The Kuhl Family:
John Kuhl was born in Gnadenthal, Manitoba in 1928 to parents Henry and Maria Kuhl. Henry and Maria were a farming family, and in the mid 50's John purchased the farm from his father. John and his wife Lillian have 6 children. Their third child, Keith is the President and CEO today. In 1960, the farm was incorporated. Keith and Karen Kuhl welcomed sons Marlon and Jeremy into their family. In 2009 Marlon and Jeremy became full partners of the company along with their father Keith, officially making Southern Potato a third generation company and a fourth generation farm.
In the 1950's farming was a lifestyle. Incorporating Southern Manitoba Potato Co. in 1960 shifted farming to a business. The foresight of the past generation continues with the move to Southern Potato and allows us to continue to grow the business and add more people to our family farm through employment opportunities.
Planted first potato crop, incorporated as Southern Manitoba Potato Co. Ltd with partners John, Henry, and their brother-in-law Dave Bueckert. Potato storage built in Gnadenthal.
Built first Winkler storage
Winkler Potato Co was formed as a partnership together with Kroeker Farms. This is a storage facility built specifically to store potatoes for Old Dutch Foods, a partnership that still stands today.
Initially only crop produced by Southern was potatoes
Partners amalgamated their complete farms into the company, sold all of their land and equipment to the company and transferred all employees to the company
Hired the partners oldest sons Dennis Bueckert and Don Kuhl to manage field operations
Southern becomes one of the largest farms in Manitoba (just under 8,000 acres) growing potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, corn, canola, flax, edible beans and more
Partners decided to sell the farm in 1978 due to partners sons wanting to farm independently
Consequently, the original land was sold back to the partners along with much equipment
John Kuhl purchased the down sized farm (Southern Manitoba Potato Co. Ltd.) and offered his 6 children the opportunity to purchase shares in the company
Sons Douglas and Keith took over management, John continued as President/CEO
Douglas and Keith focused on building up the farm's size as well as innovations in machinery.
Company mourned the passing oldest son Douglas Kuhl
Keith appointed as President/CEO. Marlon and Jeremy join the management team.
Keith reached agreement with all common shareholders to have their shares redeemed leaving Keith and his three children owning all of the common shares of the company.
Sons Marlon and Jeremy became full partners with Keith and assumed full responsibility for all day to day activity in the company. Keith continued to oversee the company as President/CEO.
Keith, through work on succession planning, suggested the formation of a separate company which would be the operating company with Marlon and Jeremy owning the common shares which would allow them to eventually own the operations.
Marlon and Jeremy rebrand the company as Southern Potato Co.