|Thinking Positive Paid Off|
I enjoy reminding my audience that in Canada you don't have to come from a big city to think big. The Jim Scharf story really drives that point home.
Jim and wife Bruna farm near Perdue, Saskatchewan. Jim's grandfather and father farmed the area, making Jim a third generation farmer.
Jim's mind is always searching for ways to do things better and simpler. He, along with every other grain farmer was vexed at the thought that every time they delivered a load of grain to the grain elevator, at least 10 bushels of grain remained caught in the comers of the truck box. Jim invented a simple manually operated unit that reaches into the box and cleans out the trapped grain. He's now sold over 7,000 units. And has just received the
But that's only part of Jim's story. He also designed a kitchen dispenser for plastic wrap called "E-Zee Wrap 1000". But his real coup came two years ago when, tired of all the bafflegab created when the government announced they were replacing dollar bills with the dreaded 'Loonie', Jim saw a golden opportunity. He reasoned that since the loon is a nesting bird, our new 'Loonie' would require a nest to rest. So he designed a small oak box with a slot in the top, called it a "Loonie Nest' and began taking orders from area gift stores. Word soon spread, Jim's 'Loonie Nest' caught on, keeping up to 10 people working to fill the orders.
Jim told me recently. .. "There are now probably about 25 different loonie nests on the market, but we were first. We've sold over 30 thousand, and the orders are still coming in. One company bought 500 for a promotion." At 20 loonies each, that's a lot of loonies.
The "Loonie Nest" ... "Grain Retriever" ... and "E-Zee Wrap 1000" are only sidelines. Jim and his father together farm 20 quarters of rich Saskatchewan soil. "We did well this year because we planted over 500 acres of lentils. It brings in top dollar now since its being used by consumers in place of meat."
The 38 year old dynamo is quick to tell you. .. "I'm optimistic about Canada. I have big hopes for farming. I just bought another quarter. People have to eat."
If this keeps up, Jim and Bruna will have to convert a barn into a giant 'Loonie Nest' to hold all of their loonies.
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