Shur-Gain History - 75 years of Passion and Innovation

"We are not in the business to make money.
We are in the business to render a service – and if we do that job well, profits are inevitable.”
~ J.S. (James Stanley) McLean. Founding force of Shur-Gain and the company’s first President

Since our founding in 1937, Shur-Gain has been in the business of supplying livestock and poultry nutrition health programs throughout Canada. Shur-Gain and its people have always taken pride in their line of products and programs. This pride has earned the organization a reputation for quality within the industry, but more importantly, with their customers.

Through the ages 
1927 - Canada Packers limited was formed through a merger of packing houses.

1928 - Shur-Gain name appeared for the first time on Gunns brand of fertilizer (a company of Canada Packers).

1936 - First Shur-Gain sales meeting under George Schell (Harris Road, Toronto in the Canada Packers complex).

1937-1938 - First dealer pilot project was launched with the purchase of mills in Clinton and Wingham, Ontario. The purpose was to sell feed concentrates directly to the farmer’s grain. The first bag of Shur-Gain feed was manufactured at the Clinton mill; this marked the birth of Shur-Gain as the entity we recognize today. By 1942, Shur-Gain had 600 franchised outlets across Canada and by 1947 there were 650 franchises in Ontario and Quebec.

1938 - Research Farm opened, near Weston, Ontario (Lawrence Ave at Keele) 40.5 hectares (100 acres), 40 Yorkshire sows, 3000 laying hens.
- Shur-Gain logo appeared for the first time.
- Montreal, Quebec livestock feed concentrate plant opened.

1940 - “Feed School” dealers were invited to regional centres to learn about the latest in feed and nutrition. By 1947 dozen of training films for dealers and farmers on various aspects of balanced feeding for poultry and livestock were created.

1940’s - Several plants in the Atlantic and Western provinces were opened.

1944 - Shur-Gain was the first Canadian feed company to use mathematical based feed formulae. By the end of the 1940’s Shur-Gain’s research and quality control were well established.

1952 - The Research Farm moved 15 miles north to Maple, Ontario – 208-hectares (515-acres), 50 milking Holsteins, broiler house with a capacity of 15,000 birds, 5,000 laying birds, 5,000 turkeys, 350 hogs and 100 steers. The farm was not only a showplace, but a landmark and saw 10,000 visitors in the first year. 
- A 19,000sq research laboratory was built (St. Clair Ave West, Toronto). This is where impossible goals were dreamed of; most were eventually met and some surpassed.

1960’s Several more plants were opened across the country. Number of dealerships dropped as takeovers occurred.

1963 Shur-Gain logo was redesigned and is what we see today.

1965 Product lines expand to include dog food and in 1966 Shur-Gain entered the Animal Health market with 14 products.

1967 Shur-Gain fertilizer division was sold to Sogemines Limited, a European mining and engineering company.
- First newsletter was sent to producers detailing information from the research farm and research lab.

1970’s Mainframe computer databases provided detailed optimum low cost/high performance formulations. 
- Nutrition department provided more personalized attention to our customers.         
- Shur-Gain created pre-mixes made for on-farm mixers and feedlot products.

1977 St. Marys - multi-species custom feed order and Thamesford mills were built.

1980’s Focus on ruminant research, expansion of dairy and beef barns at the research farm. 
- Computer technology has been perfected to pinpoint strengths and eliminate weaknesses in feeding and management systems.
- Farming business becomes much more specialized with larger operations.
1982 - St. Hyacinthe was built and became the largest Shur-Gain plant. Several other plants received upgrades.

1986 - St. Marys Pet Food plant opened. With a steady increase in pet food sales since 1960’s Shur-Gain was the largest supplier of pet food and pet care products. 
- Yamachiche plant was acquired

1987 - 50th anniversary of Shur-Gain being in the business of serving progressive livestock and poultry producers in Canada.

1990 - Maple Leaf Mills and Canada Packers merge to form Maple Leaf Foods.

1992 - Research Farm is moved to Burford, Ontario. The 344-hectare (850-acre) Agresearch Facility opened with separate units for broilers, layers, turkeys, swine and dairy. The facility is dedicated to optimizing livestock and poultry productivity, profitability and health. 

1998 - First edition of 'At a Glance' magazine was printed. At a Glance is directed to all producers and members of the agricultural sector to keep them abreast of developments within Shur-Gain and our industry.

1999 - Maple Leaf Foods Group acquired Landmark Feeds to better serve customers in Western Canada.
- St. Marys Plant #2 was built for swine and poultry complete feed. 
- Strykersville mill is purchased from John and Carol Schiltz

2003 - New state-of-the-art mill, replacing the old Strykersville facility.

2005 - Moncton mill was built

2007 - Nutreco purchased the livestock feed sector of Maple Leaf Foods Group, forming Nutreco Canada. This purchase included the following facilities: 


  • Moncton, NB 
  • Stephenville, NL
  • Strykersville, NY
  • St. Hyacinthe, QC 
  • St. Marys, ON Plant #1  
  • St. Marys, ON Plant #2
  • St. Marys, ON Pet Food Plant
  • Thamesford, ON
  • Yamachiche, QC
  • Clark’s Chick Hatchery, Burtts Corner, NB
  • Island Chick’s Hatchery, Whitbourne, NL

Landmark Feeds

  • Winnipeg, MB 
  • Landmark, MB 
  • Otterburne, MB 
  • Rosenort, MB 
  • Medicine Hat, AB 
  • Strathmore, AB 

2012 - Seventy-five years on, Shur-Gain is continuing the tradition of expertise and innovation that has been our trademark since the very beginning. Let’s review how we got started:

Shur-Gain 75th Anniversary

Shur-Gain 75 Years - Proud of the Past video







Shur-Gain 75th Anniversary 

Shur-Gain 75 Years - Shaping the Future video

Performance, Network, Tech Transfer & Training, Innovations and R&D.