Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 17, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
24 TH6 LETHBRIOGE HfRALO Tuesday, 17, Pioneer invention Noble Cultivators has world market FARM MACHINE MANUFACTURER The sprawling square-foot Noble Cul- twofors Ltd. of Nobieford employs the majority of rhe citizens of the village. Machifv- Ist Les Smith, picture, sefs up a John ion punch machine which makes fhreo holes in o piece of metal at one time. The labor saving device is then turned over to other who make parts which will end up on equipment sotd through- out North America and several countries throughout tho The company is one of the few remaining firms operated by (he Family members which formed it, Noble Cultivators Ltd. In No- bieford is a firm which grew out of UMJ farming industry in southern Alberta because of a necessity for farming methods which could combat tlw ele- ments of the area. C. S. Noble, a man who came to Alberta to settle in 1903, made the first active contribu- tion to the dryland farming conditions existing on the Prai- ries when he bte blade cultivator on a commer- cial scale. He originally started work (or the Canadian Pacific Rail- way Co. as a buyer oE town- sites along the rail right-of- way. He started farming in the Nohleford area and ttie settle- ment which grew near hi.s farm was named N'oble originally. SUMMEKFALLOW Dr. A. E, Palmer, tn hi.s book When The Winds Came, ex- plained the work done up lo the time when trash cover summer- fallow was recognized as ultimate solution to the lein of loo much wind. Mr. Noble, who was later named lo the Alberta Agricultural Hall of Fame, designed a straight blade cultivator 10 feet wide, supposed by a high shank near each end. A patent was taken out on the blade supports and blade aCH! production was in- creased. The idea behind Ihis machine was that UK; blade could pass under the soil, killing 'all the growth on the surface and at the some time leave the dead plants to protect ground from wind erosion. Noble Cultivators i.s a family business, presently being oper- ated by Mr. Nohlo's Gerald wlm is p-esitfent and general manager and Shirley who is vice-presidonL FJHST MACIUNR Mr. Noble made tin? first ma- chine on hi.s farm for his own itsc in lEVi.s. Other farmers in the Nobloford area made their own blade cnilivato.'s and Jrt least three of them produced them sale. In the expanded produc- tion called for the formation of a company and Noble Cultivat- ors was born. Tliere were 12 employees that year working in a now building which Is today a retail sales oulliH for farm machinery. Tlte company moved to now premises !n 1951 and loday boasts square feet of pro- duction and storage facility. The employee list has more tlian 100 names and havo peaked at 140 persons. Follow- ing a pay increase last year, the payroll amounts to The majority of the employees live in and around Nobteford. SALES There are now 150 sales outlets in Canada and 300 in the United States. The com- pany has reached the mil- lion gross sales mark and last year purchased 9.000 tons of steel Eo turn into new machines and replacement parts. Since the initiation of the blade cultivator, the company has designed and refined the Tee blade for the same frame as the straight blado, the seed drill, grader blades, oscillating harrows and row markers. The company makes some under- ground parls for other machine manufacturers in tlic U.S. also. The hoe drill, said Shirley Noble, is gaining rapidly in im- portance and ranks with the blade cultivator in soles. The company sold 400 this year and a re pla nn in g on 550 for HIM; mm i. The drill makes a furrow and plants the seed at the bottom, Mr. Noble said Ihis feature al- lows the farmer to plant the seed al the moisture level and a special vee shaped packer covo1 tlw ?eed with a correct amount of dirt. The seed has a chance for letter germi- nal ion. The firm th vc large trucks and hires others whfMi to move equtp- ment out of the factory.-They haul products to the three west- ern Canadian provinces and the J R wesI ern U.S. st.a f es. Machines have been export- ed lo India. Russia, Egypt, Is- rael mid the Argentine. Another for machines to India sits on UK? desk at the Noble- ford plant now. To keep up ttie growing business, the? owners are plan- ning a special crane 125 feet long which will move on GOO feel of rails. Mr. Nohle said the crane will help in the move men I of stored steel into the plant and Die movement of finished product to r.tock piles outside Uie build- ing.