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75 Years as a continual running John Deere dealership

Western Sales started from a small store in Rosetown and has grown to a total of 6 stores that have all had a long histories as dealerships serving West Central Saskatchewan. Our locations have been some of Canada's longest continual dealership locations in the John Deere dealer network.
The long-term success of Western Sales is based on the degree of confidence our agricultural customers have in Western Sales to support, train, acquire and utilize the ‘information’ and ‘technology’ they require to operate successful, viable, and profitable farms.

Our Core Values

1. Western Sales will have superior parts and service departments that serve the customer's needs professionally, expertly, and passionately.
2. Western Sales will add value to customers by:
*Providing knowledge in the areas of changing farming practices
*Assisting the Customer to acquire technology and being able to train and support the technology.
dapting new and innovative equipment to the customer's operations
3. Western Sales has a clear understanding of the Customer's issues.
4. Western Sales will demonstrate a willingness to do its best at all times to serve customer's needs with excellence and will openly admit mistakes or shortcomings and at the same time take immediate action to make things right.
5. Western Sales has consistency and honesty in pricing.
6. Western Sales will demonstrate optimism and convey pride and confidence in all aspects of delivering products and services to its customers.

The History

Glen Thrasher built a small shop at 122 - 2nd Ave. W. in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, and was awarded a John Deere farm machinery contract in 1947. The company was called Western Sales and Fred Friend was hired as a manager in 1954. By 1964 the dealership needed more room. Glen already owned the former Co-op building and arranged to move it from 123 Railway Ave. to the present site on Highway #7 West. Glen died in 1965 and Fred Friend bought Western Sales in 1966.

In November 1972, Fred’s son Doug took over the general manager position at Western Sales. Joined by his brother’s Art and Dennis and cousin Vance Booth, Doug led Western Sales and John Deere into a market leadership position in west-central Saskatchewan. In 1975 Doug and Art purchased the shares of Booth and Dennis.

In 1977, Western Sales acquired Smith Service Ltd in Elrose from Howard and Ron Smith, becoming one of the first multiple location organizations in Canada.In 1981, Western Sales (1979) Ltd. completed an expansion of its facilities. The expansion gave Western Sales a total of 28,000 sq. ft. under one roof, an increase of more than 14,000 sq. ft. over the building's original size. The additional floor space allowed one of the most efficient shops of its kind in West Central Saskatchewan.1981 also marked the year that Western Sales became of the computer age. Doug Friend recognized the need to adapt to the use of a professional business system and purchased its first IBM computer. Western Sales was one of the very first ag dealerships to use a business system in Canada and today still has a very strong relationship with the business system provider, PFW.

In 1980, Western Sales had the distinction as the largest ag equipment sales for John Deere in Canada and carried that leadership position for three consecutive years. Since that time Western sales has remained one of John Deere’s largest agricultural equipment dealerships in Canada.Fred Friend retired in 1979 and his sons took over until 1986 when Grant Henderson, Grant McGrath, and Doug Slimmon purchased the shares of Art Friend, joining Doug Friend in ownership and management of operations. In 1987, Grant Henderson became General Manager and Grant McGrath assumed to role of Sales Manager. The new group expanded Western Sales (1986) Ltd. to Biggar in 1988 in and Outlook in 1991 making Western Sales a four-branch operation and at the time the largest geographical area in Canada. 2007 saw another expansion of Western Sales in the acquisition of Davidson Equip Ltd with branches in Davidson and Central Butte.

In 2000, Grant McGrath assumed the role of President and General Manager of Western Sales and later that year appointed Jason Hintze Sales Manager. In the fall of 2003, the dealership began the most comprehensive renovation and construction phase in its 57-year history. Beginning with the teardown of the original building, which held the parts department, the Rosetown facility began its ‘metamorphosis’ you might say. A new 4500 sq. ft parts warehouse replaced the old, and the 4500 sq. ft. front showroom and offices were completely renovated.

Holding to the Western Sales vision of tomorrow, and a first for a Deere dealership an 8400 sq. ft. indoor showroom was added to display new John Deere equipment. Above the showroom a 1750 sq. ft conference room was added to accommodate customer and staff training and product presentations. Equipped with the most state-of-the-art video and audio equipment, this two-level conference room will be the host of many future meetings and training sessions. Also in 2004, the addition of a 25,000 square foot cold storage facility was built to support Western Sales’ Certified Maintenance Inspect program. Housing up to 42 customer combines, the facility was built to provide customers indoor storage for their combines in the winter while they await having the Western Sales winter preventative inspection (CMI) performed on their machines. With the addition of the combine shop and a stand-alone wash facility, the Rosetown branch boasts 75,000 square feet under one roof. The CMI program was met with such popularity by customers that an additional 12,000 square foot combine shop was added in Rosetown in 2009.

2010 saw a 5,000 square foot combine shop and 12,000 square foot cold storage facilities added in Outlook and Davidson.In September 2010, President Grant McGrath announced another important event for Western Sales. To ensure the continued strong leadership for another generation it was announced that Jason Hintze and Carl Persson became partners. As organizations become stronger and grow it is vital that leadership be in place to carry out the vision of Western Sales long into the future. Jason Hintze as Sales Manager and Carl Persson as the Aftermarket Manager play key roles in the success and stability of Western Sales.

In 2010, Western Sales also added the FieldSmart Agronomic Department led by Don Campbell. This in-house agronomic solutions department offers unbiased, data-driven advice on input and cropping needs while supporting producers who purchase equipment from Western Sales and provides them with advice on their prescriptions to ensure they will work for their equipment. FieldSmart has six agronomists at our locations and their dedication to offering unbiased advice and experience with a wide range of equipment is top-of-their-field when it comes to the land, crops, and equipment. They rely on not just accurate data, but a "boots on the ground" approach to getting all of the angles to support our customers.

Three of our locations have since had brand-new dealership buildings constructed. The first was Davidson in April 2015, then Outlook in February 2017, and Central Butte opened its doors in November 2017. The new, massive buildings house state-of-the-art service bays and cranes, wash bay areas, and parts departments to better serve our loyal customers. Relationship with Deere and CoWestern Sales had the privilege of being associated with one of the true icons in agricultural manufacturers in the world. John Deere has long been recognized as building the finest farm equipment in the world. One of the practices that has made Deere what it is today is the relationship they have had with their dealers.In June of 2004, Western Sales was host to a very special visit by Mr. Doug DeVries, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Agricultural Sales of Deere and Mr. Dick Yanke, Senior Vice President of Parts Marketing both of Deere and Company, Moline, Illinois. Both of the senior officers of Deere were quite impressed with the facility and the vision of Western Sales.Since that time, Mr. DeVries and other Deere executives came back to Rosetown in 2009 and again in 2010. The 2010 visit was special in that Mr. David C. Everitt, the President of Agriculture and Turf Equipment. Mr. Everitt and other Deere executives spent two days in Rosetown in July of 2010 to get another look at some of the industry leading services that Western Sales offers their customers.

Relationship with Community

The dealership has always played a large role in the communities they serve. Whether it be loaning tractors to pull floats in parades, providing equipment for sports days or Western Sales staff volunteering for the many community project, the dealership always took its role in the communities seriously. In 1994 Western Sales saw there was a need for a bus in the community for minor hockey. So, Western Sales bought a 47 passenger bus and currently operated the bus until 2006.Western Sales is  grateful for the support it receives from all of the servicing areas and makes it a priority to support projects, recreation and culture events in each of the communities as a matter of civic and cultural duty.

Relationship with Customers

Since 1947, Western Sales has developed a culture of ‘Customer Service’.The success of Western Sales is not determined by sale volume. The success of Western Sales is gauged by the minimum amount of down-time with their John Deere equipment that our valued customers experience in the critical seasons of planting and harvest.During these critical times of the year, Western Sales is open seven days a week and staffed with trained parts and service technicians who work together as a team to keep our customers in the field.Many changes have come and gone over the years but one thing remains constant, Western Sales’ commitment to customer satisfaction, before and after the sale is made.


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