Dulcie Price

Dulcie E. Price is a trailblazer, as the first woman in Western Canada to own and operate a grain brokerage company. Having been in the grain business since 1979 Price knew the grain industry well. In time and certain circumstances, she recognized that her farmer clients in Manitoba and Saskatchewan were in need of a person to help to market their grain into a volatile and complicated marketplace. Thus, in 1986, Optimum Agra Services Ltd. was established.

There are many moving parts in the grain industry –building and maintaining enduring relationships with farmers, merchandisers, transportation and grain companies, as well as regulatory entities, was just a part of being efficient and plugged in.

Price had a solid reputation as a middle-person between the farmers and grain companies who wanted to purchase specific types and quality of grain. Not only did she broker the grain to the companies, she arranged the transportation to get the grain to the buyers at the export ports by rail, or to the inland buyers and processors by semi-trailer.

Ten years later, in the mid-1990’s, there were two other self-employed women female brokers in Western Canada that traded grain and grain products, business-to-business (B2B).

Dulcie Price was the only broker trading product from grain farmers to the Manitoba market-place.

In the late 1990’s, other experienced people in Western Canadians started companies to broker grain from farmers to their regional marketplaces – her business model helped create a new industry to service the farmers in the West.

In 2011, to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary she published Across the Grain - The inside stories 1986 -2011, a retrospective of the Canadian grain industry. Those 25 years were full of tumultuous change in the grain industry.

In time, the business changed as many do, as Price transitioned the business into a transportation-logistics operation, moving grain by rail and truck to export facilities in Canada and the U.S. markets.

Being self-employed over the years did allow the freedom to travel:, she visited Sydney, Australia, to Europe numerous times;, to Buenos Aires, Argentina;, Santiago, Chile; and to Churchill and back by train, as well as travels in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Price was also a volunteer for many organizations in Winnipeg: the Age and Opportunity Centre; the Winnipeg’s Exchange District BIZ board; YWCA Women of Distinction Awards; Manitoba Museum; Health Sciences Centre Foundation; Winnipeg Harvest; the Women of Winnipeg; and CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in 2020.

Image: 

Supplied