BALZAC, Alberta, Canada, — Rocky View County is the future site of a new agriculture-implement dealership.

Representatives from AGRO and Cervus Equipment Corporation broke ground Dec. 3, on its new 66,000-square-foot dealership.

The dealership, to be located directly east of CrossIron Mills mall in the Balzac area, will replace the company’s existing 28,000-square-foot facility located on 84th Street NE and 24th Avenue NE in Calgary.

The company is expecting construction of the dealership, to be built by Calgary’s XPS Contracting, to be started within the next few weeks and completed in November 2013.

“This has been a long time in the coming and long overdue,” said Sheldon Gellner, general manager for AGRO. “It’s about time we had a facility that matches our business in Calgary.”

According to an AGRO press release, the site for the facility, which will sell John Deere farm equipment, was chosen to better meet the growing demands of Alberta’s agricultural and turf industries. Access to Stony Trail and Highway 2, along with grid access for larger equipment, will allow easy entry for all customers.

Rocky View County Reeve Rolly Ashdown and Division 7 Councillor Lois Habberfield attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

“I want to welcome you to Rocky View County,” said Ashdown. “We are glad you are here.”

Habberfield said AGRO is the perfect business to be located in the Balzac area.

“It just adds to the area,” said Habberfield. “We are very happy to have agricultural businesses. I hope you do very well here.”

According to Howard Airth, store sales manager for AGRO Calgary, the location is perfect.

“It’s a great fit to be where the rural meets the city,” he said, adding the new facility will double the amount of people it currently employs to about 60.

Airth said the new facility will have a number of benefits including combining the company’s agriculture and turf divisions, now in separate buildings, into one.

It will also feature a training area for both customers and staff and have a full complement of audio-visual equipment and high-speed Internet connectivity for remote two-way video conference training.

The building will contain high-efficiency lighting and a workout area for employees.

According to the press release, the shop area will take up the largest footprint in the new building.

“Our technicians need more room to work on the larger agricultural equipment that you see now in our customers’ fields,” said Jeff Burr, store operations manager for Agro Calgary. “John Deere sprayers with 120-foot booms are commonplace. Our techs also need more sophisticated tools like overhead cranes to make this shop a great place to work.”

The shop will include areas specifically designed to work on combines, tractors and turf equipment as well as a large area dedicated to setting up new machinery.

The parts department will feature new customer service desks and the building will house a 7,500-square-foot showroom.

According to Airth, several years of planning have gone into the new dealership, including visits to other dealerships in Western Canada.

“It’s very well planned and we are looking forward to it,” he said.

AGRO, a division of Cervus Agriculture Equipment, is an authorized John Deere dealership operating in the communities and surrounding areas of Olds, Calgary, Claresholm, Coronation, Cranbrook, Pincher Creek, Ponoka, Stettler and Trochu.