History

From Belgium immigrants to Canada's leading irrigation distributor, Vanden Bussche Irrigation has a long history filled with a common theme of philanthropy.  Since the company’s inception in 1954, the commitment to considering the interests of all stakeholders has been instilled into our foundation.  From our roots in agriculture markets to the expansion of our landscape and golf division, it is our strong belief that this commitment has played a major role in the success of Vanden Bussche Irrigation.  As our history continues to unfold, it is led by these underlying commitments to our customers, employees, suppliers and communities we support.  It has been an amazing 60+ years and we look forward to many, many more.

OUR HISTORY

1902

Gerard Vanden Bussche

Born: June, 1902

Gerard Vanden Bussche grew up an avid cyclist fan in Belgium.  During the First World War he served as a cyclist repair soldier at the age of 15.  He then began a professional cyclist career until the age of 24.

1926

Immigration from Belgium

In 1926, Gerard Vanden Bussche at the age of 24 left the family farm, his father, mother and siblings in Belgium to immigrate to Canada seeking new opportunities. He first settled near Chatham, Ontario, where he joined a community of other immigrant Flemish farmers looking for new world opportunities. He grew his first tobacco crop in 1928 in Delhi, Ontario. From there he purchased and sold multiple farms used to grow tobacco, including 800 acres of workable land cleared out of a 1200 acre parcel in Grand Bend, Ontario during the 1940s.  Gerard offered to give Belgium immigrants a parcel of his land to start their own farm if they would help clear this 1200 acres.  The land they earned would allow them to grow their own crops and support their families while using Gerard's equipment to get started.

1954

Vanden Bussche Irrigation First Announcement

Nearly 30 years later, Gerard and his son Roger established Vanden Bussche Irrigation when distribution contracts were signed with Wade Rain Aluminum Pipe, Rain Bird Impact Sprinklers & CMC Pumps.

Gerard Vanden Bussche was a well recognized leader in the Belgium immigrant community and founder of Delhi Belgian Club.  He was known as a philanthropic tobacco farmer working closely with other Belgian immigrants looking to establish their own farms.

Roger Vanden Bussche, a recent graduate of the Ontario Agriculture College and newlywed to his wife Theresa.

1955

Located on Pine St., Delhi

Located on Pine St. in Delhi, directly across the road from the Belgian Club, Vanden Bussche Irrigation was now open 8 days a week, 25 hours a day.

In fact, 1954 was a severe drought year

"Tobacco farmers were coming in droves to load up with pipe.  It was so hectic that orders were being scribbled down on cigarette packages." - Theresa Vanden Bussche

1965

Introduction of Wade Rain Power-Roll

Roger introduces the Wade Rain Power-Roll to the local agriculture community.  This was the first mechanically moving irrigation system on the market.  Although labour intensive, this irrigation system is still being heavily used in developing parts of the world.

1966

Introduction of the Rain Bird Agriculture Gun

Roger introduces the first Rain Bird Agriculture Gun to the local agriculture community.  These Big Guns are still very commonly used today.

1967

Expansion

Vanden Bussche Irrigation moves to a new location south of Delhi.  This 17 acre property is home to the Vanden Bussche Irrigation Head Office still today.

1974

Acquisition of Rainbow Irrigation

Vanden Bussche Irrigation acquires Rainbow Irrigation.  This move marked the beginning of consolidation between local irrigation dealers.

With the fabricating experience of Jack Pawly and the advanced electrical technology of his son Steve, Vanden Bussche Irrigation took another step into the future of advanced irrigation systems.

1977

Importing Bauer Travellers

Vanden Bussche Irrigation began importing Bauer travellers to the North American market.  Manufactured in Austria, Bauer travellers quality speak for themselves.  In fact, we personally know that the first 6 reels to hit North American soil are still being used to this day.

The decision to import these Bauer travellers still stands as one of the most important decisions in company history to this day.

1979

Death of President Roger Vanden Bussche

September 21st, 1979 President Roger Vanden Bussche passes away unexpectedly while on business in Portland, Or. Theresa Vanden Bussche wife of Roger takes control of the company as next President.

1980

Leadership of Brooke Sowden

Under the leadership of Brooke Sowden, hired in 1967, Vanden Bussche Irrigation continued to have success through this difficult time.'

We cannot thank Brooke enough for his friendship and warm support to carry the Vanden Bussche family.

1983

Distribution of Zimmatic Pivots

Vanden Bussche Irrigation began the distribution and assembly of Zimmatic Pivots by Lindsay.

We continue to serve over 300 customers with Zimmatic pivots from Ontario to Canada's Maritimes.

1983

Acquisition of Dertinger Irrigation

Vanden Bussche Irrigation acquires Dertinger Irrigation.  With it came the distribution and service of Ames aluminum pipe fittings.

1984

Acquisition of Penninsula Irrigation

Vanden Bussche Irrigation acquires Peninsula Irrigation.  With this acquisition came the introduction into the Drip/Micro Irrigation market.

1986

Acquisition of Grainger Irrigation

Vanden Bussche Irrigation acquires Grainger Irrigation in Scarborough, Ontario.  Resulting in the opening of our 2nd location.  This marked the beginning of Vanden Bussche Irrigations Golf & Landscape Division, which at the time was known as VBI Distribution.

1986

Death of Gerard Vanden Bussche

Gerard Vanden Bussche passes away at the age of 84.

From left: Roger, Gerard, Marc Vanden Bussche

1988

Distribution of Netafim

Vanden Bussche Irrigation begins distributing Netafim drip irrigation products for the agricultural market.

1994

Acquisition of Shemin Nurseries

Vanden Bussche Irrigation acquires the assets of Shemin Nurseries and opens our 3rd location in Milton, Ontario.  The move substationally expanded our turf division operations.  With it, the ability to sell and service the Rain Bird golf product line from Windsor to Kingston, Ontario.

1995

Production contract with Bauer

Vanden Bussche Irrigation secures production contract with Bauer, based in Austria.  All Bauer hard hose irrigation travellers for the North American market since this date have been assembled in Delhi.

1996

New General Manager & Vice-President

Marc Vanden Bussche is promoted from sales representative to General Manager/Vice President.

1999

Design & Installation in Moscow, Russia

Through a networking opportunity, Vanden Bussche Irrigation is asked to design and oversee the installation of the turf irrigation system for the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

A happy customer can take you further than you think.  All the way to Russia perhaps!

2000

Purchase of Learning Centre

Vanden Bussche Irrigation purchases a 115 acre farm as a research and equipment demonstration site, marking the start of the Vanden Bussche Irrigation Learning Centre.

2000

VBI opens in King City

Vanden Bussche Irrigation opens its 4th location in King City, Ontario.

2004

Expansion of Agriculture services

Hiring of a sales representative living in Nova Scotia to meet agricultural irrigation demand in Canada’s east coast

2006

Russian Investment Campaign

Russian government launched investment campaign, demanding more from their agriculture supply to meet demand.  Vanden Bussche Irrigation introduced the first 6” drag hose slurry system in the country.

2012

New Head Office in Delhi

Construction of our new Head Office and Warehouse completed in Delhi.

2013

Diversify our Agriculture Product Line

Once again, a happy customer can take you further than you'd think sometimes.  After hearing concerns about local sales & service of their transplanting units, Cheechi Magli decided to ask local growers who they would like to see selling and servicing their products.  The Italian manufacturer was soon introduced to Vanden Bussche Irrigation.  These customer referrals have now lead to further diversification of our agriculture product line to include the Italian manufactured transplanting units.

2015

Relocation from King City to Concord

King City location is relocated to Concord, Ontario.

2015

Launch of the VBI Mobile App

Launched the Vanden Bussche Irrigation Mobile App.  This innovative new service allows customers to find product information, place orders and check order status from any smart device.

2015

Opening of Ottawa location

Opened our 5th location in Ottawa, Ontario. 

2016

Golf Territory Expands

Golf sales & service territory expanded to include Ottawa valley, now stretching from Windsor to Ottawa.

2018

Opening of Burlington Location

Opened our 6th location in Burlington, Ontario.