Columbus Grain Inspection was purchased by Raymond (RB) Anderson in 1946 and remains an Anderson family business to this day. RB’s son Ralph purchased the business from his father in 1974 and his son Ray purchased the business in 2000. Of course every successive generation began working at the agency at a young age. Ray’s sister, Vicky, has been with the agency since 1985 and handles all the books and oversees the certification activities.
Much has changed since RB went around the Columbus and Circleville, Ohio area picking up grain samples obtained by the local grain exchanges and providing the industry with grades. The agency’s territory has expanded with each generation and the kinds of services have increased.
Columbus Grain Inspection is responsible for central and eastern Ohio, and a portion of southeast Michigan. The agency inspects rail, containers, and barges. The primary grains are corn, soybeans, and soft red winter wheat. The agency also provides a significant number of phytosanitary inspection of distillers dried grains loaded into containers. With 21 full time employees, 15 part-time employees, 20 onsite laboratories, and 18 container loading facilities the agency has many customers to serve.
It’s serving all the different customers that keeps the work interesting. Everyday Ray and his staff are traveling to different locations and interacting with different customers, so the work is never boring.
The agency moved its headquarters from Columbus to Circleville in 1980, but the name Columbus Grain Inspection was retained because that’s what the customers all recognized. The agency has a second office in Bucyrus, Ohio managed by Moses Teel.
Ray is most proud of the fact that the agency has grown in size and capabilities with every generation. As the inspection needs have changed, Columbus Grain Inspection has adapted to meet those needs. From the small beginnings of picking up samples from the grain exchanges, to inspecting boxcars, to truck inspections, and now to shuttle train and container loaders, Columbus Grain has been there to provide service.
Although many of the smaller cooperatives have been purchased by larger cooperatives the number of grain elevators has remained constant, and some new ones have been added, so Ray sees a bright future for the agency.