Enid Grain Inspection Company is a third generation official agency that has been providing service since 1963. Headquartered in Enid, Oklahoma the agency provides services in several north Texas counties, and all of Oklahoma, except the panhandle.
After returning from World War II, Harold Hibbets began working at the Holmes Inspection Agency and purchased the agency from Mr. Holmes in the early 1960s. Harold’s son Barry began working at the agency when he was 12 rolling up sample bags. Barry also ran one of the three sampling crews each summer while he was in college. After working several years for Farmland Industries, Barry returned to the family business in 1982. Within two years Barry had obtained all his grain licenses, and purchased the agency from his father in 1987.
Barry’s uncle Melvin Hibbets also began his career in the local grain inspection business and went on to start the first grain inspection program for the State of Alabama, held high level positions in several grain companies in New York, and personally designed the Gemini, a floating rig which is owned by ADM to transfer grain from river barges to ocean going vessels on the Mississippi River in New Orleans.
In the early days most of the work involved sampling in-bound railcars many of which were boxcars. With three sampling crews the agency routinely sampled between 800 and 1,000 railcars per day during harvest. Today, the business is comprised around outbound shuttle train inspections, and barge inspections at the agency’s office in Catoosa, Oklahoma. The agency primarily inspects hard red winter wheat. Soybeans, sorghum, corn and canola are also routinely inspected. Canola inspections have increased significantly in the last five years and there are plans to build a canola processing plant in Enid. Enid also performs a considerable amount of corn aflatoxin tests. Various annual weather conditions greatly affect the quantity and quality of each year’s harvest which makes each year’s management plan different.
Wheat varieties grown in the area are constantly changing and few match the traditional hard red winter wheat characteristics making wheat classification a constant challenge. Staying abreast of the latest varieties to properly grade wheat is a challenge enjoyed by Barry and his staff.
The greatest challenge has been the transition from consistent inbound rail inspections to the unpredictability of outbound shuttle train inspections loading. Enid has met this challenge and believes the agency’s future is bright with opportunities. A new shuttle loader is being built by a cooperative that handles around 80 percent of the grain handled in northern Oklahoma. The transition to a third generation of Hibbets is underway with Barry’s son Brent in position to take over the company.
Barry has been a longtime believer and supporter of AAGIWA, including holding various officer positions. His uncle Harold also served on the AAGIWA board. AAGIWA is thankful for their support and the support of Brent who currently serves on the Board.
Barry is most proud of the good relationship Enid has with the government and its customers. They have always had good compliance reports and very few complaints. Barry attributes this to providing good customer service and doing things the right way. It goes without saying that great pride comes from growing a well respected business through three generations.