By Connor Lynch
HURON-KINLOSS — A Bruce County farmer and grain merchandiser is dead after a snowmobile accident in early February, not far from his home.
Huron-Kinloss-area farmer and president of Snobelen Farms Inc., Troy Snobelen, 43, was rushed to hospital after a 9:30 p.m. accident on Feb. 2. South Bruce OPP reported that Snobelen later died in hospital and are investigating the accident.
Condolences poured in on Twitter from around the province and close to home for the father of three. Dozens of farmers from the area, as far as Eastern Ontario and even into the northern United States offered sentiments of loss and encouragement.
Said London-area farmer Kevin Nixon: “I first met Troy when he was 19. He had exceptional leadership qualities then, but he had even better friendship qualities which I was fortunate enough to experience. I know how much he will be missed by all that loved him.”
Wrote employee Belinda Bowman: “A father first. Partner, son, brother, friend, leader, whatever he was to you, know that he cared too. He really was one in a million.”
Wrote Western Ontario crop farmer Nathan Witherspoon: “Condolences Belinda. The local and agriculture community has lost a great one.”
The second-generation farmer and merchandiser helmed the family business. His parents, Mike and Judy, launched it in 1971 in Ripley, not even 10 minutes west of Huron-Kinloss. Starting with two grain bins, they soon expanded, buying an elevator in nearby Lucknow in 1976, then another at Dungannon in 1987, about 10 minutes south of Lucknow, and then three more elevators at Tiverton, Blyth and Brantford in the 2010s.
In a statement on Twitter, the family said: “Our hearts are heavy but Troy built an extremely strong team. We move forward together as a family in his honour.” His siblings, brother Sam and sister Tanya, will oversee the management of the operation. “One of the many legacies Troy has left is the strong, vibrant company that remains today, led by the outstanding management team that Troy built and mentored.”
Snobelen Farms Inc. has 52 employees, including management and staff across its six locations.
Snobelen is survived by his three children: Cole, Eve and Carter, their mother Amy, parents Mike and Judy, and siblings Sam and Tanya.