"There must be a better way to do things," were the words Bill Strelioff lived by when he grew up on a family farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. With a passion for working around the farm and making things better, he went to the University of Saskatchewan's engineering school and specialized in Control Engineering.



In 1974, Strelioff and some engineering buddies from school founded the company Senstek. They developed the first load bar to mount under livestock chutes to allow ranchers to weigh cattle as they work them in the chute. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the company primarily built scales for the trucking and cattle industries. In 1994, the company changed its name to NORAC and turned its expertise in weigh systems into sensing systems for both agriculture and construction industries.



"Strelioff always had a desire to find better ways of making machines work and work more efficiently," said Steve Sveum, general manager, U.S. division. "He has a passion for working around the farm, and he still farms today in addition to being president and CEO."



Today, the company is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and has a U.S. office in Fridley, Minn. This year marks the company's 35th anniversary. The company has approximately 60 employees with about nine in the U.S. and more than 50 in Canada. NORAC Systems International Inc. saw more than 70 percent of sales coming from outside Canada in 2008. The international company now serves customers in more than 20 countries, with the United States being its largest market. It was proud to be recognized for its export sales growth by the 2008 STEP Saskatchewan Exporter of the Year award.



Due to the company's continued growth, a new headquarters facility was constructed and opened in 2007 in Saskatoon. This facility is more than 30,000 square feet where nearly all components are manufactured.



"Back in the mid 80's, Strelioff's ingenuity led him to design ultrasonic systems to manage tillage depth so that the machine would do it automatically," Sveum said. "As a result, he helped pioneer the first entry into ultrasonic control systems, which could create more accurate tillage depth, as well as header height control on combines. Today, the technology also is used in road paving and grading machines for the construction side of the company. But sprayer boom height control has been the mainstay of the business."



The newest addition to its agri- culture product line is the UC5 CAN-based system, which offers full integration with the Ag Leader InSight display. This system allows operators the benefit of running NORAC's height controller through the Ag Leader InSight display.



For sales and distribution, the company offers its products through original equipment manufacturers, and an after-market dealer network. "NORAC prides itself on being very specialized in each business category that we serve," Sveum said. "We are specialists at what we do because our employees are a combination of farmers, engineers and salesmen. They all have ag backgrounds and education."



Sveum explained that the company has developed and structured its technical service support to handle a highly technical product. He said everyone in the company is cross trained so that any one can help a customer and provide quality support.



"We provide prompt, competent service and expertise for highly technical products," he said. "We strive to be the leaders in precision measurement."