Nov 2, 2016, 10:03 AM
This fall, Great Lakes Hybrids (GLH) celebrates its 95th year in business and is one of the longest running seed companies still around today.
This fall, Great Lakes® Hybrids (GLH) celebrates its 95th year in business and the achievement as one of the longest running seed companies still around today. With almost a century’s worth of changes in agriculture and seed, Great Lakes remains committed to the same principles responsible for its start back in 1921- innovation, high yields and strong, local relationships.
“We take our commitment of providing top quality genetics to growers very seriously,” says Product Manager, Tim Jordal. “We want to help them and their families succeed, and the best way we can do that, is by producing high-yielding products. As a division of AgReliant Genetics, LLC, GLH continues to stay on the forefront of innovation through access to a research program among the top five in North America.
While high-yielding products will always be the GLH end goal, understanding how and where to place them is crucial to maximize their output. With regional sales agronomists in every state of its footprint, GLH leans on the agronomy team for product testing and training for field staff and dealers. “Ultimately, GLH dealers have been the key to the brand’s longevity because of their knowledge of local geography and growers’ personal needs” says Brand Manager, Doug Little.
In addition to corn, soybean and alfalfa seed, Great Lakes provides value through customized tools to help growers with seed decisions and farm management, such as Advantage Acre- AgReliant’s new precision agriculture platform. Coming soon this fall, the brand will release a new website which will include a build your own seed guide feature and local plot book generator.
The Great Lakes Hybrids we know today, can trace its roots back to when fields were planted by a horse-drawn, two-row corn planter. In 1921, Fritz Mantey harvested 140 bushels of open-pollinated seed corn from seven acres in Fairgrove, Michigan- calling his business Michigan Certified Seeds. Fritz took a grassroots approach to distribution, selling seed primarily through a dealer network. In 1965, the Mantey family brought in Moore Seed Farm and six other seed producers to form Great Lakes Hybrids, Inc.
Through the 1980’s, Great Lakes had a tremendous growth in volume as it expanded out of Michigan and into the Midwest. This growth lured KWS SAAT AG to take 80% ownership of Great Lakes in 1988. Growth continued, and in 2000, KWS merged U.S. operations with Limagrain to form AgReliant Genetics, LLC, the third largest seed company in the U.S. today. Considering all of these transitions, seed- and only seed- is still the core of Great Lakes Hybrids, 95 years later.
Pete Crawford states, “I’ve experienced a number of changes in the 30 years I’ve been a GLH dealer, but the brand itself has not changed. The culture of the organization and the commitment to products and customers has not waivered.”
“We are proud of the brand’s longevity and will continue striving to be Generations Ahead in research, technology and performance. We look forward to partnering with growers for many years to come,” added Little.