Beck's Blog

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CropTalk: Big Happenings In Minnesota

January 2019

Published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Before entering into a new marketing area, Beck’s always ensures that we have in place a lineup of products that perform and a team of people to support our customers. As we build relationships with farmers and develop a dealer network, a distribution center is the next step. In the fall of 2018, Beck’s invested in a facility and the community in Olivia, Minnesota. The renovated facility will host members of the sales support and customer service, warehouse, and research teams. The facility is already a research and distribution location serving dealers and customers in Minnesota and South Dakota.

We are excited to build upon our current product lineup by investing in a new research facility. Todd Frank, PhD, is the plant breeder launching the breeding program at Olivia, that is focused on 91 to 104 day corn. Dr. Frank is joining the team of three breeders in Atlanta, Indiana, and two in Marshalltown, Iowa bringing the total to six PhD corn breeders. Each breeding program works with a specific maturity group, and then focuses on relevant agronomic traits. The Minnesota program is focusing on yield, green snap, and disease — specifically Goss’s Wilt and Northern Corn Leaf Blight. The team has already packaged and planted material at the Beck’s site in Hawaii in October and November of 2018. What will be harvested in Hawaii in March will then be planted in Minnesota in the spring of 2019. Two research associates are joining the effort in Olivia this month.

The Beck’s business model rests not only on developing our proprietary germplasm, but on testing diverse germplasm from many sources. Olivia, Minnesota hosts a testing team, led by Brad Serven, to compare prospective corn hybrids and soybean varieties to identify the best products for our Beck’s lineup. Beck’s currently has testing teams based in Atlanta, Indiana; El Paso, Illinois; Henderson, Kentucky; and Marshalltown, Iowa.

“On the sales side, Beck’s is investing in the community in Olivia, and looking to build our team by hiring at least five more seed advisors in the next few months,” said Aaron Nordly, Beck’s Area Team Leader in Minnesota. The Olivia location will be a launch pad for distributing seed to Minnesota and South Dakota, allowing us to serve customers throughout the upper Midwest. Beck’s is also hiring a Grower Manager to develop relationships with contract seed growers in the Upper Midwest, and to ensure that all Beck’s seed is of the highest quality coming out of the field.

Todd Frank sums it up. “The long-term vision for the site is to support the upper Midwest (MN and the Dakotas) for all seed distribution, expand the internal product testing network in research, and to have a breeding program that annually contributes to the commercial lineup for the upper Midwest (MN and the Dakotas).”

If you are interested in joining the Beck’s team in Olivia or at any of our locations, please visit our website, Becks-Careers, for the listing of open positions.

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Author: Samantha Miller

Categories: CropTalk, 2019


Samantha Miller

Samantha Miller

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