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Wilken Seeds announce closing. Strikes agreement with Beck's Hybrids.

February 15, 2010

Atlanta, Indiana , February 15, 2010 - After making the difficult decision to exit the seed business, the owners of Wilken Seeds near Pontiac, Illinois have signed an agreement with Beck's Hybrids to offer Beck's seed products. Doug Swartz, Vice President of Wilken Seeds, and his daughter, Heather Machroli will work for Beck's and continue to source local growers to raise soybeans for Beck's Hybrids that will be cleaned and packaged in the Wilken Seed facilities, now owned by Beck's.

"The decision to exit the seed business has taken a long time to work through", says Gene Swartz, President. Lloyd Wilken started Wilken Seeds in 1952 and gave Gene the opportunity to work in the seed business. Swartz bought Wilken Seeds in 1986 and he and his wife, Jan have owned and managed the company since then. "Our son, Doug and his daughter, Heather have played an integral part for many years and wanted to continue working with our customers in the seed business. Our new relationship with the folks at Beck's gives them that opportunity," says Swartz.

Beck's is a family-owned business that offers high yielding corn, soybean, wheat, alfalfa and forage seeds and has served farmers for 73 years. President, Sonny Beck, says "Our relationship with many different suppliers of genetics and traits allows us to offer our customers several choices of products, which is somewhat unique in the seed industry, especially in this era of consolidation. We look forward to serving Wilken Seed customers in the same family-friendly manner that the Swartz family has done for many years."

Customers that have ordered Wilken Seed products prior to February 8, 2010 will have the choice to plant those products or choose products from Beck's lineup. After February 8, 2010, Wilken Seed customers will have the opportunity to purchase corn and soybeans from the entire Beck's Hybrids portfolio since the Wilken Seeds brand will be discontinued. Doug Swartz comments, "We did not know at the time of our announcement in January to exit the seed business that Beck's would offer us the opportunity to become a part of what they are doing. We look forward to the exciting future that this new relationship with Beck's will bring to our customers and are thrilled that our family will continue to be a part of the seed industry. Not only will our customers benefit from the expanded line of products that we can now offer them, but they will also have access to some of the best research taking place in Central Illinois at Beck's Practical Farm Research station located just 10 miles east of Bloomington."

Beck's Hybrids is a family-owned and operated seed company that serves farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky. According to a recent media survey, Beck's ranks as the sixth largest seed company in the United States and the only one in the top six that is family-owned, making Beck's the largest retail, family-owned seed company in the United States.

Wilken Seeds is a family owned and operated seed company that started in 1952, with a focus on high yielding seeds for farmers located in Central and Northern Illinois. Wilken Seeds offered seed corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, alfalfa and forages to their customers for 58 years.