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Agri-Business Briefs for July 5, 2006
Beck’s expands its research farm into McLean County, Ill.
ATLANTA, Ind. — Beck’s Superior Hybrids announced recently the purchase of 165 acres of farm ground in McLean County, Ill. The site will be dedicated to the company’s Practical Farm Research program, a program that has helped bring over 7,000 visitors to their home facility in central Indiana during their fall field show.

Beck’s Practical Farm Research program provides information to assist farmers in making management decisions on their own farm whether they purchase Beck’s products or not.

“This investment expands our commitment to Illinois farmers and will give them the opportunity to visit and learn from locally-based research,” said company vice president, Scott Beck. The Illinois farm is located along I-74, 10 miles southeast of Bloomington, with access from U.S. 150 between Downs and Leroy, Ill.

Beck’s currently conducts more than 50 research studies at its central Indiana home office and expanded those research efforts into its southern marketing area in 2005 at a site near Evansville, Ind. Beck said that much of the research conducted is farmer-driven.

“Farmers submit ideas on tests they would like to see conducted, and we implement many of those ideas in our research program,” he said.

At the new location near Bloomington, Beck’s plans to conduct many of the same research studies, plus others that are of unique interest to Illinois farmers.

“Our plan is to hire a manager for the site and to erect a multipurpose building suitable for storage and for hosting farmer educational and training events starting in 2007,” said Beck.

Red Gold unveils major expansions in 3 Indiana facilities
ELWOOD, Ind. — Red Gold, Inc. recently announced three major expansions in Indiana, representing a $20 million dollar investment, which will bring both improved technology and increased career opportunities to the company.

At the main plant in Orestes increasing national distribution is driving the building of a 339,000 square foot warehouse and rail distribution center, an investment of more than $7 million.

Increased customer demand is driving a 22,000 square foot expansion at Red Gold Elwood facility, representing an investment exceeding $5 million. The addition to the current 400,000 square foot facility will house high-speed equipment increasing their filling capacity.

In Geneva, the company is installing a cook room and batching system and additional state-of-the-art technology aimed at maintaining the demand for quality and operational excellence.

Expansion is nothing new to Red Gold, which has maintained a fast growth pattern for 15 years.

“Red Gold is a busy place right now,” said Tim Ingle, director of human resources. “You have to invest in the latest technology and the best people to be the largest privately held tomato manufacturer in America.”

Over the past 10 years the Red Gold has created more than 600 full-time jobs, representing growth over 100 percent, with a current full-time workforce of 1,150. That number is set to rise with the creation of additional leadership positions for supervisors, managers, industrial electricians, industrial maintenance and skilled manufacturing positions in the new facility, according to Ingle.

Campbell Seed joins American Seeds Inc.
TIPTON, Ind. — Tipton County, Ind.-based Campbell Seed, Inc. announced June 28 that it will transfer its sales and marketing business to a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Seeds, Inc. (ASI), a holding company formed by Monsanto Company.

The business will continue to operate under the name Campbell Seed as an independent company, bringing its customers the same quality they have known for years past.

“By joining ASI, we will be able to more directly connect our customers to significant innovations in genomics-based breeding and other new trait technology, while still maintaining our strong brand independence,” said Scott Campbell. Campbell has served as president of Campbell Seed.

While the sales side of Campbell Seed will join ASI, the production side remains under the new company name of Total Seed Production. Both Campbell Seed and Total Seed Production will remain in Tipton County and continue to support the community.

This farm news was published in the July 5, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

7/5/2006