By DOUG GRAVES
CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio — Beck’s Superior Hybrids purchased 4,047 acres of land in four Ohio counties in December 2012 from farmers Les and Carol Imboden.
Most of the farmland is along the Scioto River in Ross and Pickaway counties. The land includes fields south of Columbus along the Scioto River and extends north of Circleville to south of Waverly.
“With nearly 75 percent of the farms under irrigation and containing mostly higher productivity soils, this purchase is a solid, long-term investment for Beck’s and for the benefit of our customers,” Beck’s Vice President Scott Beck said. “Plus, it allows us to spread seed production out over a larger area and helps us hedge against such things as drought.”
As a large irrigated grain producer in the Midwest, the Imbodens founded Imboden Farms nearly 30 years ago and have been instrumental in designing and installing irrigation systems.
“Establishing the best succession plan for Imboden Farms was extremely important to Carol and I,” Les Imboden said. “After being a Beck’s Hybrids customer for several years, we approached the Beck family because of the outstanding business environment they’ve created.”
Imboden will remain as general manager of the Beck-Imboden Ohio Farm and become an employee of Beck’s Hybrids. Beck’s has also hired three full-time and one part-time employee for the Beck-Imboden Ohio Farm.
Imboden is a first-generation farmer. He serves as board treasurer of the Ohio Corn Marketing Assoc., a delegate for the U.S. Grains Council, a member of the Grower Services Action Team for the National Corn Growers Assoc. and is board secretary for the Ohio Christian University Foundation.
“Beck’s acquired the land not by seeking it out but, rather, Les Imboden had been a customer of Beck’s the last several years and approached Beck’s about buying it,” Beck said. “Since no one in his family had any interest in the land or managing it, Les approached us.”
Beck said the farm will continue to be operated as a commercial grain operation for the 2013 growing season, adding that beginning in 2014 the goal will to use the land for seed production.
“It’s too early to project things like processing capabilities in Ohio,” he said, “but we’re likely to start transitioning to seed production.”
Just a year ago Imboden bought the former Running Fox Golf Course in Pickaway County, changing its name to River’s Edge Golf Course. The golf course land is part of the present sale. Imboden will also continue to manage the Rivers Edge Golf Club located on the property.
It’s not the first Beck’s land purchase in the Buckeye State. In May 2012, the company purchased land east of and adjacent to the annual Farm Science Review locale in London, Ohio, along Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 40.
“The land next to the Farm Science Review will become a practical farm research site and we’ll have research plots in there by this spring,” Beck said. “Eventually, we’ll put a distribution center on that land.”