The Franklin FFA Alumni Tractor Drive during Labor Day weekend visited the Duane and Melinda Plummer farm near Bargersville, Ind., for lunch.
Located back a long lane, the farm is a showplace of antique Allis-Chalmers and Gleaner equipment, plus memorabilia and original signs, many of them relating to Funk's Hybrid Seed Corn. More than one driver headed to his or her tractor after lunch saying they felt like they had just been to a museum.
What really caught them off guard was driving up the lane alongside the cornfield. About halfway up the drive there was a vintage Funk's G-Hybrid sign on a post. It looked for all the world like it had been put there to promote the seed. Nearly ready for harvest, Plummer had even went to the trouble to shuck back a few ears around the sign, like they used to do more often at field shows or where seed corn was being promoted.
"Wait a minute," one of the drivers said, getting into the lunch line. "They don't sell Funk's G Hybrids anymore, do they?"
Plummer's son heard the comment and laughed. Truth is that no, they don't sell it anymore. "It was really Pioneer corn," the son laughed. "Dad used to be an avid Funks person, and he just did it for a joke."
Funk's Brothers was an Illinois-based seed company that grew and sold Funk's G-Hybrids for decades. The company was eventually sold to Ciba-Geigy, a chemical company. Those were the days of companies buying companies and changing the brand name. Ciba-Geigy Seed never caught fire. Eventually the company was sold and resold. Syngenta eventually purchased brands that trace their heritage back to Funk's Seeds.
One thing is for sure – Funk's G-Hybrids, or at least the memory of their glory days, is still alive at Plummer Farms!