Larry Nees served as the Indiana seed administrator for 41 years. After he retired, Don Robison became the new administrator. He’s located in the Office of Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner. Offices and the seed lab are housed on the Purdue University campus.
“I’m interested in helping farmers understand who we are and what we do,” Robison says. “Our job is to enforce the seed laws that are on the books in Indiana.”
Here is a quick glance at who Robison is, and why he’s qualified to be the new Indiana seed administrator.
Hometown: Robison grew up in Greenwood, Johnson County.
Growing up: He and his four brothers were raised on the family farm. His family was one of the first to try no-till, and later one of the first in the modern era to begin using cover crops. Robison took vocational agriculture in high school, and was an active FFA member.
Education: Robison graduated from Purdue University in 1984. He majored in ag economics and agronomy.
Early career: He began his career as an agronomist with a commercial ag retailer. Located in Missouri, he learned lessons about the seed business and weed control, plus forged relationships he still maintains today. His training and contacts in Missouri make him very aware of the threats of a weed like Palmer amaranth. One of the tasks of the state seed lab is to determine if samples of any kind of seed offered for sale contain weed seeds, and to make sure that information is disclosed.
Later career: Robison worked with Cisco, a major seed distributor, for 20 years. He served in various capacities. Later, he worked with large seed customers as a representative for Beck’s.
Goals: “I want to make sure farmers are aware of the seed laws and how they protect them, and I want to make sure the laws are followed,” Robison says. “I believe that this is the best fit in my career for my abilities, and I’m excited about this opportunity.”