Beck's Hybrids, Atlanta, Ind., held official groundbreaking ceremonies last week, gearing up for a $24.5 million expansion over the next 5 years. Once all of the planned improvements are up and running, Beck's intends to employ 72 more people than they do today.
Sonny Beck, president of the company, explains that the project will happen in two phases. The first phase, to be completed in 2011, calls for building a Research Center near the site of the current research/greenhouse complex. The new building will be 3.5 times larger than the existing building. However, at this point the new building will not have greenhouses. The existing building will remain intact as well.
"We want to get all of our research people into one location so we can work more efficiently," say Kevin Cavanaugh, 19-year employee and director of breeding programs. Beck’s actively breeds corn, with three breeders working with developing new lines of corn and incorporating traits into inbreds from other genetic sources.
The current structure and six attached greenhouses will remain intact," Scott Beck says
Most of the employees moving into the new center, hopefully be completed this year, currently are housed across the road in what was the original office building. That space will be occupied by the sales and marketing staff as they have need to expand and grow as a company.
Sonny Beck says the new building will be the length of a football field plus 100 foot wide. Construction has started, but has been slow moving due to weather delays so far this spring. It will provide office space, working space for a seed lab, plus refrigerated storage for seed and a seed processing area. The building will consist of two floors, with the upper floor including a 400-seat conference room. One end of the building will serve as a warehouse.
The idea behind the building is to serve the research needs of the Beck's staff, Sonny Beck says. This move will group all research activities geared toward producing new seed products into one area within the company complex.
Second phase projects for 2012 through 2014 include investing in upgrading seed treater capability in the main plant, plus adding storage space onto warehouses and other buildings. Future projects also include adding more refrigerated storage for commercial seed hybrids ready for sale to seed customers.