Indiana's largest family-owned seed company is gearing up to better serve customers in Illinois. Over the past several years, Beck's has pushed westward to cover a large part of Illinois. This latest move should shore up that investment.
Beck's Hybrids is purchasing the former Pfister hybrids facility in El Paso, Ill. El Paso is in the heart of central Illinois. The move was made to provide Beck's with additional seed processing capabilities, expanded warehouse space and additional research and testing facilities, Sonny Beck notes. He is president of Beck's Hybrids.
Beck says buying this facility will help them stay ahead of the demand curve and be prepared to better serve their customers in Illinois. At the same time, it won't detract from their efforts to serve existing customers in Indiana and other states. Beck's Hybrids announced a major expansion at their Indiana facility near Atlanta earlier this spring. That deal was completed with support and help of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's economic development division.
The Pfister plant is located at the intersection of Interstate 39 and Illinois Route 24 in central Illinois, in the heart of Illinois corn country. Beck's is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. Lester Pfister founded the Pfister seed company 75 years ago. The facility that Becks will purchase served as headquarters for Pfister Seeds. Beck believes that these traditions are fitting, and will help them expand their seed legacy through the purchase of this historic facility.
Plans are already underway to upgrade the facility, Beck notes. Changes will begin to happen there this year and continue into the future.
It wasn't that long ago that Beck's was so insistent on being able to serve customers properly that they turned down selling seed to farmers in west-central Illinois. The late Lee Rulon, sales manager at the time, explained that it was because they didn't want to sell seed where they couldn't provide backup service for their products. Now with staff covering that entire region, Beck's is pushing hard, selling seed and being very competitive in Illinois.
Back at home, Beck's Becknology Days, hosted at the home plant near Atlanta, will happen August 25 through August 27. Drawing form 5,000 to 7,000 people, it's one of the biggest events of its kind in the future. A large portion of sales for 2012 are made during this August field day, and other field days held in southern Indiana and in Illinois.