Correction: This story orginally reported that the Imbodens were 10% Beck's customers. They were 100% Beck's customers. We apologize for the error.
The largest family-owned seed company in the U.S. keeps growing. This time the regional seed giant, Beck's Hybrids, has announced purchase of a large, well-known, primarily irrigated farm in central Ohio. Known as Imboden Farms, owned by Les and Carol Imboden, it will now be known as Beck-Imboden Ohio farm.
The owners had put together a large tract of primarily irrigated land, starting south of Columbus, Ohio and extending just north of Circleville to south of Waverly, Ohio. The land south of Columbus is along the Scioto River.
The Imbodens, who were 100% Beck's seed customers, consider this their succession plan as they look to retirement. Les Imboden will serve as general manager of the farm, and become a Beck's Hybrids employee. Spokespersons say the farm will grow commercial crops in 2013, but will at some time switch to seed production. Three full-time and one part-time employee were also hired by Becks to operate the farm.
The property includes Rivers Edge Golf Club, which Imboden will also continue to manage. Exact acreage involved in the transaction was not announced.
Scott Beck says the purchase makes sense because nearly 75% of the farm is irrigated, and the soils are highly productive. He sees it as an important step to making sure the company can diversify its seed production in various states.
The past twelve months has been an active time for Beck's Hybrids. A new warehouse and Practical Farm research facility is under construction near Henderson, Ky. The practical research carried out on rented land near Ft. Branch, Ind., will now move to Kentucky, along with Scot Ebelhor, the farm manager, a native of Kentucky.
Beck's also purchased land that lies just east of the Ohio State University Molly Caren farm near London, about 30 miles west of Columbus, Ohio. Plans are to begin developing practical research plots there as early as this year, although no construction is yet scheduled for that site. The site actually joins land owned by the university, and is separated by just one field form the Farm Review farm show site.