The American Seed Trade Association spotlighted Sonny Beck of Beck's Superior Hybrids, Atlanta, during its recent annual convention in National Harbor, Maryland. He was recognized with the Honorary member award.
As Julie Douglas, herself a Hoosier farm girl form Shelbyville, now public relations specialist for ASTA put it, Sonny Beck is an Indiana legend. He definitely lives up to the qualifications of this award, she writes. The award is reserved for those who distinguish themselves through leadership, vision and service.
He received the award form Mike Gumina, ASTA chairman and vice-president of production, safety, health and environmental/risk management for Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business.
"Honorary members truly represent the best of the best," he says. "My choice this year is no exception."
Beck's Hybrids serves farmers in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. Yet it's the sixth largest seed company in the U.S., and the largest family-owned retail seed business in the country.
Beck returned home from receiving the award in time to host media for tours and an open house of their new research facility at the Atlanta complex. It features room for plant breeders and researchers, with the second level currently used as super-large meeting rooms. Based on past experience, the second floor will someday be filled with offices as the company expands. Currently, it doubles in size about every five years.Becks Hybrids has also made other key strategic moves within the past year. It purchased the vacant Pfiester processing plant in central Illinois, and is preparing it for operation in the future. Most recently, Beck's purchased a large tract of land in Ohio near London. The site actually borders the Farm Science Review grounds operated by Ohio State University. While plans are still not complete, Beck says they will likely use the site for a distribution facility at some point in the future, plus set up another practical farm research site there. He looks forward to working closely with Ohio State and tying their expertise into the opportunity offered annually by Farm Science Review.