WAYNE, NEBRASKA/KENTLAND, INDIANA (October 15, 2014) — One year after a devastating tornado swept through Wayne, Nebraska destroying their facilities, The Seed Source, a locally owned and operated regional seed company, is celebrating recovery with grateful appreciation for new facilities and new staff to serve their growing customer base across northeast and north central Nebraska.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) had classified the October 4, 2013 tornado at Wayne as a category EF4 tornado, meaning wind speeds were in the range of 166-200 miles per hour. At its widest, the tornado was estimated to have become nearly 1.25 miles wide, significantly damaging or destroying all structures in its wake.
The Seed Source Owner, Lowell Schardt said, “This was a catastrophic weather event for many in our community. We are very fortunate that no lives were lost.” However Schardt and many other business owners in the Wayne area experienced huge losses. But rather than focus on loss, he went to work to rebuild his seed warehouse facilities.
Today new facilities stand on the grounds of the old facilities. They include a 100’ x 100’ warehouse with 18’ sidewalls. The facility is fully insulated with new flooring. In addition, new facilities include a 50’x 28’ business space with offices, a conference room, reception area, kitchenette and restroom. To further protect the integrity of our seed, The Seed Source has also added a 50’x28’ climate controlled room to protect seed from extremes in temperature.
Schardt said, “We looked at this as an opportunity to grow, improve, and build something that can continue to contribute to the community and the region’s farmers. Our company has experienced great growth, especially in the past few years. Our products are performing exceptionally well. Our approach to doing business is decidedly different than many farmers are used to. We focus on helping them get more profitability from every acre.” And he says that as their locally adapted seed products continue to perform consistently well, more area farmers have added acres or gone to 100 percent AgVenture seed.
“Getting the right seed is critical, but that’s only part of the equation,” said Schardt. “We have added four new AgVenture Yield Specialists in the past year to help provide year-round professional seed support to our customers. Our AYS team members work directly on the farm with our customers. They provide the tools and techniques, agronomic support and additional support that help customers dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and improve overall profitability.”
Joining the company in the past year are Blake Hokamp, Chelsea Asmus, Dani Schneider and Colt Campbell. “These young professionals are very hardworking and dedicated to their customers. It is great to see how they function individually and as a team. Together, they complement one another’s strengths, making powerful and professional force. It’s been great for the company and for our customers.”
Schardt has 30 years experience in the seed business working with farmers throughout the region. He said, “Sometimes it takes something significant to propel you to the next level. The tornado helped us rebuild more than facilities. Out of it we have a sharp new team and a great means of reaching more customers across the region.”
AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the hybrids it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.