If you’re looking to learn from the best, it won’t get much better than this. In this week’s mini series we’re bringing you the “Glancing Back and Moving Forward in a Rapidly Changing Industry” session from ASTA CSS, featuring Sonny Beck, founder of Beck’s Hybrids, Paul Schickler of DuPont Pioneer, and Jon Leafstedt with Kincannon and Reed.
To begin the panel, each of the presenters shared their glance at the past history of their companies. For Beck that generally began in 1964 when he came back to his father’s farm. At that time the company had five employees and was selling 3,000 bags of seed corn per year. By the time Sonny’s oldest child, Scott, came back to join the business he was the 11th employee and the business was ready for growth. In the 1990’s Beck’s wrote a paper for Purdue University, looking at the future of small and medium seed companies. They saw consolidation as the future for many businesses.
“When many of us independent seed companies were looking around, we were looking a consolidation, which is a natural thing that occurs in capitalism. And so you just have to get ready for it, because that is what does occur.” Consolidation wasn’t in Beck’s plans, however. Instead they decided to grow the operation.
“Find out what you do best, and then do more of it,” Beck says. For Beck’s Hybrids, that meant focusing on testing.”We’re going to help farmer’s succeed. Perhaps biotech companies will want products tested in an open atmosphere.”
Listen to Sonny’s opening remarks, and stay tuned to hear from Schickler and Leafstedt. [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/astacss-16-beck-opening.mp3″ text=”Sonny Beck at ASTA-CSS 2016″]