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De Smet's Legend Seeds moves toward employee ownership

De Smet's Legend Seeds moves toward employee ownership

Legend Seeds is a company with family-like values. It used to be a family owned company but is transitioning towards a more employee-owned business. No big changes are expected in the way Legends will be run.

Twenty-nine years ago, Legend Seeds started with a husband and wife, Glen and Janet Davis, some friends, acquaintances and investors.

What started as a small regional seed company being run out of their garage, is now operating in seven core states. South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, along with eastern and western Canada.

“Canada is an important part of our business and a growing part of our business,” said Glen Davis, CEO and founder.

“When you look at our core states, Canada goes right along with those seven states. Our focus is staying regional,” he said.

When asked about tariffs and if or how they are affecting business, Davis replied, “I don’t see in the long term that tariffs will affect us. In the short term its going to affect commodity prices.”

“Every acre will be planted next year, and every acre will need seed and that’s our job to provide seed for those acres,” said Davis.

Legend Seeds currently has 105 employees and was mostly a family run business with an executive team that sets the direction for the company.

The core values of Legend Seeds are growth and customer relations oriented. These have helped make Legends Seeds a great company. The company takes care of its employees and in return they take care of the customers.

Many options for continuing the company were looked at. Davis said they did a lot of research to decide what route to go. He knew that whatever route was chosen it had to be good for the Legend dealers, good for the entire staff and good for the shareholders.

“If we sold the company, it would be good for the shareholders, but it wouldn’t be good for the customers or the staff,” said Davis.

Davis said the employee-owned decision was the best option.

“We wanted a succession plan with changes that allowed Legend Seeds to stay here as a regional company for the foreseeable future,” said Davis.

Posted on 10-19-2018

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