Legacy Seeds Expands Vision While Maintaining Focus
From day one, Legacy Seeds kept their goal simple. “We deliver outstanding performance with a personal touch,” says company owner and president Bruce Ceranske. “We offer seed that yields both bushels and profits for our farmers. Our experience has proven that what works for the grower, works for our business, too.”
Ceranske stresses that their farmer-first focus won’t change as the company expands its emphasis on research and product development. Research and product development have been Legacy strengths since the company was born in 1999, and hired alfalfa breeder David Huset in 2000. Now the last independent alfalfa breeder in the United States, the company has developed a national reputation for top-quality non-GMO alfalfa—so much so that it licenses alfalfa lines to many other seed companies. “Non-GMO alfalfa is a major focus for us, but we also continually improve our corn, soybean and small grain lineups,” Ceranske says.
As an independent seed company, Legacy maintains licensing agreements with all the major producers of corn, soybean and small grain seed. “We can license what works for our growers, and don’t have to promote a particular line,” Ceranske states. “That comes back again to our focus on taking care of the farmer. We believe that when you buy from Legacy, you’re not just part of our customer base. You’re part of our family.”
Customer focus drives growth
Legacy Seeds has experienced growth over the years by sticking to the three words in their tagline—integrity, performance and solutions.
“We’re driven by those values,” Ceranske stresses. “Integrity is simply doing the right thing always and fulfilling your promises. Doing what you say you’ll do, even when it’s painful. There are companies that would sell seed that we throw away, but I farm, too, and I won’t sell seed that I wouldn’t buy. We’ve enjoyed tremendous growth, and I believe it’s because people will gravitate to a business that treats them the way they should be treated.”
As to solutions, Legacy has plans in place to grow in that area. “We want to be more than just a seed company,” Ceranske explains. “We want to help them solve problems on their farm. For example, we will be holding Legacy Advantage meetings in the coming months, bringing in experts on milk and grain marketing who can help producers survive this extended downturn in the farm economy. We’re also in the process of hiring an agronomist. Finally, there is the new research farm.”
The farm Ceranske refers to is the new research and breeding facility under construction in Waupaca, Wisconsin. “It will have 7,200-square feet of office and lab space under roof, with greenhouses bolted onto that for our winter work,” he explains. “We’ve also hired another plant breeder. The main focus here will be on alfalfa, but we’ll also be working with corn, beans and wheat.
“Our company continues to grow, and we needed to make a commitment to research for the benefit of our customers,” he adds. “We’ll be able to continue to develop our non-GMO alfalfa with all the latest and best genetics, but none of the GMO events. Research will be an area of ongoing expansion for us.”