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The Scoop

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Verbatim: LaGrange County ag companies grow

Statement issued Monday:

LaGrange, IN. (November 11, 2010) – The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with the Lord’s Grain Inc. and Partners Brand Seed Company, LLC are excited to announce the recent expansions of their businesses in LaGrange County.

Lord’s Grain, Inc., a sister company of Lord’s Seed, has recently named Mike Atwater as the new general manager of the company’s grain elevator operations.

Lord’s Grain Inc. currently owns and operates the elevators located in the town of LaGrange, IN, as well as a similar elevator located in Orland, IN. Atwater brings a wealth of experience to the position, having a strong agricultural background and having served in a variety of roles for Hubbard Feeds, the Indiana Farm Bureau, and Indiana Farmer’s Mutual Insurance since earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Tri-State University (now Trine University).

“I am excited to take on this new opportunity with Lord’s Grain, Inc.,” Atwater said. “Lord’s Grain has invested over $350,000 in the LaGrange elevator alone over the last two years, and has grown the company to ten full time employees with many more seasonal part time folks since being founded in 1997.”

Partners Brand Seed Company, LLC is a recent addition to Lord’s family of companies. Partners Brand Seed Company was founded in the early 2000’s in Stockbridge, MI., but was in a state of decline until John Larimer and family members purchased it in early 2009

“When we purchased Partners Brand Seed., there was very little business, but we were convinced that we could turn the company around as there is always a market for a quality product,” Larimer said. Sales in 2010 approached the $750,000 mark, and projections for 2011 expect that total to double. The company recently hired Charlie Stutesman as their sales manager. Stutesman has both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Bowling Green State University, and has worked most recently as a grain buyer/merchandiser for Jones Ag Marketing.

“The Lord’s family of companies are valued employers in LaGrange County” said Keith Gillenwater, Executive Director of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation.

“Collectively, they farm approximately 15,000 acres of specialty grains and seed corn, with approximately 12,000 acres of that irrigated. Depending upon the year, Lord’s supplies by some estimates 1% - 2% of the U.S. supply of seed corn. They are a true asset in the agricultural and food processing core of industries in LaGrange County.”

About the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation, established in 2009, is a 501(c)3 corporation designed to assist business development needs. The LCEDC partners with local, regional, state, and federal agencies to attract, retain, and develop new businesses and entrepreneurs in LaGrange County and its communities. For more information about the LaGrange County EDC, please visit www.lagrangecountyedc.com.

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