When others are sizing down, cutting seed brands and tightening purse strings, Don Funk is balking at the trend. Founder of Channel Bio Corp, which later sold to Monsanto, Funk is re-launching the NC+ brand for western corn, soybean and grain sorghum growers.
This launch comes just two years after re-launching Midwest Seed Genetics in the Corn Belt. Company representatives say they’re launching more brands, instead of just extending Midwest, intentionally.
“While many brands are trying to stretch an experience across multiple regions, we know different growers in different geographies have different needs,” says Funk, “Re-launching NC+ provides the opportunity to tailor an offering people know, have trusted and is constructed specifically for them.”
The NC+ seed brand was originally launched in the 1958 as an acronym for “Nebraska Certified.” It served Nebraska and surrounding western states—a goal Funk and his team are revamping for today’s dynamic market, one in which a number of brands are being removed due to consolidation.
“We believe we can provide western growers a choice with a brand they have long known and trusted,” Funk says. “But it’s more than just a field sign or a name on a bag, it’s the specific product selection, the highest quality seed, and the execution of service western growers deserve. This was always NC+’s strength and we will work hard to deliver that again.”
Industry veteran, and legacy NC+ employee, Al Koerperich will lead the brand’s reintroduction in the west. He has 20 years of experience in the industry.
“The values we shared then with our customers [when he worked at NC+] are the same values we share today,” says Koerperich. “The pursuit of providing great value in everything we do – our product, our service, our customer’s experience - is why we wake up every morning.”
Starting this week, NC+ is up and running, with a multi-year tested product lineup for farmers to grow in the 2020 season. The company will begin selling seed for 2020 this fall, starting in Nebraska, Kansas and other western states.
“We believe in American farmers. They will guide us in our direction,” Funk adds. “If we remain outward-focused, listen to them, and help them succeed, we are confident they will take us with them.”