Tillerman Seeds, LLC, of Grand Rapids, Mich. was formed to acquire specialty, GMO and non-GMO seed assets. This week it completed its first transaction with the successful purchase of DF Seeds Inc., of Dansville, Mich.
DF Seeds has provided about 400 farmers with wheat and soybean varieties since 1992. The company will continue to operate under the name DF seeds despite change in ownership and will keep the same employees.
Tillerman is honing in on small seed companies with established regional presences or specialty products with the intent to purchase those it can.
"We believe there is a significant opportunity to consolidate small seed companies around the country," says James Sheppard, chief executive officer of Tillerman Seeds. "There is a growing number of seed company owners who are preparing to retire, but want to ensure that the legacy, jobs and culture of the companies they built are carried forward. That is what Tillerman Seeds was created to do."
The companies Tillerman acquires will act as standalone companies with shared back-offices in accounting, HR and purchasing. Any acquired company will be expected to collaborate with others on R&D, customer service approaches, marketing and cross-selling product lines.
Tillerman plans to take advantage of what Shepherd says are opportunities for small, local firms with a focus on developing seeds for specific microclimates and grower needs.