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Harwood-based Peterson Farm Seed celebrates 16 years

What started out as a small, family-owned company with only four employees has quickly grown to the region's largest independent seed company with close to 40 employees - and it's still family-owned.

Peterson Farms Seed started with humble beginnings in the mid-1990s selling soybeans to friends and neighbors.  Carl and Julie Peterson, owners of Peterson Farms Seed, started the business with a few pieces of seed cleaning equipment and a semi-truck scale.

"We began by cleaning scab out of wheat in the early 1990s during a wheat disease infestation," said Carl Peterson. "We spent that entire winter cleaning wheat 24-7.  We were desperate to make our wheat marketable."

The Peterson Farms Seed soybean brand was introduced in 1996 and the company started selling both conventional and the newly introduced Roundup Ready soybean seed from an office on the family's farm near Prosper, N.D.  Sixteen years later, Peterson Farms Seed is still located on the family farm and is expanding to a new office building to accommodate the company's growth and market presence in the region.

Today, Peterson Farms Seed has grown to be the largest independent seed company in the region.  Its catalogue has grown from offering a few soybean seed varieties back in 1996 to offering over 40 corn hybrids and soybean varieties today.

"We work hard to approach the seed business from a farmer's perspective," said Julie Peterson.  "We focus exclusively on the farmers in this region - which is easy since we farm here. We just ask ourselves - what do we want as farmers? Because of our extensive replicated testing program we're able to select the best products to meet those needs."

Peterson Farms Seed will host a Sweet 16 Anniversary Party to celebrate its continued growth, and to thank and celebrate its customers, business partners, employees, friends and neighbors.  Its new office building at its facility north of Mapleton will also be available for tours.

The Sweet 16 Anniversary Party will be held Aug. 10, from 4 to 9 p.m., at Peterson Farms Seed.  Meals will be served from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by live music from Post-Traumatic Funk Syndrome at 7 p.m.  Office and plant tours will be offered throughout the event, and games will be available for kids.

"We wouldn't be where we are if it weren't for our customers, neighbors, vendors, partners and friends," said Carl.  "Lots of people have helped us along our 16 year journey - we really want to extend a personal thank you to each person who has been a part of our tremendous growth over the last 16 years."