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Albert Lea Seed

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Albert Lea Seed Announces Business Changes

  • Viking Brand Focuses on Non-GMO Conventional and Organic

  • Albert Lea Seed Becomes Distributor for Northstar Genetics

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Albert Lea Seed, a family-owned, Minnesota-based company supplying seed to American farms for nearly 100 years, today announced it is transitioning its Viking Seed corn and soybeans line to a 100 percent non-traited (i.e. non-GMO) brand, and becoming a distributor of traited seed for NorthStar Genetics.

The business changes reinforce the company’s commitment to non-traited (meaning the seed is free of traits or genetic modifications) solutions for conventional and organic farmers, an area of specialty for Albert Lea Seed. In fact, the Minnesota-based pioneers were among the first companies in the country to offer non-GMO Verified seed and certified organic seed corn. They also have had systems in place for isolation and minimizing commingling for two decades.

“We’re excited about this transition,” said Albert Lea Seed owner Mac Ehrhardt, whose grandfather, Lou, founded the business in 1923. “Non-GMO and organic agriculture have become very important parallel streams of production in the United States, and we’re eager to lead the way in developing non-traited seed for our farmers. That being said, we see this change as a positive evolution for all our customers, whether they farm organically or not.”

With the public demand for non-GMO and organic food on the rise, it is a good time for Albert Lea Seed to shift its focus. Sales of foods labeled as non-GMO have gone from $12.9 billion in 2012 to $21.2 billion as of April 2016, according to Nielsen. A growing number of farmers are moving to or considering planting non-GMO corn and soybeans as well as organic grains due primarily to the premium prices they get in return.

While Albert Lea Seed will no longer produce or package traited seed, it will supply them through a partnership with NorthStar Genetics. Carrying licenses for traits and genetics from all major companies, NorthStar can offer conventional customers a broader range of choices (e.g., more maturities). To learn more about NorthStar, visit

Albert Lea Seed supplies organic field seed throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and also throughout the northeastern quadrant of the United States.

About Albert Lea Seed
Albert Lea Seed began in 1923 as a family-owned seed store offering field and garden seed. Today, it remains family-owned, providing strong knowledge and experience in seed and crop production, processing and cultural practices that benefit any sized farm operation. The company’s Viking brand has been the centerpiece of its offerings for more than four decades. One of the first companies in the country to offer certified organic seed corn, Albert Lea Seed is a Certified Organic Processor meeting the National Organic Program standards for processing organically raised grains, soybeans and other field crops. Albert Lea Seed maintains professional memberships with the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association, American Seed Trade Association, Western Seed Association, Sustainable Farming Association, both the National and the Minnesota Corn and Soybean Growers Associations and the Independent Professional Seedsmen Association. For more information, visit

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