Article by: Rachel Bertone, farmflavor.com
Celebrating 65 years in business, Louisville-based Caudill Seed Company understands what it means to feel truly Kentucky proud.
Founded in 1947 by Forrest Caudill, the region-wide seed and supply distributor focuses primarily on agriculture, turf seed, contractor supply and reclamation industries. Caudill produces a variety of seed types, including turf seed, like bluegrass, for golf courses and forage seed, such as alfalfa and clover, for farm fields. The company’s Allen location – one of four in the state – helps with mine reclamation, where they reseed abandoned mines to restore them and make them useable for commercial locations, such as sports fields and neighborhoods, as well as return of wildlife.
While seed is the heart of the company, Caudill is equally proud of its Kentucky roots. Founded in Shelby County, the company moved to Louisville in 1959 and began to diversify. It is run by second-generation brothers, Pat and Dan Caudill, with 180 total employees across the state. Along with seed, the company also has a food division, Whole Alternatives LLC, which was started in 1983. The division packages organic and natural food items for retailers throughout the United States and is the largest producer of organic microwave popcorn.
“It’s been a great accomplishment that we’ve made the successful jump into the food industry,” says Dan Caudill, COO of Caudill Seed. He adds that they are proud to have the Kentucky Proud logo on their nationally sold products.
The company recently received the Kentucky Proud Partner in Excellence Award, which recognizes growth and sustainability of agriculture within the Commonwealth. Dan Caudill, with his brother and president of the company, Pat Caudill, said that they are born and bred Kentuckians; with ancestors dating back to before the state joined the union. They take their heritage very seriously, and are proud to represent Kentucky.
“We’re pretty loyal to Kentucky,” Dan Caudill says. “If I saw two products side-by-side in a store, and one had a Kentucky Proud logo and the other didn’t, I would buy the Kentucky Proud product to support other businesses in the state.”
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer recently toured the facilities at Caudill Seed Co. to show the agribusiness appreciation for what they bring to the state and the Kentucky Proud program. That feeling was reciprocated from the Caudill brothers.
“Kentucky has a lot to be proud of,” Dan Caudill says. “We’re hopeful that the next generation will take the reins and continue the business.”