Legendary farm broadcaster Jack Crowner interviewed Dan and Pat Caudill and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer during the commissioner’s tour of our Louisville operations on June 7.
Mr. Crowner first became acquainted with Caudill Seed more than 25 years ago. He interviewed Forrest Caudill, the company founder and father of the current owners, when the operation was based on Story Avenue in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville, for one of his radio programs.
The broadcaster asked the Caudill brothers to relay the history, operations and markets of the diversified Caudill Seed Co.
Dan Caudill, Chief Operating Officer, said his father, born and raised on a dairy farm in Shelby County, returned from World War II as a decorated military veteran, was determined never to milk a cow again.
Forrest Caudill started Caudill Seed in 1947 by threshing bluegrass seed and distributing it for sale to area farmers, according to Dan.
Pat Caudill, company President, said Caudill Seed has since grown into a multi-faceted business that supplies not only many varieties of seed and fills several niche markets on the agribusiness scene, but also processes and packages food items to grocery chains and other retail outlets throughout the US and Canada.
“One of our divisions, Whole Alternatives, prepares and distributes edible seeds and beans in many different packaging formats,” Pat Caudill said. “We’re focused on ‘Kentucky Proud’ products.”
Caudill Seed received one of the 12 inaugural Kentucky Proud “Partner in Excellence” Awards from Commissioner Comer’s office this year. Mr. Comer touted that honor during his interview with Mr. Crowner.
“Caudill Seed is a signature agribusiness in Kentucky,” the commissioner said. “We never want to forget the accomplishments of our existing agribusinesses. Caudill Seed is a perfect example of that.”
Following is Mr. Crowner’s interview, published with permission: