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Caudill Seed branches reach far past Kentucky in industry

By TIM THORNBERRY
Kentucky Correspondent
Farm World 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer recently paid a visit to one of Kentucky’s most diversified agricultural businesses. Caudill Seed Co., founded by Forrest Caudill in 1947, has grown to be one of the nation’s largest suppliers of seeds and related materials for planting purposes.

Today, the business is owned and operated by his sons, Pat and Dan Caudill. The company received one of the inaugural Kentucky Proud Partner in Excellence Awards in March, something Comer recognized during his visit and tour of the Louisville facility.

“Caudill Seed is a great Kentucky Proud business,” he said. “It also is a major Kentucky employer, with four operations in the Commonwealth. We felt Caudill Seed’s culture of innovation, excellence and dedication to Kentucky made it more than worthy of a Kentucky Proud Partner in Excellence Award.”

Kentucky Proud is the state’s official farm marketing program and the awards are given in recognition of commitment to the growth and sustainability of agriculture in the state, according to Jennifer Mueller, director of Business Development for the program.
Pat Caudill, who serves as company president, accepted the award from Mueller during the Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena in Lexington on March 15. “I would like to thank the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Commissioner James Comer for this award,” he said. “We believe Kentucky Proud is an investment in Kentucky’s land, people and its future. We urge all Kentuckians to buy Kentucky Proud products at every opportunity.”

The company, which primarily serves the agricultural, turf seed, contractor supply and reclamation industries, has operations in Louisville, Allen, Winchester and Morehead, and in Granite, Okla. It has expanded and diversified to encompass many areas and is now anything but just a seed company.

Caudill Seeds products help reclaim former mining sites for use in building, farming and other purposes. For those who have visited a ballpark or area golf course, they have likely walked on turf started by seed from the company.

Farmers have used their products for years, including feed, cover crop grains, forage seeds, fertilizers and baler twine, just to name a few. Gardeners have known their products for decades, but Caudill also offers a line of pest control products, as well as ice-melting pellets. If there is a common thread, Caudill products are created to make the environment better or help those who tend to the environment.

Caudill also began Whole Alternatives, a co-pack and private label packager of organic and natural products. That part of the business began in 1985 at the dawn of the organics movement. Today, it packages a wide variety of products, including popcorn and macaroni and cheese, and does so well – Caudill has been recognized by industry experts for its commitment to food safety not only for its Whole Alternatives operation, but for other subsidiaries, as well.

Caudill Sprouting is the premier source for safe, quality sprouting and microgreen seeds and supplies, according to information from the company. The company is a member of the Institute for Food Safety and Health at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
CS Health explores the benefits of broccoli and applies it research to the development, manufacture and distribution of dietary supplement products, cosmeceuticals (an industry term referring to cosmetic products that have medicinal or drug-like benefits) and food additives. Both this and Caudill Sprouting are examples of Caudill’s continued efforts to diversify and grow the company in a quality way.

Earlier this year the company received an “A” grade certification from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a certified body for the Global Food Safety Initiative, for its Caudill Sprouting, CS Health and Whole Alternatives subsidiaries.

“We are very proud to have become the first sprouting seed company in the industry to receive BRC certification back in 2010. Also, this is the first A-rated certification to be provided to a sprouting seed supplier in North America,” said Fred Kapp, corporate director of Quality Assurance for Caudill Seed.

He also said it is quite an achievement to reach this status and the company was one of the first to push for organic foods and seeds. In a quiet manner, Caudill has built a business that in some form or fashion has touched most people in some way, be it through food or products to create food, as well as through its forage products.

Kapp said its latest growth is in natural foods that are packaged such as boxed pastas or oatmeal and cereals, in individual servings to address a growing need in the market. For more on Caudill Seed, visit www.caudillseed.com

Manufacturing Marvels Presents: Caudill Seed

Caudill Seed Co. featured on statewide Kentucky Farm Bureau radio program

Caudill Seed Co. was highlighted on the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s daily radio program, “Across Kentucky,” on April 13.

Host Mike Feldhaus took listeners on a three-minute audio tour of Caudill’s Louisville plant, interviewing Chief Operating Officer Dan Caudill along the way.

Heard on more than 125 stations, “Across Kentucky” delves into new farm technology and current issues affecting the agribusiness industry in the Commonwealth.

“My brother Pat and I are most grateful to Mike Feldhaus and the Kentucky Farm Bureau for selecting Caudill Seed for this airing on ‘Across Kentucky,’” said Dan Caudill. “It’s yet another reason to celebrate during our company’s 65th anniversary in business.”

The segment can be heard in full by clicking the play button below:

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Caudill Seed Co. receives the Kentucky Proud™ ‘Partner in Excellence Award’

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has presented Caudill Seed Co. with the Kentucky Proud ™ “Partner in Excellence Award.”

“This award is given in recognition of your commitment to the growth and sustainability of agriculture in the Commonwealth,” said Jennifer Mueller, Director of Business Development for the Kentucky Proud program. Kentucky Proud is the state’s official farm marketing program, heralding the unique food products raised, grown or made by companies based in the Commonwealth.

Pat Caudill, president of Caudill Seed, accepted the award from Ms. Mueller during the Sweet 16 Tournament at Rupp Arena in Lexington on March 15.

“I would like to thank the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Commissioner James Comer for this award,” Mr. Caudill said. “We believe Kentucky Proud is an investment in Kentucky’s land, people and its future. We urge all Kentuckians to buy Kentucky Proud products at every opportunity.”

Louisville-based Caudill Seed is celebrating its 65th year in business. Founded in 1947 by Forrest Caudill, it has operations in Louisville, Allen and Morehead, Kentucky, and in Granite, Oklahoma. As a leading seed and supply distributor in the region, Caudill Seed primarily serves the agricultural, turf seed, contractor supply, and reclamation industries.

Caudill Seed to receive an ‘A’ grade in global food safety recertification

Leading seed supplier is committed to industry best practices 

LOUISVILLE,Ky.—Caudill Seed Co. has been recommended for and will receive an “A” grade certification from the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a certified body for the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), for its Caudill Sprouting, CS Health and Whole Alternatives subsidiaries.

“We are very proud to have become the first sprouting seed company in the industry to receive BRC certification back in 2010.  Also, this is the first “A” rated certification to be provided to a sprouting seed supplier in North America,” said Fred Kapp, CQE, MBA, Corporate Director of Quality Assurance for Caudill Seed Co. Fred Kapp has more than 35 years of experience in quality assurance for major food and medical device companies in the United States.

“This recertification is an outgrowth of implementing the best practices in the industry,” said Dan Caudill, Chief Operations Officer. “We are committed to no less than excellence when it comes to food safety.”

The BRC Global Standards, adopted by retailers in North America and the European Union, assure the highest food safety standards in the world for production, packaging, storage and distribution of food products. According to the BRC, many UK, North American and many European retailers and brand owners will only consider business with suppliers who have gained certification to the appropriate BRC Global Standard.

Before suppliers may receive a certification, they must undergo and pass an independent 3rd party audit. To date, more than 17,000 suppliers in over 90 countries have achieved certification against one of the Global Standards.

BRC institutes a series of checks to ensure that all issues in connection with food handling and packaging are addressed promptly with the utmost of safety in mind.

Third-party food safety audits are extremely important to Caudill Seed. In addition to BRC, the company has also earned superior ratings by “AIB International,” and is also audited and approved by Food Protection Services against GSFI standards as well as Certified Kosher by the “Orthodox Union” and Certified Organic through the National Organic Program (NOP) and audited by “Quality Assurance International.” Of course, our customers are always welcome to visit us for unannounced audits against these as well as their own internal standards, which many routinely do. Caudill Seed falls under the auspices of the FDA and meets all of its regulations. Caudill Sprouting, as well as Whole Alternatives and CS Health, strive to reach the highest food safety standards that can be met on their products with 3rd party validations.

Caudill Seed, founded in 1947 by Forrest Caudill as a wholesale farm seed company, has grown to become one of the nation’s largest seed suppliers.

Caudill Seed gives hand up to people in need

Caudill Seed, its directors and shareholders believe in offering a hand up to those in need. As a result, our company and our directors are committed to contributing no less than 10 percent of the company’s income either by the directors or the company.

And leading the way is our chief operations officer, Dan Caudill, who is serving as board chair for The Healing Place.

The Healing Place

Founded as a homeless shelter in 1989, The Healing Place is Kentucky’s largest shelter/addiction recovery center. In addition, it has become one of the nation’s most effective long-term, social model recovery programs. With 75 percent of its alumni remaining sober after one year, The Healing Place’s success rate is five times the national average for recovery facilities.
Today, over 2,700 individuals are leading productive lives and many are reunited with their families because of The Healing Place’s unique approach to recovery.
Caudill Seed is honored to have received the “Celebrate Freedom Award” from The Healing Place. This annual award is given in recognition of supporters of solutions for the homeless, the alcoholic and the addict.

The Talbot House/Wallace House/Hoard House

Dan Caudill formerly served 12 years as a member of the Talbot House’s board of directors. Caudill Seed was a corporate sponsor of The Talbot House’s seventh annual golf scramble, the organization’s signature fund raiser.

As the oldest residential facility for recovering men in the Louisville area, The Talbot House, Inc., is dedicated to providing shelter, education and support to men recovering from alcoholism and chemical dependency. Its mission is to “bridge the gap” for men who are endeavoring to return to their families and to their communities as sober, useful members of society.
In the last 17 years, the Talbot House program has grown to include two other houses—the Wallace House and the Hoard House. Caudill Seed was instrumental in helping to establish these residences. As the second and third legs of the Talbot system, the Wallace House and the Hoard House are instrumental in helping residents to rebuild their independence in the strong “recovery environment” of the Talbot House.

Ice House, Inc.

Caudill Seed played a major role in starting the Ice House, Inc. in the mid-1990s. Our involvement is ongoing with Dan Caudill continuing as an active member of the board of directors.

Volunteers of America

Another organization that Caudill Seed supports is the Volunteers of America of Kentucky, Inc. This vital organization is committed to serving individuals and families in need throughout Kentucky, Southern Indiana and surrounding states. The organization’s mission is to create positive change in the lives of those it serves through a ministry of service. Among the services the Volunteers of America addresses are family homelessness, substance abuse, developmental disabilities, HIV/AIDS and senior needs.

Other organizations we support

In addition, we actively support many other local and national organizations including Dismas Charities, Care Center, Women’s Community of Louisville, Brightside and various food banks.

Caudill’s Community Involvement is Homegrown

Caudill Seed Co. is a global company, but remains committed to community involvement in its own backyard. As we celebrate our 65th year in business, we believe in supporting our community.
Recently, our company was a partner in the Portland Orchard Project in our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. We were pleased to donate wild flower seeds to be planted in an inner-city vacant lot where a sustainable fruit farm will sprout up.

More than 50 apple trees were planted at the site. When harvested, the fruit will be free to all in the neighborhood.

The Portland Orchard Project is a worthy community enterprise that will help our neighbors—and is eco-friendly as well. We’re honored to be part of it.

Caudill’s Turf Seed Products are Ready to “Play Ball”

Spring training is a few weeks off, but Caudill Seed Co. is stepping up to the plate in January 2012. Our hard-hitting sales crew will man a booth at the 2nd annual Louisville Slugger BaseballCON and SoftballCON.

This joint conference/convention, dedicated to helping baseball and fast-pitch softball coaches and players learn the latest techniques and drills, will be held January 27-28 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.

Caudill Seed will be on hand to inform delegates about its great line-up of turf seed products for athletic fields. Caudill offers a wide variety of fescues, bluegrass and mixes for athletic fields, and for many other applications-home lawns, business parks and cemeteries.

We’ve made great strides in the Parks and Recreation sector of our business. Besides our appearance at BaseballCON and SoftballCON, we regularly display our products at the Kentucky Park and Recreation Society convention to discuss innovations in grasses, fertilizers and amendments.

We also set up a booth for the Kentucky Sports Turf Managers Association.

Other Upcoming /conferences

On January 8-12, we’ll be featured at the American Forage & Grassland Council Conference in Louisville.

On January 12-13, we will make a stop at the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Convention in Lexington, where we are a co-sponsor.

And on January 25-26, we’ll travel to Mount Vernon, Ill., for the Heart of America Grazing Conference.

Each year the Heart of America Grazing Conference rotates among five states-Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky-and features speakers from all five states concerning a wide variety of grazing topics.

Topics being covered include:

  • the benefits of grazing and adding clover to pastures
  • mob grazing
  • role of novel fescues
  • grazing for parasite prevention
  • use of co-products in grazing programs
  • dairy grazing
  • pasture management
  • cover crops
 
 

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