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NEWS

Garst Seed Company purchases Gutwein Seeds
Slater, Iowa
January 24, 2000

Garst Seed Company and Gutwein Seeds have reached an agreement in which Garst will purchase the retail marketing and distribution network of Fred Gutwein & Sons, Inc. and their Gutwein Seeds brand. The purchase will provide Garst with access to a large group of high-quality and courteous farmer sales representatives and agribusiness retail centers primarily in the eastern parts of the Corn Belt. Financial terms of the agreement will not be released.

"The eastern regions of the Corn Belt represent an area for some significant growth in total sales volumes," explains Col Seccombe, President and CEO of Garst Seed Company. "Fred Gutwein and Sons, Inc. and Gutwein Seeds are very well respected in the seed industry and we are looking forward to them becoming part of the family of companies that sells and markets Garst seed products."

For the 2000-2001 sales year, Garst products will be introduced into the Gutwein sales programs, including Garst's G-STAC seed technology. The current management of Gutwein will  continue to run the business in coordination with and guidance from the Garst management team. "This agreement will allow Garst to continue its growth and expansion within its key corn and soybean seed business," says Seccombe. "Additionally, Gutwein customers and the Gutwein sales force and distribution network will be able realize the benefits that Garst can provide because of its large research effort and its economy of scale."

Eric A Gutwein, President and CEO of Fred Gutwein and Sons, Inc. says "This agreement will allow our customers access to the newest technologies in the seed industry both from traditional genetics and biotechnology. Also people are our most important asset. We will now have a very talented Garst group available to compliment our sales efforts."

Founded in 1936 by an Indiana farmer, Fred Gutwein, Fred Gutwein & Sons, Inc. has grown to become one of North America's Leading independent producers of hybrid seed corn, special market hybrids, soybeans and alfalfa. Gutwein Seeds is based in Francesville, Indiana and management of the Gutwein sales force will continue from this location. The company was founded on integrity and commitment to excellence..."Don't put a seed in a bag to sell that you wouldn't plant yourself". Those early words of advice from Fred Gutwein to his sons became the cornerstone for high standards of quality and the rigid discipline of product research and testing that have made Gutwein seeds the farmer's choice throughout much of the Midwestern United States.

Garst is a recognized leader in the development and production of traditional and multi-trait corn hybrids, technology-enhanced soybean varieties, grain sorghum and alfalfa. With corporate and research headquarters in Slater, Iowa, Garst is the largest member of the Advanta Group of seed companies, which ranks as one of the top five seed companies globally.

Company news release
N2423

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