WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2012) - January 20, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the DEKALB seed brand. Started in 1912 in DeKalb, Illinois, a group of farmers, bankers and newspapermen, led by Henry H Parke, founded the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association. The Association was started due to a lack of seed laws and the desire for superior seeds.

"This is a significant milestone for DEKALB," says Denise Hockaday, DEKALB marketing manager. "Today, the DEKALB brand really still represents what it did back in 1912 - moving agriculture forward and improving productivity for farmers."

Led by Charles Gunn and Thomas Roberts, Sr., the Association offered its first hybrid seed corn variety for sale in 1934. Not only was the Association at the forefront of hybridization, it was also an innovator in sales and marketing techniques. The Association ran the first full-page hybrid corn advertisements, had the first hybrid corn with national coverage, and was the first to run a four-page full color hybrid corn insert (as early as 1938). The Association also introduced a new sales system whereby area farmers served as dealers, and it was the first seed company to introduce the 'seed guide'.

The success of hybrid corn was massive. In 1933, less than one per cent of Iowa's corn acreage was planted to hybrid corn. Ten years later, 99 per cent of Iowa's corn acreage was planted to hybrid corn.

DEKALB joined the Monsanto family in 1998 and seed is still sold under the well-recognized winged ear corn logo introduced in 1936. Merging the history with innovative genetics, the DEKALB brand has since introduced corn and soybean products with herbicide and insect resistant characteristics. Phone apps offered under the DEKALB brand were one of the first in Canada for agricultural producers.

For 2012, the DEKALB brand brings another innovation to market with Genuity® RIB Complete corn products. Farmers planting these products no longer have to worry about planting a separate, structured refuge. Now a five percent refuge is included in the bag.

Throughout the course of the year, DEKALB will celebrate its century birthday in a variety of ways. Visit for more information on our history and birthday.

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Monsanto Canada Inc. is part of the larger global Monsanto family. Monsanto Company is an agricultural company and a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. Learn more about our business and our commitments at

Contact Information:

Media inquiries should be directed to:
Monsanto Canada Inc.
Denise Hockaday
DEKALB Marketing Manager
(519) 780-6610

Monsanto Canada Inc.
Trish Jordan
Public Affairs Director
(204) 985-1005