January 19, 2022
Meet the team at DF Seeds
Agriculture is big business in Michigan. It’s a $7.3 billion industry that produces everything from commodity crops to fruits and vegetables. In a state that has more than 10 million acres of farmland, it’s no wonder DF Seeds has been able to thrive since its 1969 founding. Headquartered in Dansville, the company offers the best traits for Michigan farms, down to per-acre options, for corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa. The DF Seeds team has a deep understanding of unique Michigan microclimates, with offerings that perform in the state’s unique terrain.
It’s not just the company that has deep roots in Michigan – the employees do, too. That’s been the experience of Ty Bodeis, research agronomist for DF Seeds. He grew up on a family farm in Mayville, Michigan, and he still helps out nights and weekends with the farm’s corn, soybeans, dry beans and wheat. As someone who has been walking farmland in Michigan for all his life, Bodeis fits right in with the DF Seeds approach to Michigan-focused agriculture.
He received a bachelor’s degree in Crop and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University, and he’s currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in Seed Technology and Business at Iowa State University. In season, he spends just about every day walking test plots and customer farmland all over the state. DF Seeds’ heritage is something he speaks proudly about.
“We’re Michigan-proven and Michigan-grown,” he says. “We have a unique climate, since the Great Lakes moderate our weather and temperatures. We’re not scorching hot, but we’re very humid. That’s a good thing when you want to grow higher protein soybeans, for example, but our unique climate can also contribute to pest and disease pressure, like white mold. We ensure all our products address what’s happening in fields right here in our state.”
The need for top-quality, non-GMO soybeans is kind of a “Michigan thing,” he explains, since Michigan is exports soybeans to Asian markets. “Exported beans are called Identity Preserved, because a specific variety is being exported, therefore keeping its identity,” he explains. “There’s also an in-state processor which crushes beans and sells meal and oil.”
No matter what Michigan’s unique agricultural needs, DF Seeds is a strong partner for farmers across the state. It’s a team that operates with ingenuity, passion and an instinct for seed improvement. “Our people are good, and our products are proven performers,” Bodeis says. “Customers are willing to listen to our story, and when they see the data we have to back up our products, they’re excited.”
The company’s lean, 12-person staff also is part of the DF Seeds difference. “We recently had a meeting with dealers, and the president and CEO of our company were both in the room,” he says. “I had dealers tell me afterward that they sell other seed brands, but they’d never met those brands’ leaders in person before. I think that personal touch is one of the things that really sets us apart.”