In our world of modern conveniences, it can sometimes go overlooked that many of the foods lining our grocery store shelves did not originate in a factory. The most basic ingredient in a box of cereal or a bag of Oreos for that matter did indeed grow out of the soil - from a tiny seed; a tiny seed that also grew the forage to nourish the livestock that rounds out your dinner plate with a hearty helping of protein.

For farmers in Montana and beyond, having the right seed to ensure a bountiful harvest is not only paramount to their business sustainability but also their ability to feed the country. That''s where Wild Horse Seeds in Havre, Montana comes in. The company formerly known as McIntosh Seeds started in 1982. Its current name, changed under new ownership in 2002, reflects the company''s proximity to nearby Canadian border crossing, the Port of Wild Horse.

Wild Horse Seeds is a Montana Certified Seed Conditioning Plant specializing in cereal grains, legumes and grasses. The methods they employ to clean, treat and blend seed are designed to bring the highest possible volume and quality crop yields for their customers. To ensure they are doing just that, all seed is tested by a Certified Seed Lab for quality before leaving the facility. In addition to their product, Wild Horse Seeds' pride in their operation is reflected in the condition of their top-notch facility. ""We take great satisfaction in running a tidy operation, said salesman, Nick Lowen.

But conditioning and selling seed isn't all they do. Wild Horse Seeds is one of the only operators in the state to offer custom harvesting of many native Montana species. "It's something really unique to us," said Lowen. "We are always seeking pasture ground to harvest. It's a great way for a landowner to make some money on ground that would otherwise just be sitting there, and we do all the work.

As far as the future of Wild Horse Seeds is concerned, improvements to their facility are continuous. "We are always upgrading bins and equipment. One project we hope to do in the near future is to build more pea ladders for our outside hopper bins and have a conveyor over our new row of Meridian Hopper bins fed by the cleaning plant," said Lowen. "We also hope to expand our grass seed business in the near future with contract growing and more custom harvesting of some of the native species."

Attendees of the MATE show will have the opportunity to visit with Nick Lowen at Wild Horse Seeds booth number 88 in the Montana Expo where he will have seed samples and literature on-hand. "Most of the inquiries I get at the MATE Show are on grass seed," Lowen said. "Dollar for dollar, it tends to go the farthest." For more information on Wild Horse Seeds, visit wildhorseseeds.com

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