June 3, 2014



TEMPLETON

Six employees at Templeton's Renze Seeds lost their jobs last month after the company was integrated into Prairie Seed Brand Company, both subsidiaries of Dow AgroSciences.

With the integration of Renze into Prairie Brand, the Renze operation in Templeton will be closing its doors after Aug. 31 and moving to Story City.

According to Craig Williams, former general manager at Renze, news of the integration with Prairie Brand Seed was announced May 22.

"It's pretty sad. This year would have been the 75th year of operation of Renze Seeds," Williams said. "But more importantly, an awful lot of good people here in Carroll County lost their jobs, through no fault of their own."

Of the seven employees at the Templeton operation six were cut. The job loss goes beyond Templeton as well with seven salespeople across the Midwest being let go after the integration.

Dow acquired Renze in 2008, and at that time, Williams, who was very active in the acquisition, did not picture a consolidation like this taking place.

"Last year they integrated the Triumph Brand in with Mycogen, and I thought at the time there is a chance that something like this could happen. They had a good logical reason for doing the Triumph thing, so we all kind of bought into their story there and didn't really think this would happen," Williams said.

While Williams said he saw Dow's reasoning in the Triumph move, he says he has been given no logical explanation for absorption of Renze into Prairie Brand. ­

"I will say this, though, they (Dow AgroScience) own the company and if they decided to burn it down, it's theirs to burn down."

Dan Kallem, general manager at Prairie Brand Seed, told the Daily Times Herald the main reason for integration of the two companies is to strengthen the brand name of Prairie Brand Seeds.

"Renze has very strong and proud brand in seed corn, and Prairie Brand has a very strong and proud reputation in the soybean industry," Kallem said. "By coupling the two together we feel like it makes us an overall stronger brand."

Kallem said that with integration of the companies, Prairie Brand Seeds will continue to reach out and work with current Renze customers.

While Prairie Brand will continue to try to keep Reneze's customer base, Williams said, he has heard from numerous customers who are not pleased about the recent move.

"My phone has been running off the hook for a week now with people who are not very happy about this move," Williams said.

Along with loss of jobs in Templeton that have come with integration, the main street of the town will be losing a business front, which housed Renze.

"It's disheartening to see businesses close. They obviously have their own reasons for doing it, but we've always been happy to have them in town because it fills up our Main Street," Templeton mayor Ken Berhens said.

"It will be a void on our Main Street for some time."