The agricultural industry has a unique history. The foundation of our collective work was laid by our forefathers. We are a grateful industry that stands on the shoulders of previous generations. So it is with 1st Choice Seeds®. Our company began a generation ago as DS Brand Seeds in 1986. It was founded by Don Denzler who had worked in the industry selling fertilizer and seed for 27 years. He personally delivered his high quality seeds with a no frills approach. Don was a true entrepreneur. He always put customers first. He worked long hours and enjoyed the satisfaction of making a difference as a small businessman in the Ag community.
Mark Denzler joined his father in the family business in the fall of 1994. He had managed a furniture plant in Carson, California and had held various management roles for a subsidiary of office furniture giant Steelcase in North Carolina. Mark brought his diverse management experience to the DS Brand learning the seed industry from his father.
1996 was a year of transition. Don retired early in the year. Mark and his wife Joyce incorporated the company as Denzler Seeds, Inc. In 1997, a seed processing facility was purchased in Acton, Indiana. Steady growth and facility improvements continued over the next decade.
In 2009 Denzler Seeds, Inc. purchased Bird Hybrids of Tiffin, OH. Leon Bird, the founder of Bird Hybrids, sold hybrid seed corn in the Eastern Corn Belt. The acquisition of Bird Hybrids brought more resources to the company as sales expanded into Ohio. In 2009, the combined companies were rebranded as 1st Choice Seeds®.
Rapid growth has provided new opportunities for the company. In 2012 the company outgrew the Acton location and company headquarters relocated to Rushville, Indiana. To support growth, processing capacity and staff continue to increase. Today, 1st Choice Seeds® operates in 8 states selling the latest in hybrid seed corn genetics and traits; the newest herbicide tolerant soybeans and private label seed wheat varieties.