The Values That Built Our Company

Legacy is a great word. It recalls what has been handed down to us from the past. It is more than historical facts; it is the essence of our history. The legacy passed on to me by my father was a perspective of always thinking in terms of what is best for the farms we serve. Great businesses put customers’ interests ahead of their own. This is how we began. In this current age of endless media advertising and cheesy marketing, it sounds so cliché to talk about putting customers first. But at 1st Choice Seeds, it is truly how we think and what we do.

In 1994, I made notes in my Franklin Daytimer as I thought through the kind of company I wanted to lead and be a part of. That was also the year we wanted to access genetics directly from Holden’s Foundation Seeds. Dad had an indirect relationship with them and Holden’s did not jump at the chance to work with us right away. They required us to write a business plan that they would then review before approving us as a direct client. The notes I made in my daytimer that fall about the Values and Principles I wanted our company to be known for became part of the business plan we submitted.


  • The farmer comes first at Denzler Seeds. Satisfying customer requirements is the driving force.
  • Integrity is inherent in all activities.
  • Relations with farmers, foundation seed sources and growers are conducted in a spirit of partnership that recognizes the need for mutual benefit.
  • The owners of Denzler Seeds, Inc. actively support the communities in which we live and work.
  • The company is known for doing what is says it will do. The company keeps the commitments it makes.

Principles of Performance

  • Decisions made closest to the farm are the best decisions.
  • Be the early adapter of new technologies and products for our farmers.
  • The exchange of knowledge with foundation seed sources and growers is essential to the success of the business.
  • Performance is evaluated by measuring progress towards established goals.
  • Continual improvement is a way of life.

We have prospered with a company culture that lives on these values and principles. These are passed on to new team members and instilled in current team members. Mark DenzlerWe hold each other accountable to make sure we do business this way. When we fall short we get back on track. We challenge our customers, our suppliers and business partners to hold us to these standards. I thought then, and still do, that our company culture and the way we conduct ourselves in the marketplace is more important than the products we sell. Life lessons taught by my father, written down 20 years ago are our living legacy.

–Mark Denzler, President