Tri-State Seed is co-owned by 50% Dana Herron and Craig Teel and 50% by Tri-City Grain. They have been in operation since May 2005. Tri-State Seed offers primarily cereal grains: wheat, oat, barley, triticale, but also has grasses, alfalfa, pasture mixes, and sorghum Sudan. They have 8 full time employees and 3 part-time/seasonal employees. Two of their new hires are local resident, Stacy Kniveton, who came on as Sales/Marketing and Lind native, Kevin Starring, who is also with Sales/Marketing. Tri-State Seed Company’s mission is to provide the customer/grower with products of exceptional value and quality along with a level of service exceeding the customer’s expectations.
In conversation about expanding Tri-State Seed, Dana Herron stated “the company is growing now – we will likely take over Ritzville in the spring of 2019 and soon Lind. This is at the peoples request and wanting us to do more, so why not, if it makes good business sense and helps our growers.” When they originally opened, the goal was to offer more products and services to growers cost effectively. “We want and need to make farmers money – that’s the bottom line and the goal. If we don’t make them money – they won’t come back” stated Herron.
Since opening, they seem to be successful at achieving their goals as evident by the anticipated expansions. They are doing well with this years’ harvest and growers are happy. In addition to the local market, they currently ship seed to 17 other states as well. In the last month alone, they shipped to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Idaho and of course around Washington. Sales range from $10-$15 million/year, depending on the year and the demand. Tri-State is always looking for new products that will help them solve problems that the growers come across. Solving problems, working with growers and building that customer relationship is important to good business and is something that all employees strive to do well. In 2014, Tri-State Seed started selling Ag chemical to dryland farmers – the need was there so the growth and expansion was necessary to help their customers.
Over the years, Tri-State Seed has been a big supporter to our area youth that are involved in the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show, donating towards their animal projects. They are also Chamber members and strive to support other local businesses in and around the Connell area.
Dana grew up in Connell and graduated from Connell in 1969. He then went on to WSU to pursue degrees in Political Science and Ag Economics, after which he returned to Connell and married and raised his own family here. Craig Teel is originally from Davenport. He also attended WSU earning a degree in Agronomy. Both owners are looking forward to the upcoming year and what it entails for Tri-State Seed and its growers and customers.
The office is open Monday through Friday 8-5pm. During harvest they are likely to have extended hours for the guys outside and salesman. If you have further questions or would like information on any of their products or services, please call 234-2500 or stop by the office and visit them. The Connell office is located on the north hill as you’re leaving town, above Connell – across from the entrance to CRCC (prison) at 1000 N Columbia Ave. You can also visit their website tristateseed.com for additional information.