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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Gray Matters: All good things

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

According to a familiar saying, one with which we would often like to disagree, "All good things must come to an end." We are experiencing such a situation here in western Cherokee County right now.

Things are changing at Sand Seed Service, a long-standing institution in our business community. Oh don't misunderstand, this many-faceted company will continue to be one of our major industries.

What is "coming to an end" is having a member of the Sand family as manager of the organization, for it has recently been announced that Stan Remington from Palco, Kansas, has been hired to take over their active general management.

Frank Sand, son of Luxembourg immigrants, came to the area in 1881. John, his eldest, was the founder of the company. He raised his first commercial seed corn in 1936, while working for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture as a federal corn loan inspector.

He was also one of the men responsible for bringing soybean seed into the county. John had opened a small seed store on Main Street in 1934, from which today's company grew.

In 1946, with sons, Merle, Bob, Ray, Paul and son-in-law Bill Horstmann, the seed service was established at its present site. Although the seed business has been the backbone of the organization, it has expanded over the years to include many other agricultural services.

Following John's death in 1956, his son Merle became manager. He presided over their vast expansion and development for thirty years. When he elected to step down in 1983, his son Chuck took over as general manager, and his daughter, Kathy Sand Ogren, became comptroller. Their brothers, Ed and John, along with several long term employees have assisted in the business operations and management over the years.

The company's progress was not without set-backs. Devastation hit on April6, 1984, when fire destroyed their newly-remodeled seed-conditioning tower, the office, bulk storage bins, and part of the bag-storage warehouse. In keeping with the indomitable spirit that characterized it, the company decided to rebuild. With the help of the entire community, area fellow seed dealers and countless hours of extra effort by their dedicated employees, they were back in full swing within ten months' time.

There have been many changes, both in construction and operation, since that time. Through it all, members of the Sand Family have remained as leaders.

Now, though they will continue to be actively involved, none is actually the manager. We are certain that, set on its firm foundation, Sand Seed Service will continue to serve the agriculture needs of an ever-widening area.

Still, the fact that, after three generations, a member of the family is no longer the manager will take a bit of getting used to for many of us. Proof once again, I suppose, that all good things do, indeed, finally come to an end.