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Centralia Agri-business firm changes hands

Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 6:18 am

A small business with big reach has changed hands.

22 Ag has taken over the former Moreland Seed and Soil, on Hwy. 22  on Centralia’s west side.

Heidi and Lane Martin of Thompson closed the deal November 10.

22 Ag specializes in supplying seed and Ag chemicals for row crop needs, Heidi said.

The business is also the Pioneer Seed representative for the Centralia, Columbia and Jefferson City areas.

Lane and Heidi Martin, owner-operators of 22 Ag.

A Pioneer news release put it this way: “They have teamed up together to offer local farmers a full-service Pioneer seed sales agency that includes seed placement, seed treatment, and seed delivery. They also plan on offering other agronomic support including, crop protection and soil sampling. 22 Ag, LLC is equipped to help you maximize your bottom line.’

Taking on the business was an unexpected opportunity Heidi and Lane said.

“Definitely an opportunity, this was not a plan at all,” Lane said of the couple’s business venture. “It’s good, it’s just a direction we did not think would be an option.”

“It was a great local opportunity,” Heidi said. “I thought I might be moving on to a larger territory as a state-wide rep, not necessarily something with a local focus.”

Both grew up on farms, Heidi on a cattle farm between Madison and Paris. Lane on a multi-generation cattle and row crop operation in Thompson.

“I enjoy the flexibility of having your own business and the one-on-one with the farmers,” Heidi said. “That’s pretty much it for me too,” Lane said. “Coming from the industry with a long family background and farming around here. This is just the next step up.”

They both said they enjoy the variety of the business, the market.

“I like how it changes day-to-day,” Heidi said. “It is not just the same thing every day.”

Though most their seed-stock is row-crop oriented, Heidi said they also sell bulk alfalfa, sunflower. Their main lines include corn, soybeans, wheat and milo.

When asked what misunderstanding people might have regarding their business, she said, though they look like a husband and wife team, which they are, they are supported by a large corporation and its cadre of experts.

“We have a much larger company supporting us. We are our own LLC, but we have Pioneer’s entire team of coordinators, agronomists and the same on the Ag. chemical side.

22 Ag is open at least 5 days a week, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but often they reflect their clients’ hours. “Sometimes we are out in the field,” Heidi said. “Especially during harvest, it’s best to call.” Their office number is (573) 721-6273

“That is one of the nice things about the farming community,” Lane said. “Most of the farmers, they want the seed they want for Saturday and Sunday, Friday night, because they don’t want to come into town more than they have to.”

“Our farmers are awesome,” Heidi said. “They understand that planning ahead helps both sides.”

While Heidi and Land are quick to tout the technical support resources upon which they can call, they bring a lot to the table on their own.

Heidi received her bachelor’s degree in Plant Science-Crop Management at the University of Missouri in 2013. In 2015, she completed her master of science degree in weed science. She began her career in Ag retail then moved on to crop consulting for four years. Heidi is a certified crop advisor, with certifications in 4R nutrient management, resistance management and sustainability. In September 2020, she accepted a sales associate position with Taylor Moreland at Moreland Seed and Soil where she began her career with Pioneer. Over the past two years she has enjoyed agronomic consulting and chemical advising, all while serving Pioneer customers.

Lane, who is the maintenance and logistics side of the team, grew up as a member of a full-time family farm that specialized in beef as well as row-crops. He is no stranger to starting tractors and combines before the sun rises and shutting them down after the sun sets. He also knows first-hand what it is like to sweat a weather report while waiting to get out in a field or sitting with a truck load of soybeans or corn in a long-line at the elevator.