Sokota Hybrid Producers

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Sokota Hybrid Producers

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Sokota Hybrid Producers, Inc. made available to farmers in South Dakota and the surrounding states hybrid seed corn. / Sokota began in 1924, when Clifford Franzke, a South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station agronomist, started inbreeding local varieties of corn in an effort to produce a hybrid which could withstand the Dakota weather. In 1942, a new hybrid seed was released to farmers by the experiment station. Fred Baldridge, a retired farmer, began to standardize grading of the hybrid seed. / In 1944, Sokota Hybrid Producers incorporated as a cooperative and 24 farmers purchased certificates of equity to get the organization going with E.G. Sanderson as president. / W.L. Davis, who was a vocational agricultural instructor at Brookings high school, became manager in 1945 and the cooperative was able to erect its own plant in south Brookings. Davis served as the manager of Sokota for nearly 35 years. / Sokota continued to grow and prosper through the years, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Sokota, had a breeding program nearly three times bigger than any program South Dakota State University had undertaken. / Sokota Hybrid Producers, Inc. was sold in 1985 to North American Plant Breeders.


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