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Advanta Seeds

Made in the Brazos Valley

Climate matters to a company like Advanta Seeds, and not just the weather. The global agriculture powerhouse found what they needed in the Brazos Valley and continues to grow here.
Advanta’s motto is “Farmer First” as they work to provide growers with high quality seeds to help sustain their operations and keep them profitable. Organized as a company in 2000, Advanta first opened its molecular, breeding and data science operations in College Station in October 2016 with five employees.
The Brazos Valley is home to Advanta’s primary breeding nursery for sorghum in the United States and northern Mexico. The company also sells some sorghum hybrids to other countries if the genetics are a fit. Molecular marker assistance for breeding, along with statistics and bioinformatics are provided for research and development facilities around the world.
In the Brazos Valley, Advanta found significant advantages for its operations. For the breeding site, the area’s climate is ideal for sorghum with high enough rainfall totals not requiring irrigation. The molecular facility’s goal is to improve sorghum’s yield, disease tolerance, pest tolerance and sustainability, and Advanta’s access to Texas A&M University has made collaborations with agriculture researchers easy. Having the breeding and molecular operations together allows Advanta to do research projects more simply since they can take notes on the lines and provide tissues samples from the fields directly to the lab.
From the five initial employees at the College Station Biotech Center, Advanta has now grown to 25 as of September 2019, with plans to add an additional three-to-four positions in the next year or so. Another significant reason the company was drawn to the Brazos Valley was its talent pool. Multiple employees have been recruited directly out of Texas A&M.
Martin Grondona, College Station site manager for Advanta Seeds, gave his impressions about doing business in the Brazos Valley:
“There is an energy here in this town, probably because of the amount of students that you see everywhere. It’s a very energetic city. You probably have more pros (here) than being in a large city: with a lot of facilities, with a lot of activities, but you don’t have all the burdens of being in a big city with the traffic. The possibilities for interacting with the students, interacting with the professors…this is very good. And the people here in College Station and Bryan have been very friendly and very helpful.”
In addition to sorghum, Advanta’s more than 1,000 total employees in 66 countries work to develop new hybrids and varieties of corn, canola, vegetables and sunflowers. Advanta was rated as a top five seed company in the world in the 2019 Access to Seeds Index and continues to increase its market share globally among medium-sized companies.
For more information on Advanta Seeds, visit their website, advantaseeds.com.
Feature from October 2019