Ernst Conservation Seeds in Meadville celebrated it's 50th anniversary with an open house for the community. We've often driven by their fields and have even participated in a race that started and ended at their parking lot. Until we visited for their open house, though, I had no idea how extensive their operation was.
They produce seeds for native species for all of the Northwest area and are one of the country's largest producers of native seeds. They've also been very active in growing sawgrass and producing sawgrass pellets. These pellets are used to absorb water by oil and gas drilling sites. The pictures below are inside the pellet processing area.
We took a bus tour of the Ernst fields. Corn and soybeans are used as rotation crop. Since both are 'Round-Up Ready', they can clear a field of weeds so that Ernst's other crops can be planted in a weed-free field.
Looking out our bus window - oats! Ernst grows a few grains, including oats, as well as tons of grasses and flowers.
Seeds are dried in the trucks (below) or in the round buildings seen behind the red truck.
After being dried, the seeds are sorted and cleaned. That process is amazing and actually quite involved.
Finally, the seeds are packed and ready to go. They keep a large supply of each type of seed on hand at all times.
Thank you Ernst Conservation Seeds for opening your doors to us!