Recent News

More Support, More Places: Meet Our Regional Sales Managers

When Albert Lea Seed acquired Blue River Organic Seed, we were excited to share the news about everything our integrated new brand could offer farmers across the nation. The what, the why, the how — thanks for all the great Q&A and conversations this summer!

Now it’s time to take a moment and introduce you to who you can turn to for specific answers to all kinds of questions as you head into the 2022 harvest and 2023 planting seasons. Our regional sales managers are here to help you learn more about hybrid options, seed genetics, cover crops, agronomic insights and our local dealer network.



800.370.7979 |

Herb’s family farm in northeast Nebraska has been certified organic since 1994, and he brings a depth of knowledge to all things organic — planning, planting, best practices and making the most of new market opportunities. He’s a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and his three boys are active in 4-H. One son competes as a Reining rider.

“With our two companies becoming one,” Herb notes about the expanded portfolio of Viking and Blue River Organic Seed, “we have more to offer and can respond even quicker to specific requests. We’re better able to control costs and help growers keep a rotation of living plants on the soil to maintain biology and reduce erosion.”



833.813.0910 |

From his family farm near Ida Grove, Iowa, Scott works closely with farmers in the Hawkeye State along with Illinois and Indiana. Along with row crops, his family raises beef cattle and sheep. He and his young family enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from fishing and hunting to golf. He graduated from Iowa State University.

“Overall, organic farmers have been seeing good prices for their crops,” Scott says. “We want to be able to provide a good, stable supply of seed and have as many options as possible for corn and beans, small grains and cover crops. Weed management, soil health and diversified rotations are all topics we actively address with growers.”



833.813.0909 |

Joe Fries has been in the seed business for 52 years. “One of the most important things we do,” Joe states, “is getting good information out to farmers to help them avoid difficulties. Maybe it’s a rotational strategy for better nitrogen fixing. Or an issue related to a specific soil type. In this business, you never stop learning.”

This Iowa State graduate lives near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and if he’s not involved in one of his many church activities, you might find him hard at work in his gardens and tending to his vegetables and flowers. He played basketball until he was 70 and now focuses on volleyball.



833.813.0906 |

Carl grew up going to the Albert Lea Seed House with his father and uncle, and because they farmed both conventionally and organically, he got a good early look at a wide range of ag systems. He graduated from Bethany College in Mankato, Minnesota, and in his free time today, Carl enjoys sports, gardening and cooking with his wife and three children.

With Viking and Blue River Organic Seed becoming one, Carl concludes, “Today, our pipeline of support is even larger. Production, storage and deliveries are even more efficient. Our customers can order the same way they always have, and we’ll keep building on the best products in each lineup for the best possible selection.”



833.813.0907 |

From his farm on the sandy coastal plain of Maryland, Matt travels extensively and works with growers from New England to the Gulf Coast. “Farmers are always trying to do better,” Matt observes. “The goal for everyone is improve their operations incrementally, and we’re right there with them, from the diversity of hybrids we offer for different growing regions and conditions to our continued efforts on price stability.”

A graduate of the University of Vermont, Matt helped transition his family farm in New England to organic a decade ago. He grows specialty wheat on his farm today in an integrated grain and livestock operation that supports chicken production. When he’s not farming or traveling, he relaxes with family and friends on his boat in Chesapeake Bay.

Albert Lea Seed House Announces Acquisition of Blue River Organic Seed 

Albert Lea Seed House, owner of Viking Corn & Soybeans and one of the largest suppliers of organic field seed in the U.S., today announced it has acquired Blue River Organic Seed, the nation’s longest-established organic seed corn brand from the Farmers Business Network (FBN).   

Founded in 2005 and based in Ames, Iowa, Blue River’s product line includes organic corn, silage, soybean, alfalfa, forages and sorghum. Albert Lea Seed is headquartered in Albert Lea, Minnesota. In addition to organic seeds, its product line also includes small grains, cover crops, wildflowers and native grasses.

“We firmly believe that integrating the Viking & Blue River Organic seed brands will be a real benefit to organic farmers,” said Albert Lea Seed President Mac Ehrhardt.  “The combined company will provide the best selection of organic-specific genetics, delivered by a farmer-focused team that specializes in organic agriculture and from a family-owned company that is committed to the long-term growth and success of organic agriculture.”

Highlights of the Acquisition:

  • Elevates Albert Lea Seed as the largest organic field seed supplier, producer, and commercialization expert in the U.S.
  • Brings experienced industry leaders to the Albert Lea Seed team and will expand the organization’s relationships in the organic farming market.
  • Adds Blue River’s 40,000-square-foot, climate-controlled seed warehouse and office for support and distribution of the combined Viking/Blue River Organic Seed brand.

The combined Viking/Blue River Organic seed brand will operate out of Albert Lea, Minnesota and Ames, Iowa.

“We have long admired the success of Albert Lea Seed. We are proud to join forces with them to accelerate our successes and seize the opportunity to further evolve the organic farming industry,” said Maury Johnson, co-founder of Blue River Organic Seed. “We cherish our Midwest roots, and we remain committed to ensuring that farmers all across the country will benefit from the responsible production, sale and use of our organic products.”

Albert Lea Seed currently serves more than 6,000 customers. The addition of Blue River will double the size of its organic corn and soybean seed business and will enable it to serve customers and dealers across the U.S. more efficiently.




Established in 1923, Albert Lea Seed is an independent, family-owned company that provides conventional non-GMO and organic seed products to farmers across the country under its Viking product line. It also offers cover crops, small grains and forage. Its mission is to partner with dealers and customers to provide the highest quality organic seed genetics available. For more information, visit


In 2005, Blue River Organic Seed was established by a few individuals with a common vision. They wanted to give organic farmers an opportunity to stay true to their organic farming practices and principles without having to sacrifice performance. Blue River’s singular mission is to provide high quality seed and exceptional genetics specifically for organic farming environments across the nation. To learn more, visit


Farmers Business Network® (FBN®) is an independent ag tech platform and farmer-to-farmer network with a mission to power the prosperity of family farmers around the world while working towards a sustainable future. Its Farmers First® promise has attracted over 43,000 members to the network with a common goal of helping farmers maximize their farm’s profit potential with data and technology enabled direct-to farmer commerce, community and sustainability offerings. FBN has set out to redefine value and convenience for farmers by helping reduce the cost of production and maximize the value of their crops. The FBN® network has grown to cover more than 98 million acres of member farms in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Blending the best of Midwestern agricultural roots and Silicon Valley technology, the company has over 900 personnel and principal offices in San Carlos, California; Chicago, Illinois; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; a Canadian Headquarters in High River, Alberta; and an Australian Headquarters in Perth—with significant warehouse and logistics, remote and field employees across the U.S., Canada and Australia.

The Organic Grower


Blue River Organic Seed has always made supplying organic seed its primary focus, as it is the core of our business. Even included in our name is a reflection and promise of this. However, supplying organic seed is only half of the equation. Our products must also bring value to our customers. Value can be in the form of extra yield potential or a special characteristic that meets a specific need. An example of this is found in one of our flagship products, PuraMaize. As GMO testing of grain becomes more routine due to customer demand, PuraMaize will show its true value to you, our customers. The time is near, and we are ready with new product releases for 2019 and beyond.

The Organic Grower


Blue River is excited to kick off a new season. We are happy to announce the return of customer discounts that offer great savings potential, especially in the month of September.  In addition to our returning products, we have added several new corn, soybean, alfalfa and sorghum varieties to complete our 2016-2017 lineup. We are excited about our new products which have undergone extensive testing and were chosen for their outstanding performance in organic farming systems, with emphasis on strong yield potential. We will have good availability in all maturities, including late season corn.

The Organic Sower


Organic farmers have significantly increased their use of sorghum sudangrass products in recent years.  This growth has been the result of several factors. - BMR sorghum sudangrass products have better digestibility and agronomics than older products - Seed costs per acre are often less than corn seed raised for silage  - BMR sorghum sudangrass products are often more drought tolerant - Because of later planting and rapid growth - BMR sorghum sudangrass products offer the grower more options and flexibility

In normal growing situations, the brown color of the mid-rib, often more pronounced when the plants are younger, allows the grower to identify the BMR products. The brown mid-rib is correlated with a reduced level of lignin in the stalks and plants.

Cattle, eMerge, PuraMaize, Sudangrass