• Volume 18 Number 2
    Spring 2009

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38.
Jim Anderson, BS ’85
 Newman, Ill.  •  Profiled: Fall ’04

Owner, corn detasseling company

Jim Anderson always thought he would, first and foremost, be a farmer on his family’s land near Newman, a rural community just south of Champaign, Ill.

If some outside business opportunities developed, he thought, well those would be secondary to the family farm operation.corn

“I always assumed I would be working locally for the biggest percentage of the time and dabble outside occasionally,” Anderson says. “But I seem to be doing just the opposite.”

He and his business partner, lifelong friend and farming neighbor James Young, started Millennium Agricultural Services in 2003.

Their company provided a seed corn male-row removal service for 10 seed corn producers stretched from his native Illinois north into Wisconsin and as far south as Texas.

Seed corn is grown with rows of a male corn that pollinate nearby rows of the female seed corn, which is a different variety, thus producing the hybrid seed. Once the pollination occurs, the male corn is unwanted and can contaminate the hybrid corn. Another method to prevent the contamination is to remove the tassels from the female corn plants, so all are pollinated by the male variety.

Anderson was spending big chunks of time on the road, short nights in motel rooms, and long days behind the wheel of a silage cutter.

In 2007, Anderson and another partner, Lary Rhodes, formed NTR, a company specializing in mechanical detasseling, seed corn harvesting, male row destruction, and detasseling methods consulting. And, he expects, his travel is about to become much more complicated.

“We currently work with seed corn plants throughout the Midwest, and we will be consulting and providing mechanical detasseling in Argentina. Plus, Chile and Brazil are probable customers in 2010. South America typically uses 100 percent hand-pull, and NTR will be assisting with the transition to use mechanical techniques and methods.”