Stokes Seeds is the complementary amalgamation of two organizations each having operated for over 100 years in the vegetable seed industry. Stokes Seeds, with its recent acquisition of Siegers Seed Co., has expanded locations to serve commercial growers from five U.S. locations in Buffalo, NY; Vineland, NJ; Holland, MI; Moultrie, GA and LaBelle, FL.
"We're pleased to make the acquisition, expand our U.S. market coverage to include the Southeast, and combine the best attributes of each business to place Stokes Seeds in an excellent positon to continue our growth and better serve growers in the regions we serve", states Wayne Gale, President of Stokes Seeds.
Stokes Seeds' roots go back to 1878 with Herbert W. Johnson, who operated the Johnson Seed Co., in Moorestown, NJ. In 1881, Walter P. Stokes joined Johnson as a partner in the newly formed Johnson and Stokes Company supplying vegetable seeds to commercial growers in the New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania regions. Johnson and Stokes parted ways in 1906 and Walter Stokes started Stokes Seed Farms, located at Windermoor Farm, near Moorestown.
In 1916, the firm was taken over by Walter's son, Francis C. Stokes, a Rutgers Horticultural alumnus, with a national reputation as a dynamic young seedsman responsible for developing some of the famous New Jersey tomatoes of the early 1900's (Stokesdale, Stockdale #4, and improved selections of BonnyBest and Geneva John Baer). Francis was responsible for many "firsts" in the seed industry of the time. He was the first seedsman to offer seeds in a tin can, first to protect seeds with a fungicide, first to publish a color litho seed catalog and first to import a catalog Broccoli (from Italy) for his commercial customers.
During the Depression, the Stokes Seed Company of Moorestown, NJ fell on hard times. Mr. Stokes put the Canadian company up for sale in 1934, and it was bought by Mr. Harry Gale, the Canadian salesman.
In the 1950's Harry Gales's son, John, joined Stokes as a commercial salesman and worked closely with his father and employees to focus the company's development of elite O/P strains and new disease tolerant hybrid vegetables. Following Mr. Stokes death in 1965, Stokes Seeds returned to the U.S. and located in Buffalo, NY.
Harry Gale passed away in 1975 and the company was run by his two sons. In 1980, John Gale, purchased the entire company and would remain active within the company authoring the Stokes catalog for fifty years and as Board Chair until his death in April 2017. John's son, Wayne Gale, joined his father and the company in 1983 and has served as President of Stokes Seeds since August, 1995.
Siegers Seed Company was founded in 1912 in Chicago, IL by Nanne Sluis, a Dutch immigrant and the great-grandfather of past owner and President, Rick Siegers. For over a hundred years, they achieved success specializing in fresh market vegetable varieties to meet specific market demand having served commercial growers in the Midwest, Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States and Canada.