Company History


  • Michigan Certified Seeds is started in Fairgrove, Michigan by Fritz Mantey. He harvested 140 bushels of open-pollinated seed corn from 7 acres and dried on the coal stove in Mantey’s home, and sold it to his neighbors.


  • Mantey’s Pedigreed Seed Producers formed as a partnership. Principals are Fritz, Carl, and Ed Mantey.


  • Great Lakes Hybrids incorporated. The corporation is formed from Mantey’s, Moore Seed Farm and six other seed producers, with Great Lakes Hybrids acting as a sales agent for all.

Early 1980s

  • Great Lakes Hybrids is the 176th-ranked seed company in the U.S.
  • GLH has three research testing locations.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids expands out of Michigan and into Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids begins replicated research testing.
  • New conditioning facility is built in Ovid, Michigan.


  • GLH is now ranked 60th in the U.S. by sales volume.
  • Sweet corn are harvesters first used by Great Lakes Hybrids to harvest seed fields. This provides gentle seed handling, minimizing the mechanical damage to the seed coat.


  • Signature® seed quality assurance program begins.
  • Partnership is formed with KWS AG of Einbeck, Germany. KWS brings more than 135 years of experience in the seed industry, including corn breeding research begun in 1955. KWS is also the world leader in sugar beet production.


  • First GLH proprietary hybrid introduced.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids is ranked 16th in the U.S. in corn sales volume.
  • Research testing is conducted at 24 locations.
  • Drying facility built in Howe, Indiana.

Early 1990s

  • 100,000-sq.ft. warehouse and seed lab built in Ovid.
  • Drying facility in Fairgrove expanded.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids opens research stations in Champaign, Illinois and Kenyon, Minnesota.
  • Champaign pilot production facility opens.
  • Research station opens in Ames, Iowa.


  • The first Great Lakes Hybrids corn borer tolerant (Bt) hybrids are being tested at the three Midwestern research stations.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids ranks 12th in the U.S. in corn sales, selling in 12 of the top 13 corn producing states.
  • Five shareholders currently grow over 90% of Great Lakes Hybrids seed on over 8,700 acres, producing nearly 350,000 bushels of seed corn.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids research releases 21 new corn hybrids, including 14 specialty hybrids (Yieldgard® Bt, High-Oil, IMI-Corn, LibertyLink and waxy). * Great Lakes Hybrids is one of the first six companies in the U.S. to market proprietary corn hybrids using the Monsanto Yieldgard® Corn Borer technology.


  • Great Lakes Hybrids begins the Travel PLUS Trust program for its dealers. This highly rewarding program is one of many reasons why Great Lakes Hybrids is Trusted in the Field.
  • Great lakes introduces our first stacked hybrid with YGCB and Roundup Ready traits.
  • Great Lakes Hybrids introduces the industry’s first on-line, product placement guide to assist growers in finding the best product fit for their local conditions and farming practices.


  • KWS and LIMAGRAIN to merge corn and soybean activities in North America. The new joint venture (AgReliant Genetics LLC) will be the 7th largest seed company in North America (based on corn sales volume) and have one of the largest corn breeding programs in the industry.


  • Doubled-haploid breeding becomes the new industry-leading program for hybrid development from AgReliant Genetics.
  • AgReliant Genetics moves to #4 in total corn sales (US) with nearly 1.2 Million units sold in 2003-04


  • Generations Ahead is the new marketing theme for Great Lakes Hybrids, focusing both on our generations of family ownership, seed production, quality products and championship performance along with the bright future with doubled-haploid breeding, our fast-track system for producing traited versions of hybrids at an outstanding pace and future product introductions that are currently in the research pipeline.
  • Great Lakes launches the G3 series of hybrids with the protection of YieldGard Corn Borer, YieldGard Rootworm, Roundup Ready Corn 2 along with Poncho 250, Trilex FL and our proprietary championship genetics.
  • New redesign of is launched, featuring our new marketing position, images and blogs for agronomy, travel and other content.
  • Great Lakes has had an excellent start to the sales year, reaching our best position ever after the end of our early order program. Hybrid performance has been outstanding and our sales teams are reaching more acres every day.


  • In 5,600 comparisons, our new hybrid introductions outyielded competitive brands with similar traits (single trait vs single trait, stacks vs stacks, conventional vs conventional), by 8.13 bushels per acre.
  • Our G3 hybrid releases outyielded competitive triple-stacks by 12.99 bushels per acre.


  • Doug Little takes the reigns as General Manager, leading GLH. Greg Manjak becomes Marketing Manager. Great Lakes continues market share growth and supplying farmers with outstanding, top-performing genetics.


  • AgReliant Genetics LLC takes over the #3 position in US seed corn sales.