History

Lorenz's OK Seeds opened for business in April 1969 in the driveway of the Dusbabek Building just North of where there office would be located for the next 38 years. The mainstay of the business was and still is the harvesting, cleaning and processing of all types of grass seed. Founder of the business, Verne Lorenz was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1924 and moved to the Okeene area with his parents and 2 brothers in 1929. He graduated from Okeene High School, served for 3 ½ years in the US Coastguard and attended Oklahoma A&M College. Soon after opening Lorenz's OK Seeds the Mehew Building was purchased for cleaning and storage of seed and in 1970 built a 40 x 120 foot roundtop building on 1 ½ acres of land a ½ mile South of Okeene. This new building (still in use today) provided additional room cleaning and storage. In 1971 the Lorenz's purchased the former Naylor Building for office and retail space and in 1973 they purchased the North part of the Dusbabek Building to further expand their storage area. From the beginning Lorenz's OK Seeds has been a family business. Verne's wife Mary was the bookkeeper and clerk for many years while their son Freddie has been with the business since it's beginnings in 1969. He began as assistant manager overseeing the seed cleaning process and today is widely known, respected and recognized for depth of knowledge throughout the seed business. Freddie is an active member of the Oklahoma Seed Trade Association and held the position of President for some years running. Verne and Mary's sons Greg, Gary and Mark and their daughter Linda have also worked in the business over the years. Greg and Mark both worked for the on a part time basis business since it began until they eventually went their own separate way. Mark became a mud engineer and today lives in Oklahoma City. He is still heavily involved in the oil industry. Greg, who initially managed the Feed Store section of the business became a truck driver and moved to Colorado where he continues to drive. Gary became a full time employee in 1969 as a clerk and also helped in all phases of the seed cleaning operation eventually becoming the manager of the Feed Store until it was phased out in 2006. He still has an office at the new premises and can be found there come rain, hail or shine. Linda has also worked for the family on and off throughout the years despite perusing a career in nursing and being a mother. Linda has been a bookkeeper, picked and packed wildflower seeds and cleaned seed. Since being established Lorenz's OK Seeds has grown in leaps and bounds. Today they have a customer base, both retail and wholesale, that spans much of the USA. They have also been involved in shipping seed to Brazil, Japan, China, the West Indies, and Italy. However, the mainstay of the business continues to be selling seed across the USA. Over the years the Lorenz's have continued to produce the highest quality seed possible. This has often meant investing in new equipment and buying or constructing additional buildings for cleaning and storage. In addition to planting, harvesting and cleaning seed Lorenz's OK Seeds also produce native grass seed mixes for the CRP program, Highway contractors amongst others. To this end they have a separate building with specialized equipment for mixing seed quickly and effectively. In January, 2007 Lorenz's OK Seed moved from there original headquarters at the main intersection in Okeene to new premises located a ½ to the West. The moved was necessary because they had simply outgrown their original office space. Since the move the business has also become a limited liability corporation and the name has undergone a minor change with the letters LLC added to the end. Unfortunately, Verne was not able to see the move to the new premises as he sadly passed away in December 2005. However, the family traditions set in place by Verne are being continued by Freddie. Travis and Todd, Freddie's sons, work the farming side of the business including planting and harvesting grass seed and the maintenance of all the equipment. In fact, if you pay us a visit the chances are you'll run into a member of the family somewhere in the buildings.

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