OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE FROM JR SIMPLOT: The J. R. Simplot Company announces the acquisition of Scootney Springs Seed, a production and seed-cleaning facility near Othello, Wash. This facility includes a warehousing location and seed cleaning operations, and will be part of Jacklin Seed, a subsidiary of Simplot.
Over the next three years, this purchase will result in closing the existing Jacklin Seed facility in Post Falls, Idaho, enabling the production operations to be closer to Jacklin's main production areas in Washington.
"Founded in 1936, Jacklin Seed was the first company to start growing Kentucky bluegrass in the Columbia Basin over 30 years ago," said Chris Claypool, general manager of Jacklin Seed. "People said it couldn't be done there, but with the help of dedicated growers and the best staff, it became a success. The growing area for the bluegrass industry in the Pacific Northwest has shifted, and this new location near Othello will keep Jacklin Seed in the midst of the market."
Simplot bought the Jacklin Seed business in 1997, and has seen tremendous growth in the turf grass business since that time. Jacklin Seed is the industry's leading producer and wholesale marketer of cool- and warm-season grasses with distribution in more than 70 countries.
"We are committed to our turf and horticulture business, the growers, and our distributors," said Jeff Roesler, vice president of the Simplot AgriBusiness Group. "This facility represents new opportunities for us and our customers, with a real foundation for sustainability and future growth within our core competency in the grass seed and turf marketplace."
There will be a transition phase in moving the operations from one location to another, and bluegrass seed grown in Idaho and Oregon will be brought to the Othello location for cleaning. Once the Post Falls facility closes, approximately 20 to 25 positions will not be transitioned to the new facility.
"We struggled with this very difficult decision knowing the closure would have an impact on employees and their families," said Garrett Lofto, president of the Simplot AgriBusiness Group. "We will be doing what we can to ease the transition as it occurs, including providing separation packages, onsite counseling, out-placement services, and other forms of assistance.
We are committed to providing transitional support for our employees, and we hope that making this announcement so far in advance of the closure will help them to adequately plan for their futures."
Simplot remains committed to the Pacific Northwest with operations throughout the area, Lofto added. When the Post Falls site closes, Jacklin Seed has plans to open an office in the Spokane area for sales, research, and development, and other positions necessary to operate the business from that area. Only the production operations of Jacklin Seed will move to the Othello plant, joining other Simplot operations already in the Columbia basin area of central Washington.