Dan Hogstad, CEO of NorthStar Genetics, looks at the past of NorthStar and the future of trait licensing.
Seed World: What are you currently reading?
Dan Hogstad: Currently reading the O’Reilly series. Looking at things differently helps with perspectives.
SW: What did you want to grow up and be when you were little?
DH: I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player…until I realized just how good those guys are.
SW: Favorite hobby?
DH: I like to golf, and I may succeed someday!
SW: Why did NorthStar Genetics decide to focus on soybeans first?
DH: NorthStar received our soybean license in 1996. We were able to find early genetics, which allowed us to move north, where there was less competition. Wheat acres switched to beans, and the RR technology made weed control easier.
SW: What makes NorthStar Genetics unique?
DH: Our uniqueness revolves around our many investor-owned seed plants, where new genetics are grown by our own folks, and the growth of those genetics is tested at these locations prior to broad release. We also have a very stable and experienced staff of professionals in both the US and Canada who do a great job of managing our growth.
SW: Where do you see NorthStar heading in the future?
DH: Most of our investors were already in the seed business, conditioning wheat and soybeans for their neighbors. The transition into buying new seed every year was initially painful until the benefits of the technology became apparent. The northward expansion continues to this day. We are a leader in Western Canada in soybean sales, and plan to maintain that going forward.
SW: Anything concern you about the seed industry?
DH: My concerns are securing access to traits. The consolidations taking place have yet to play out regarding future trait licensing. We are hopeful that traits will be broadly licensed.