George Jacques, pioneer of hybrid seed corn and founder of the Jacques Seed Co., as we have come to know it, has passed on a legacy of unsurpassed leadership within the seed corn industry. The rest of the industry has followed his lead in the development of superior seed corn varieties, for which the American farmer has bene ted beyond the most optimistic expectations.
But his in uence went far beyond that of the corn eld. Though he had a big presence in his local community. For me, personally, none was bigger than his contribution to the Knightro Report. Had it not been for George there would never have been such a nationally syndicated livestock marketing column. It was his generosity and interest in livestock marketing that led to the creation of the report. He not only sponsored the report, but was the rst to incorporate the Knightro livestock marketing plan to market his own feedlot cattle.
He not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk. He was a progressive farmer in his own right, which included feeding steers. It was in this vein that I got acquainted with him, as he was deeply interested in how his corn preformed in the feedlot, as well as how to get a premium price for premium production.
He asked for nothing back in return other than an advertising spot in the report and an opportunity to bene t from value-added marketing. As a result, he was as successful at feeding cattle as he was in developing superior seed corn varieties.
The Five Star Publishing Company picked up on this, and the rest is history. Today the Knightro Report is read from border to border across the entire United States, courtesy the Midwest Farm and Livestock Directory, the Southern Farm and Livestock Directory, the Eastern Farm and Livestock Directory and the Contractors Equipment Directory.
These are the most visible publications in the entire ag industry, as they are beautifully illustrated by the nations foremost artists. The artwork on the cover of these magazines adorns the walls of the nations nest studios, of ces, and dens of farm homes and businesses alike. Some have been framed and featured as the centerpiece of a collage of paintings. They capture the spirit with a sense of beauty that portrays farming as many of us remember.
So it is an honor to be featured in a publication of such distinction and integrity of information. My readership communications have been as much about the magazine itself as it is about the Knightro Report.
Who would have envisioned some twenty some years ago that a relationship that started with one man—George Jacques—would evolve into a national relationship with a magazine that has captured the imagination of agriculture like none other.
Like the man himself, George’s claim to success was more about relationships than it was about the corn that competed for the demand of farmers in every section of the country. He was a people person rst—reaching out to his every client on a rst name basis. They reciprocated with sales and support that was the envy of every other major seed corn company. He was so successful that he outgrew his own business and was later bought out by bigger, nancially stronger companies, proving once again the power and value of positive relationships.
I’ll be forever grateful for our relationship and the contribution he made to the success of Knightro. Mine is but just one of many such relationships with George. He touched the lives of most everyone he met in some special way. The list of people he helped along the way is endless.
His word was his bond, and when he spoke, people listened. For many it meant their livelihood, for others it was simply a friendship, but whatever the association, it was lasting and meaningful. It was as though he was revered by everyone that knew him.
To this day and perhaps for as long as we can foresee, there is a fraternal group of ex-employees that still meet on a regular basis to remember their time together with George Jacques. Now in his passing, I’m certain that this tradition will continue in honor of his memory.
He made his mark on the industry, community — and all for which he befriended along the way. To have known him is to have bettered your lot in life.
I will be forever beholding to the man that opened the Knightro doors of opportunity for which the Knightro Report changed the course of livestock marketing forever. Thank you George.
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