Almost forty years ago Rob Johnston had a vision. He identified an opportunity for a new kind of seed company; one that would find the most adaptable varieties with the best flavor and sell them to gardeners and growers. By remaining true to Rob’s original vision, the Company has grown to include more than 130 full-time employees and a loyal following of thousands of customers worldwide. The mission of Johnny’s Selected Seeds—to help families, friends, and communities feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, and information—is lived by the employees every day. In 2006, a plan was put in place for the company to become an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) with the intention of the ESOP Trust owning 100% of the shares by 2016. In June of 2012, the Employee Stock Ownership Plan Trust’s was able to acquire 100% of Johnny’s Selected Seeds from founder, Rob Johnston, ahead of schedule.
At a recent Company event held at Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ Research Farm
in Albion, employees, the Board of Directors, and long-time friends recognized
Rob for his foresight. Rob and his wife, Janika Eckert, were honored for their
dedication and tireless work in accomplishing the goal of employee ownership. Mary
Gomane, an employee and ESOP Trustee, stated “This is a wonderful retirement benefit,
and I am so grateful to Rob and Janika for making this decision”. With
employees being represented by the Trust, the Company is poised to continue its
mission and expand well into the future.