Johnston Seed Company was started when founder Willis B. Johnston went to Kansas City and brought back a rail car filled with seed and supplies for Cherokee Strip pioneers. “He loaned seed to those settlers so they would have something to plant to help them get established,” explains Joey Meibergen, company president and the fifth generation of his family to run the business. “When they harvested the crop, they would pay back twice the amount of seed they borrowed, and that’s how it all got started.”
With special festivities on March 9, the company is celebrating 125 years of providing farmers, gardeners, landscapers and conservationists with quality seed, service, knowledge and expertise. World recognized Bermuda grass, native plants, wildflower mixes and many other products are sold in the Enid retail store, on-line and through a network of 300 dealers and distributors across Oklahoma and beyond.
“We’re known as the place where you come to get the good stuff,” Joey says. “A lot of stores take the cheapest thing they can find and put it in a bag with a fancy name on it. That’s not how we do things. All of our products have been trialed and tested in Oklahoma and are often top performers across the U.S. We only sell what we know will perform here.”
The importance of grit, integrity and a pioneering spirit are things Joey learned growing up in Enid. “This is a place where the values of the heartland still exist,” he says. “We’re not wrapped up in material things. It’s about having family meals together and saying a prayer before you eat.”