80 Years of Dedication

*Written July 2016 for 80 Year Anniversary

Autumn 2016 marks the 80th anniversary of Jacobsen Seed, and it’s hard to put into words how honored we are to still be serving our customers as an independent, family-owned seed company. Through years of hard work and determined focus, “Our Dedication is Your Success” isn’t just our tagline, it is the root of who we are. We are dedicated to providing the best seed choices available, ensuring each farmer’s needs are met to help maximize their yields. We are dedicated to providing our expertise and hands-on service to every customer who puts their trust in us. Because we know that together our dedication is your success.


Jacobsen Hybrid Seed Company all began in 1936 with two farmers, Leonard and Henry Jacobsen (current owner, Larry Nelson’s great uncles). They saw the benefits of transitioning from open-pollinated to hybrid corn seed, and how it could help their friends and family have greater yields and improved productivity. When Leonard and Henry “opened shop” in downtown Lake View, Iowa, they had a handful of local customers, as well as a few in South Dakota and Nebraska.

After serving in WWII, Don Nelson (Leonard and Henry’s nephew, and Larry’s father) started working for Jacobsen Seed.He took over the business in 1946, becoming part owner with his cousin, Charles Maynard. Don and Charles represented the second generation of the family business, and with them came additional products and services. When they added soybeans, alfalfa, clover and other small grains in the mid-1950’s, they moved the business to its current location along Highway 71 to accommodate their growth.

Like his father Don, Larry Nelson also served his country overseas. A few years after returning home he joined the family business in 1971, as the third generation, and took over sole ownership of Jacobsen Seed in 1985 when Don and Charles wished to retire. Under his management Jacobsen Seed more than doubled their size and production.

Dave Nelson, Larry’s oldest son, grew up working for Jacobsen Seed every summer, just as Larry had. After graduating from Iowa State University in Ag Business, Larry told Dave if he wanted to come work for the family business someday he first needed to experience working for somebody else. And so he did. For 15 years he built his ag career in research and genetics, eventually becoming an operations manager of a research and breeding site for one of the largest companies in the ag industry. In 2014, Dave became the fourth generation to work for Jacobsen Seed, and plans to take over the family business when Larry wishes to retire.


Like any company that has been around as long as we have and remained successful, we know you have to stay focused on what you do best and make innovative and positive changes along the way. We’ve made a lot of changes over the years; they’ve made us who we are today and who we desire to be in the future. Through it all we promise to provide farmers with high quality hybrids that are specific to their fields; and ensuring they have the service and support that they deserve.

Lastly, without all of you–our employees and customers–we know we wouldn’t be where we are today, and for that we thank you.