Frontiersmen will strive to respond to the progressive farmer’s demand for higher seed performance. We will deliver exceptional personalized service while earning a fair profit and conducting business with the highest ethical standards and stewardship.
Frontiersmen will provide an opportunity for its employees and associates to obtain a better way of life for themselves and their families.
Generations of success, hard work, and innovation
The history of the Funk Family in the seed business began during the great depression. Dick’s great-grandfather, Bernard Funk, was a soldier and after serving in the Army he came to Benton/Newton County, Indiana where he began his business by picking corn and draining swamps which eventually created the rich and organic soil known in the Benton County area for future generations.
Bernard began farming and purchased approximately 1,000 acres. During the depression the Funk Family struggled along with other farmers who were land rich but did not have very much money. They were trying to hold onto their farm by selling produce, meat and eggs in nearby towns. One brother and a couple sisters went to the city to work and hold the family farm together.
By the time Dick was born, the home and farm were back to being a show place and Bernard was a prosperous farmer. Bernard was a great entrepreneur and while farming he also began a seed company.
Dick Funk grew up in the seed business. He was a third generation member of the Edward J. Funk & Sons family business. After working for years in the family business with his brothers, Dick wanted to venture out on his own. He knew he was a great salesman but was worried about the other aspects of beginning a new seed business. His wife Elaina was 100% positive that he could do it and do it well. So, with her love and encouragement they began New Horizon Seeds in the fall of 1979.
Dick and Elaina had four young sons at home ranging in age from infancy to 8 years old. Dick was challenged to complete the “Corn Guy” image, learning different hybrids and traits. Soon he became not only a great salesman but a biotech guy and became known as “The Corn Guy”. Initially, Elaina wasn’t able to work in the office very much due to the demands of young children at home. As the children became older, Elaina’s presence in the office, and business community, grew until she became a partner within the company.
The children have grown and followed their own dreams but are in touch with Dick on a daily basis and still commit themselves to some aspect of the Frontiersmen business. Sadly, Elaina passed away in March of 2004 after a battle with leukemia. Dick continues to enjoy running the family business, spending time with his family and friends and gardening in his yard.