Our Roots are in Corn
Remaining a family-owned, independent seed company for over four decades has allowed Frontiersmen to establish personal connections to its growers. Product performance with a diverse portfolio and fostering strong relationships- many of which span generations, are part of our commitment in providing farmers with exceptional service.
Generations of Success, Hard Work, and Innovation
Dick’s great-grandfather, Bernard Funk, was a Civil War soldier, and after serving in the Union Army, came to Benton and Newton Counties, in Indiana. He began his business by picking corn and draining swamps which eventually became 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 Great Depression, the Funk family struggled, along with other farmers who were land rich, but did not have very much money. They held onto their farm by sending their children to nearby towns to sell produce, meat and eggs.
One of Bernard’s sons, Edward was a great entrepreneur, and a hard-working, Christian man. He and his wife Jennie had 11 children. The children picked up on their father’s industrious work ethic early, and while farming, they helped to found Edw. J. Funk & Sons Seed Company in 1935. By the mid-1940s, the home and farm were back to being a showplace, and Edward had become a prosperous man.
Third generation to the Edward J. Funk & Sons family business, Dick worked at the Kentland corporate office. It was after working for years with his brothers, that Dick decided to venture out on his own. At that time, Dick and Elaina had four young sons under the age of 8 years old. Alongside his partner and wife, Elaina, they began New Horizon Seeds in the fall of 1979.
He became locally known as “The Corn Guy”. As Dick and Elaina’s children became older, Elaina’s warm and welcoming presence in the office and business community grew until she passed away in March 2004. Most recently, Dick’s son, Benjamin was named CEO, and though Dick is spending less time in the office, he continues selling corn, spending time with his family and friends, gardening, and traveling.