What's Old is New Again
In 1932, the Great Depression had begun to take a serious grip on the U.S. economy. Farmers in the Midwest were finding out the wrong kind of cultivation could lead to a Dust Bowl, and the mass movement of growers to California was gathering steam.
It was not an ideal time to start a new business. But T. A. Doebler, a pioneering seedsman in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, knew what he was doing. He was finding new ways to deliver value to struggling farmers in the East. He set out to serve farmers just like himself, because he knew what they needed when it comes to crop seed.
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It’s all about family. Here, one generation of seedsman symbolically passes years of hard earned knowledge and work ethic to another. The photo is from the family archives. Crae McCracken, 5th generation, was only 4-years old in 2003, shown taking the hand-off.
State-of-the-art bagging in the 1950s. This kind of work eventually made Doebler Hybrids a highly respected name, purchased in 2011 by DuPont Pioneer.
The technique of harvesting the female inbred on the ear at a fairly high moisture and drying on the ear before shelling was found to be much more gentle on the seed.
T.A. Doebler, Sr., inspecting seed fields in Jersey Shore, PA, in the 1960’s.
A Family Affair
Today, T. A. Doebler’s great grandson, seedsman Chris McCracken, has purchased the original property and has converted this iconic seed corn processing plant and warehouse into a high capacity small seeds company. Chris is leading his family into the same worthy tradition, and on the same land. The idea is to provide value not only to farmers in the East, but also to seed suppliers across North America.
With a reliable source for a full range of seed services in the East, seed companies from outside regions can now ship bulk seed by rail or by truck into Eastern markets, closer to their customers.
Following the original plan, today’s Pine Creek Seed Farm offers a full range of seed processing , mixing / blending and distribution services for seed producers and suppliers across North America.
The value is in the confidence that these services will well serve the industry by ensuring that high quality seed arrives at all stages in the distribution chain with impeccable cleaning, grading, bagging, labeling, and logistics tailored to customer specifications.
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Chris McCracken, President
Chris traces his roots to working in the family business of hybrid corn seed production. Some of Chris’s first memories are walking the rows of corn, detasseling each plant so that the genetics of the hybrids would be preserved and uncontaminated.
With his wife, Jenni, Chris raised two hardworking boys, Cody and Crae, on the farm in what you might call an All-American family. Both boys are bringing their degrees and early life experiences to this endeavor.
After success as a national-level salesman, VP / Sales Director, and entrepreneur, Chris lives, eats, and breathes seed. Today he is living out his lifelong dream of revitalizing the family legacy in serving farmers in Eastern North America. He is grateful to be able work directly from the land and facilities built by his family starting in 1932.
Chris enjoys an enviable reputation in the seed industry. He is personable, keenly intelligent, has the kind of expertise and experience that puts him at the top of his game. He sees the root of a problem in a blink and knows how to solve it. And, maybe most important of all to seed growers and the farmers they serve, Chris is appreciated for his straightforward honesty in all his dealings.
Roger Laub, Operations Manager
Roger has 35 years of experience in the seed industry.
Carol Crawford, Business Manager
Carol has 40 years of experience managing various
aspects of business, including nearly a decade in the seed industry.
Jim McCracken, Processing
12 years of experience in seed production processing.
Cody McCracken, Facilities / Packing
Cody brings experience as owner of his own HVAC
business back to the seed industry.
Crae McCracken, Sales / Operations
Forage and grain research experience, with a degree in Geo Environmental Science.