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Sakata Seed America celebrates Grand Opening of Woodland Innovation Center

On Thursday, September 13 FreshPlaza attended the grand opening of Sakata Seed America’s new Woodland Innovation Center. The new research and production facility is located in Woodland, in Yolo county of Northern California.

The grand opening ceremony started with speeches from Sakata’s Executive Management. Dave Armstrong, President of Sakata Seed America thanked the company’s customers for joining. “Your support has allowed us to build this innovation center and the new facility will help us in further growing our business,” he said. Hiroshi Sakata, President of Sakata Seed Corporation flew in from Japan. Mr. Sakata talked about the history of the company and how Sakata Seed America was the first expansion of the Sakata Group outside the Japanese market. “We started expanding outside Japan in 1977 and today, we have 27 affiliates in 21 countries around the world,” Mr. Sakata mentioned. The Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, Tomochika Uyama, was also in attendance and congratulated Sakata Seed America on the new facility.

The official inauguration continued with a traditional Japanese Sake Ceremony and performance from Japanese drummers.

Traditional Sake Ceremony. From left to right: Hiroshi Sakata, Tomochika Uyama, Dave Armstrong, Jeff Zischke and John Nelson. 

Performance from Japanese drummers

Jeff Karr with TS&L Seed Company was one of many customers in attendance. “These guys are first class in everything they do,” he commented. “They are the most consistent seed producer of anyone in the United States. Customer focus is number one.”

Clockwise from top left to right: 1. Thomas and Olga Heaton with NuFlowers. 2. Matt DiCori with Keithly Williams, Lisa Branco and Mike Bushman with Radical Seed Company and Donna Bogs with the Seed Association of California. 3. Hajime Yokohata and Chuck Tadao Ogaki. 4. The team of TS&L Seed Company.

The new Woodland Innovation Center supports warm breeding programs for crops that can adjust to a warm climate. These include melons, watermelons, tomatoes, hot peppers and sweet peppers. It’s an $18.5M investment comprised of 219 acres and allows the company to consolidate and expand R&D and production practices on a single, state-of-the-art campus, flexible for future expansion.

Sixteen of the acres house four main buildings designed by local principal Stantec Architecture architect, Matthew Shigihara. The four main buildings including: the Head House, a shop for research and development that allows for washing and drying of breeder seed; multiple greenhouses for trialing crops; the Farm Shop, used for production maintenance and equipment, and drying of seed; the Washery building for washing, fluming, and drying all types of wet seed attached to the Warehouse, a 25,000 square foot space housing the latest technology in seed processing equipment and a LEED certified office building.

Sakata team members attending the Grand Opening. Photo top right includes the architectural engineers who designed the facility (Edgar Rufino and Matthew Shigihara).

See below a virtual tour of the site.

Alicia Suits
Sakata Seed America, Inc.
Tel: (+1) 408-782-5391

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