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May 23, 2012

To our Precision Planting dealers,


Cindy and I started this company because we found ourselves repeating one phrase - "There's got to be a better way."


For 18 years, we'd learn more about seeds and planters and repeat again . . .  "There's got to be a better way."


We are immensely proud of how this company has played a role in making planters more accurate and making planter operators better managers.  And just as important to us, the company has been the reason for hundreds of farmers and seed dealers to start up a new enterprise that has helped boost their income and boost their family's security.


Today, when we look at planters and planting technology, we still say, "there's got to be a better way."  And we are gearing up to bring new solutions to you, your customers and your friends.


Many of the solutions are things that are very familiar to us - hydraulics and control modules and singulators.  But we know that to really provide the improvements and the changes that are required, we must integrate these equipment solutions with genetics and agronomics.


Our vision is for planting technology that cannot be developed without the intimate knowledge that comes from working with the developers of the genetics and the advanced prescription services.


To make this vision come to life, we need the help of a partner that shares this vision - someone that not only shares this vision but also has history and capability of changing the way we grow corn.


That partner is Monsanto.  And today, I am happy to announce that Precision Planting intends to be acquired by Monsanto.  The Precision Planting team will become part of Monsanto's Integrated Farming Systems unit, which utilizes advanced agronomic practices, seed genetics and innovative on-farm technology to deliver optimal yield to farmers while using fewer resources. 


We understand how Monsanto plans to double corn yields over the next two decades.  They believe they need Precision Planting - and you - to allow their traits and genetics to reach their potential. 


Is this a different path than we planned?  Sure.  We never thought our company would be a part of another company.  We have said no to many companies that have inquired.  But Monsanto is different.  They have a habit of changing agriculture.  We believe in their vision and strategy.  And, we really like the individuals that are leading the charge.  They think like we think.


We are 100% confident that this move allows us to achieve our ultimate goal faster and with a greater likelihood of success.


This announcement means we have signed an agreement with Monsanto.  We expect to close on the purchase by summer.  So right now, there aren't many details to share.  But here are a few key points:

  • Monsanto has no plans to relocate the Precision operation in Tremont, IL.  All Precision Planting employees will be offered continued employment. 
  • Monsanto has demonstrated that it respects Precision Planting's culture as a family-owned business and understands that this represents a significant change for employees.
  • I will continue to drive the research and product development.  I will continue to work with dealers and customers to inform and educate about more profitable systems.  Tim continues to lead the R&D team, and the entire management team is in place and plans to remain that way.

Our dealers and distributors are an important part of Precision Planting's success.  We value your continued business.  We value your continued support of our business and are working closely with Monsanto to ensure this is a seamless transition for you.


In the coming weeks we'll provide you with more information on how we will work together in the future and make certain the process is as smooth as possible.


It has always been my dream to link genetics and equipment.  With Monsanto and Precision working together, we see great possibilities for the world's grain producers.


Thank you for being part of it.



Gregg Sauder




Gregg Sauder
Precision Planting