LEROY SMITH, founder of the Seed Trade Reporting Bureau, is credited with publishing the fi rst issue of Seed World in January 1915. Although it was a bit rudimentary, it was very well received by the seed trade. Within two years, the publication ranked near the top of the horticultural periodicals along with its sister publication Seed Trade Buyer’s Guide. In 1941, Seed World consolidated with National Seedsman, as Smith sold his interests in the publications to National Seedsman owner Jim Anderson.
History Repeats Itself
Many of the issues the American Seed Trade Association faced decades ago remain challenges for today’s seedsmen and the association as well. In the January 5, 1934 issue of Seed World, the lead story was entitled “Plant Science Cuts Risks from Weather and Crop Pests.” The article reviewed the activities of the USDA’s Bureau of Plant Industry, whose major objective was, “to safeguard growers from uncontrollable weather hazards and from formerly uncontrollable hazards of plant diseases and insect pests.”
We’ve Come a Long Way
The marketing strategies of seed retailers have come a long way from the early days; however, retailers today can thank their predecessors for providing a solid foundation. In the February 12, 1926 issue of Seed World, an article entitled “Keep Store Dressed Up” gave retailers tips on making their stores look neat and inviting. “The average seed buyer of today is more particular than he used to be and he seldom enters a store that does not show orderliness in arrangement. One of the most valuable assets a retail merchant can have is an attractive store—one that really appeals to the customer when he enters. First of all, attractive store fi xtures are important. Counters, shelves, bins, drawers, and display cases should be in harmony … the store should be well lighted … remember that a store which is sparingly lighted has a psychological effect on the customer to be sparing in his purchases. The window displays should be active at all times, and not allowed to become stale and dusty …”
Click here for several articles from the April 5, 1915 issue of Seed World magazine.