The R.H. James Seed Company was founded in 1900, specializing in the production and sales of melon seed. The melon seed was all grown near Rocky Ford, Colorado, which was famous for the quality of its cantaloupe.
In 1947 Victor E. Hollar left the W. Atlee Burpee Co. and started working for R.H. James with nothing except an informal “work to purchase” agreement. By selling farm equipment, melon seed, and alfalfa seed on commission he was quickly able to purchase the company.
In the 1950’s Vic Hollar added watermelon, cucumber, tomato, squash and pumpkin seed to his price list. For a few years the business was known as the Peto-Hollar Seed Co. Vic and Dr. Howard Peto split the business into Petoseed and Hollar Seeds in 1958. Mexico and Canada were the first export markets, and he began exporting to Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa in the 1960’s. Vic introduced some of the very first hybrid vegetables, winning several AAS awards.
Vic’s three sons all entered the business, with Larry becoming President in 1978. Under Larry’s leadership Hollar Seeds continued its growth and expanded the number of export countries to more than 65. Jim Hollar developed varieties that became best sellers. Andy Hollar computerized Hollar Seeds, developing the first website for the company and also wrote the code for the first inventory database. Together the brothers introduced the miniature pumpkin, the white skinned pumpkin, won two Colorado Governor Excellence in Export awards, and professionalized the research department by hiring three Ph. D plant breeders.
Andy Medina was coerced away from his job with Archer Daniels Midland and began working for Hollar Seeds in August 2004. He impressed everyone with his ability to work with staff, customers and suppliers. He was promoted to company president on January 1, 2008. Andy’s vision is to modernize Hollar Seeds and continue its growth while still maintaining the level of quality and customer service that we have prided ourselves with since 1950.
Today the three generations of seedsmen continue to work in the same office on a daily basis. Vic is trading commodities, Larry is head of our product development team, and Andy Medina leads Hollar Seeds.