Kentucky seed firm adds site in White City

Economic development officials have announced that two businesses will expand into Southern Oregon.

Ferry-Morse Seed Co. of Fulton, Ky., will locate its first West Coast distribution point in White City, while First Call Resolution of Roseburg will put a new call center in Grants Pass.

Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. announced the moves on Wednesday. Ferry-Morse will lease a 100,000-square-foot warehouse, formerly occupied by Royal Oak Charcoal Co. on Agate Road.

The seed company plans to hire 20 employees by December, with projected growth to 25 full-time employees and up to 50 seasonal positions.

Ferry-Morse counts Fred Meyer, Lowes and Home Depot among its customers.

The company makes seed mixes for vegetables, flowers, herbs and perennials as well as soil mixes.

"We are somewhat seasonal because all of the big guys (retail chains) want stuff shipped in the first of year, right after Christmas," said Jim Pritchett, plant manager for all seven Ferry-Morse North American locations. "We produce in the fall for spring and in the winter for the fall."

The White City warehouse is slated to open around July 7 with a production plant scheduled to open in 2010.

"Our business has been growing by leaps and bounds," Pritchett said. "Once we make a decision, we're committed. The sky is the limit and we could be really big in five years."

Ferry-Morse Seed Co. is a unit of Jiffy International, whose world headquarters are in Kristiansand, Norway. The nearest Ferry-Morse location is in Brandon, Manitoba, and the closest U.S. plant is in Lorain, Ohio.

First Call Resolution, which has 170 clients and more than 300 employees in Roseburg, plans to lease a minimum of 8,000 square feet and may eventually grow into the entire 28,000 square feet available at 333 S.W. Fifth St. in Grants Pass.

First Call Resolution provides inbound and outbound call-center services and business assistance for wireless, telecom, Internet, medical, finance, travel, high tech, transportation and insurance clients.

The company plans to hire between 40 and 50 employees by this fall and grow to 100 by the end of 2010.

The firm was launched as ComSpan Call Center Services in 2005 and adopted the present name in 2007.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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