Native Traits

Kali Klein

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Modern agriculture company creating a sustainable agriculture economy through the screening of gene traits in corn

EDITOR’S NOTE: Small Business Corner presents Michigan’s most fascinating small business owners. Each week, we’ll share stories of impressive success, overcoming the odds, and how people have taken their dream and transformed it into a thriving enterprise. We hope you will find these profiles to be engaging and inspiring. And, please. Keep coming back to learn how these stories offer insight in running a thriving small business.

Michigan weather can be unpredictable, from hot sunny Julys to bitter cold Decembers and everything in between. The old adage goes, if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes.  While some people find these ever changing climates inconvenient, one Michigan startup is using it to their advantage.

In 2013, Dr. James W. Friedrich and Dr. John McIntyre, started Native Traits Corporation, a modern agricultural company located in Kalamazoo on the westside of Michigan. Native Traits specializes in identifying naturally occurring genetic traits in corn.

Establishing research pots with stains of corn Native Traits is able to monitor the crop through multiple seasons, study its performance and identify the genes that helped the crop thrive in each environment. They then are able to naturally transfer the gene to a new corn crop.

“There’s no greater place to live than southwest Michigan,” said Friedrich, “Michigan is a great environment for a startup company because we have a whole array of different organizations that support us. It’s not just having money, you need a culture that supports startups.”

Watch the video to learn more about how Native Traits is creating a sustainable agriculture economy in Michigan.

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