You seldom hear of two people starting a company and 40 years later, continuing to work as trusted friends. For Ron Seibold and Steve Malone, that’s exactly what happened. Since 1976, the two men helped change the diet choices of millions of people.
In 1976, the two men began making a pitch to friends and potential investors about their ideas for sustainable development, protecting wildlife habitat, organic farming and a product that could improve the health of millions of people. They chose the name “Pines” because the Pine Tree is an international symbol of the peace in nature.
A Bicentennial Company
Pines started during America’s bicentennial. Steve and Ron wanted to prove that free enterprise still worked for common people with limited resources. They attracted people who made an average investment of $200 each. Most purchased their stock for $1 per share. Some received stock for services based on that value.
With only $8,000 in cash, the men started Pines. Beginning in early 1977 and continuing for eight months, the two men sayed at KOA campgrounds and cheap motels. They walked into more than 2,000 natural food stores in 35 states and established a market for Pines Wheat Grass. It was the first green superfood in what later became an important segment in the natural food marketplace. Most stores now offer a well-stocked section called “Green Superfoods.”
“Eat More Green,” a Slogan Since 1976
Since 1976, their message is “Eat More Green.” Research shows most people do not eat nearly enough dark green leafy vegetables to protect their health from degenerative diseases. With a natural concentration of green nutrients, Pines Wheat Grass is an easy way to increase servings of those foods. Our greens cost less than 50 cents per serving. Each serving is equal to a serving of kale or spinach. Although wonderful vegetables, other veggies cost more than $1 per serving when purchased at a supermarket.
Forty years later, millions of people have acted on Steve and Ron’s message. About 20 years after starting Pines, several other companies saw Pine’s success and began promoting their own green superfoods. Clearly, Ron and Steve had started a international movement toward using nutrient-dense green superfood powders and tablets. Even so, the men find it unfortunate when other companies copy their message but not their quality standards. For example, none use oxygen-free bottles like Pines. Most of these brands cut costs by packaging in plastic and using inferior wheatgrass. You can see in the picture above how if a product had any color to begin with, it lost value and color because of packaging in plastic made with fossil fuel.
Pines Refuses a Buy Out by Big GMO Corporations
Even with all the companies copying Pines, the company has still managed to do well. The book value of each $1 share is now worth more than $110. The company has paid dividends of more than $20 per share. Investors feel proud how Pines has used its other profits. All of them went to promote and expand organic farming and to help the poor.
Through those 40 years, larger companies frequently make offers to buy Pines International. Ron and Steve do not want to risk the commitment to their original goals. They also don’t want to destroy our closely-knit family of employees. Ron and Steve have worked for Pines for more than 40 years, and many others have worked for Pines for as long as 30 years. Further, big GMO corporations keep buying up 100% organic companies while maintaining their GMO products. Pines opposes such dual practices and feel these GMO corporations should lose their organic certification. They don’t care about organic farming. They only offer organic brands only to make a profit on the hard work of people like Ron and Steve.
First Certified Organic Green Superfood
Pines was among the first organic food companies. Pines was a part of the first companies to have all its products certified organic by the USDA. The company has drying plants in Kansas and Iowa. We grow wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, rye grass and alfalfa on about 2,000 acres of organic farmland. Pines located one dryer, as well as its bottling and shipping, near its family farms north of Lawrence, Kansas.
Pines does everything from planting the seed to harvesting. Some quality brands use Pines green superfoods in their products. Others use greens from a family that decided to grow organic greens to compete with Pines. They harvest and dry organic crops in the spring. During the rest of the year, the family has grows and drys pesticide-based alfalfa used mostly for the meat industry. They have grown feed for the meat industry for more than 70 years.
No Irrigation – We Use Natural Rainfall
Pines’ grows in an area of Kansas where we receive plenty of rain. We never irrigate. Since the 1940s, the other Kansas grower had to irrigate its pesticide-based alfalfa the past 70 plus years. They sold and sell their alfalfa mostly for the use of confined animals. It grows in a dry area of Kansas that requires irrigation. During more than 70 years, they have wasted, depleted and contaminated a once-pristine, fresh water resource. This threatened resource is the Ogallala Aquifer. Others have shared in that abuse. These other farmers grow corn using that ground water. Both alfalfa and corn require massive amounts of water to grow.
Farming practices has nearly destroyed a resource that took tens of thousands of years to accumulate. Farmers in these dry areas contaminated it with the Malathion, Atrazine and Round Up poisons. They used those poisons mostly to grow alfalfa for meat and GMO corn for ethanol. Those kinds of crops should grow in areas that receive plenty of rain. At least, they should grow using ground water that is readily replenished. Due to this waste, abuse and contamination, America has traded our once-pristine, massive, fresh-water resource for animal feed and a poor quality gasoline substitute. Ethanol would cost three times more than it does except for taxpayer subsidies. Farmers in dry regions of Kansas have used and are still using our tax dollars to deplete and contaminate the Ogallala.
Since 1976, Pines Stands for Sustainable Practices
Steve and Ron’s dream for an educational foundation became a reality four years after starting Pines. The Wilderness Community Education Foundation (WCEF) has purchased and is protecting more than 1,500 acres of wildlife corridors. The WCEF has also contributed more than a half million dollars to environment causes. That includes most of the funds in a permanent endowment for the Kansas water keeper program. Interest from that endowment will keep a Riverkeeper monitoring the State’s largest river in perpetuity.
Profits for Organic Farming and Food Programs
The company itself has contributed several million servings of its dark green cereal grasses to feeding programs. Those include programs in Africa, Central America and the United States.
In addition to organic certification, all Pines’ products are verified as GMO free by the Non-GMO Project. Besides its wheatgrass.com website, the company frequently posts on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest and Tumblr. Pines posts on one of its Facebook pages teach about GMO dangers.
Where to Find Pines
You will find Pines at quality natural food stores in all 50 states as well as online. The company also provides ingredients to other manufacturers in the United States and more than 20 other countries. Please use our locator to find a store near you or order online.
As Ron and Steve have been saying since 1976, “Eat More GREEN!”