After more than 40 years, the two men still promote the same message. They want everyone to recognize the importance of increasing the amount of green food nutrition in our diets. They proudly carry on the wheatgrass history stared by Dr. Schnabel. Pines’ competitors all started as a result of Pines’ success. They use basically the same phrases that Steve and Ron developed over the years. They consider that flattery. All those marketing cereal grass say what Ron and Steve first proclaimed in 1976: “Eat more green!”
Wheatgrass History Began with Charles Schnabel in the 1930’s
Pines International and Ann Wigmore popularized wheatgrass in the 1970s, but it was Charles F. Schnabel in the 1930s who began wheatgrass history by documenting the amazing nutrition in wheatgrass. Schnabel was not alone. Other scientists, medical doctors, hospitals and health practitioners produced a significant volume of research on wheatgrass and other cereal grasses during the two decades between 1930 and 1950. All the wheatgrass history during that period used dried whole food wheatgrass powder supplied by Schnabel. Many authors praised the wheatgrass history initiated by Schnabel and other scientists. Bibliographies in books by Ann Wigmore, Viktoras Kulvinskas and other authors lists research studies using Schnabel’s wheatgrass. One author, Steve Meyerowitz, in the popular, “Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine,” dedicated his book to Schnabel, calling him “the father of wheatgrass.”
Some People Think Real Wheatgrass Grows in Trays!
Some proponents of growing wheatgrass in trays and drinking “shots” wheatgrass are not aware of wheatgrass history. They often do not know that Schnabel and other scientists, medical doctors and hospitals did not grow wheatgrass in trays and did not use wheatgrass juice. Schnabel used dehydrated wholefood wheatgrass powder grown for as long as 200 days through the winter. The roots for Schnabel’s wheatgrass reached deep into the glacial soil in northeastern Kansas near Dr. Schnabel’s laboratories where he initiated wheatgrass history. Despite taking months to develop, true wheatgrass is no taller than wheatgrass grown in a tray under crowded, warm conditions for seven days, but the chlorophyll content is four times greater.
Dr. Schnabel Worked with Scientists Worldwide in the Discovery of Vitamins
Dr. Schnabel was an agricultural chemist. Before his discovery of the nutritional density of wheatgrass and other cereal grasses, the primary purpose of his research was to determine the value of various animal feeds to see which would produce the best results for livestock. In the beginning, he knew very little about the actual nutrients in wheatgrass. He observed amazing results when cattle grazed on wheatgrass in the spring prior to “the jointing stage.” Beef cattle showed tremendous weight gain. Milk production and butter fat fat from dairy cattle increased by more than 30% when they grazed on wheatgrass. Schnabel’s research at first focused on farm animals, but soon he tested wheatgrass on humans.
Feeding His Family Wheatgrass
In an interview with Pines’ co-founder Ron Seibold in 1981, Dr. Schnabel’s son told the story of how his father fed his family dehydrated wheatgrass powder during the depression. Schnabel would harvest wheatgrass in the spring when it was about eight inches tall. He used scissors to collected the grass from nearby fields and then dried it using the heating system in their home. Later, as the data from his research began to grow, he developed a commercial dehydration method and supplied his wheatgrass powder to those conducting dozens of medical studies that showed the efficacy of adding wheatgrass to the diet.
Pines Carefully Follows the Standards Established By Schnabel in 1937
For both the wheatgrass grown by Schnabel and the wheatgrass grown by Pines today starts out as seeds planted in the fall in fertile glacial soil and specific regions. Schnabel found the best wheatgrass grows in the glacial soils of northeastern corner of Kansas, northern Missouri and central Iowa. The still warm soil from summer and the cold air temperatures at night in the fall induces the seed to germinate as nature intends. The plant sends down deep roots and grows only an inch or so of leaf during the first 30 days. These “short shoots and long roots” allows the plant to utilize the sunlight of occasional mild winter days to develop an ovary underground and to prepare for the reproductive cycle. This reproductive cycle of naturally-grown wheatgrass was the basis of Schnabel’s research, not growing wheatgrass for ten days in crowded warm conditions in a tray.
Wheatgrass Helps to Bring Health to Both Humans and Other Animals
Not only did Schnabel find that all of his six children showed signs of perfect health with dehydrated whole food wheatgrass powder in their diets, all the farm animals he studies showed the same kind of measurable health results. One of his early animal research studies was with chickens. Their egg production increased from about 30% to 90%. In other words, hens that had been laying an egg every three days now started laying an egg almost every day. He published his results, and after that, research on wheatgrass and other cereal grass took off for both farm animals and humans.
Chlorophyll Discovered as Related to Blood
It was an exciting time for food scientists. A year after Dr. Schnabel dried the wheatgrass on his home, another scientist, Dr. Saunders, published his landmark research titled, “The Nutritional Value of Chlorophyll as Related to Hemoglobin Formation.” It published in the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine in 1926. Dr. Saunder’s research led to decades of intense study of the effects of chlorophyll on the human body and its detoxifying qualities. The source of chlorophyll or most of that research came from dehydrated wheatgrass that Dr. Schnabel provided. Further, most of the chlorophyll research dovetailed with other wheatgrass research by Dr. Schnabel, other scientists, medical doctors and clinics.
Schnabel was Part of a Worldwide Search for Vitamins
Meanwhile even more scientists worldwide were at work in understanding more and more of the components in food. Shortly before Dr. Schnabel’s first researched chickens, scientists discovered Vitamin D in 1922. Although scientists discovered Vitamin A in 1913, they did not determine that beta-carotene was the the source until 1928. They isolated Vitamin K in 1929. Scientists knew about Vitamin C, but did not isolated until 1928. They did not discover folic acid until 1933. They discovered Vitamin E even later in 1938.
Schnabel knew cereal grass was a rich source of chlorophyll. It was much darker green color than any other vegetables. All the chlorophyll research made it abundantly clear that the greener the plant, the more chlorophyll was in it. As science discovered new vitamins, Dr. Schnabel found that dehydrated wholefood wheatgrass contained a higher concentration of each vitamins. He was anxious to know what its effect would be on humans.
Schnabel Fed His Children Wheatgrass
Schnabel made the wheatgrass palatable to his children by mixing the dried wholefood wheatgrass powder with the milk that his children drank. During the first winter, they had no colds or sickness and were the picture of health. He continued to give dehydrated wheatgrass to his family after that. In 2012 Dr. Schnabel’s daughter, Emily Sloan, and two of his grandchildren visited one of Dr. Schnabel’s laboratories that is still in use at Pines. She joked that her father made sure all his children took their wheatgrass every day. An octogenarian, Ms. Sloan is still very healthy and uses Pines Wheat Grass. Having visited our facilities, she appreciates that Pines grows, harvests, dries and packages it in the same way as the Cerophyl her father produced.
The First Research was with Chickens in Schnabel’s Back Yard
Ms. Sloan explained that her father’s study with chickens were ones that her family had in their back yard. The incredible results in egg production caused Dr. Schnabel to realize that he had found a new course of study in his professional life, but first he needed to develop a dehydration method that could produce a larger quantity of dehydrated wheatgrass and other cereal grasses. With the help of investors, he built a laboratory and dehydration facility at Midland, Kansas. After exploring various existing drying methods, Dr. Schnabel developed a low-temperature drying process that quickly removed the moisture from fresh wheatgrass in a rotating drum. The temperature of the wheatgrass powder coming out of his dehydrator was the same temperature of the surrounding air.
Pines Uses Improved Computer-Controlled Facilities
Pines International now owns the facility and Schnabel’s original laboratory. The company still uses the drying concepts developed by Dr. Schnabel but greatly improved. The company’s modern, computer-controlled, human food grade stainless steel facilities insure the highest quality; however, the basic drying principles are the same.
With the development of his low-temperature drying process, Schnabel now had ample amounts of dehydrated cereal grass to provide to other laboratories for their research. As science discovered new vitamins, Dr. Schnabel and other respected scientists from all over the world, such as Dr. George Kohler, Dr. G.A. Emerson and Dr. C. Von Wendt, carefully measured the vitamin content of dehydrated cereal grasses. Other scientists as far away as South Africa and Russia also were studying these grasses, but it was Dr. Charles Schnabel and his team of scientists who focused the most attention on wheatgrass and other cereal grasses.
The Critical Once-A-Year Jointing Stage Lasts Only a Few Days
An important aspect of wheatgrass history was how Dr. Schnabel and the other scientists tested cereal grasses at various stages of growth. They tested them in the fall, several weeks after germination. They also tested them in the spring on a daily basis up to and after the “jointing stage.” With each nutrient, the concentration increased each day until the jointing stage and then rapidly dropped off. The jointing stage is when the almost microscopic grain ovule begins its journey, moving up from the roots inside a developing stalk. It is fed in that journey and grows in size due to the nutrients stored in the cereal grasses. The scientists learned that after jointing, the stored vegetable nutrients in cereal grasses support the rapidly-developing ovule as it makes carbohydrates and various proteins associated with the grain. Because the developing grain uses the concentrated vegetable components of the cereal grass, the nutritional level of the grass quickly drops when the grain begins to develop. Within a few weeks, all the nutrition stored in the young cereal grass goes to help produce the grain.
Cereal Grains have Gluten but Cereal Grass is Gluten Free
The nutritional spectrum of the cereal grains such as wheat is much different than the nutritional spectrum of wheatgrass. Wheatgrass, if harvested above the joint, is a dark green, leafy vegetable that contains no gluten. Wheatgrass and other cereal grasses have basically the same nutritional composition as any other dark green vegetable but in much greater concentration.
The scientists also found no significant nutritional difference between the young grasses of wheat, barley and rye, but each grass followed the same pattern of increasing nutrient levels up to the jointing stage followed by a rapid decline in nutrients as the grain developed inside the stalk.
Good Soil and Natural Rainfall Rather than Irrigation on Poor Soil is Essential
As wheatgrass history and research advanced, the scientists did find significant differences in the cereal grass related to the growing location. They tested wheatgrass from various locations in Kansas and other wheat-producing states. No location produced as high of quality of cereal grass as glacial soils in northeastern Kansas, northern Missouri and central Iowa. The soils are rich in nutrients because the last glacier stopped in those regions.
The glacier had traveled thousands of miles like a bulldozer churning up minerals and pushing rich top soil. When it stopped about 10,000 years ago. all the fertile topsoil and minerals dropped off in what geologists call “loess.” Thick deposits of loess, more than a hundred feet thick now exist in northeastern Kansas where the glacier receded. Over thousands of years, the mineral-rich, fertile topsoil from the loess filled the valleys of northeastern Kansas and made the farmland there among the richest and other glacial areas the most fertile in the world.
Perfect Soils, Rain and Harvesting Correctly Resulted in Extremely High Nutrition
Dr. Schnabel and the other scientists discovered that the concentration of nutrients as cereal grass approaches the jointing stage is the highest of any dark green leafy vegetable. As the remarkable research accumulated, Dr. Schnabel rounded up investors in Cerophyl Laboratories. They then commercially produced dehydrated cereal grass as the “world’s first multi-vitamin.” They called it “Cerophyl.” The label said, “Cerophyl contains one or more of the following cereal grasses: wheat, barley, rye and oats.” This left the company open to blend any combination of cereal grass; however, in general, Cerophyl was primarily wheatgrass. Through their analysis, the scientists determined that 20 cereal grass tablets equaled the minimum daily requirement of all the known vitamins and most of the minerals. They also found that those high nutritional levels result from growing cereal grass naturally through the winter in glacial soils with natural rainfall, not irrigation.
Schnabel Worked with Scientist Worldwide as Well as Medical Doctors and Hospitals
The timing for the new product was perfect. The public had been following with great interest the discovery of each new vitamin and were clamoring for a convenient and economical way to increase the vitamins in their diets. The sale of Cerophyl tablets took off like a shot. Soon, nearly every pharmacy in the United States and in several other countries stocked Cerophyl on their shelves. Medical doctors routinely prescribed Cerophyl as medical journals reported research findings in studies using Cerophyl. The research indicated all sorts of positive results with Cerophyl added to the diet. The blood building components and the high folic acid content caused many gynecologists to prescribe Cerophyl for pregnant women. One published study showed that young girls had less bleeding during their menstrual cycles after including Cerophyl tablets in their diets. Studies on secondary anemia showed similar results. Medical journals published studies by gynecologists, opthamologists, dentists and other medical professionals in various fields documented positive research results by adding Cerophyl to their patients’ diets.
Animal and Human Research Prove the Positive Effects of Wheatgrass
At the same time as all the human research was going on with Cerophyl, the animal research with “unjointed dehydrated cereal grass” continued as an important part of wheatgrass history. Just as gynecologists found that human mothers gave more milk and richer milk with cereal grass tablets in their diets, animal feeds researchers found that adding only a small percentage of dehydrated cereal grass (usually about 6%) to the ration of hogs, horses, cows, sheep and goats produced the same kinds of results: more milk, richer milk, healthier babies and less infant mortality.
By 1939, the research and documentation of Cerophyl in nearly a decade of wheatgrass history had become so impressive that the American Medical Association published a statement in the Journal of the American Medical Association accepting dehydrated cereal grass as a food.
The Unidentified Factors Only Found at the Once-a-Year Jointing Stage
In the beginning of wheatgrass history, Schnabel, George Kohler and other scientists used guinea pigs. Control groups received foods like fresh carrots, spinach and other greens. These veggies have basically the same vitamins as cereal grass. The experimental groups received the same diet with a small amount of dehydrated cereal grass also added to their diet. In every case, the addition of cereal grass caused the animals to grow faster, larger and show greater overall health as evidence by their fur, eyes and energy levels. The scientists were mystified. They called the phenomenon “the unidentified vitamins of cereal grass.” They also called it the “grass juice factor.” After more than 80 years of wheatgrass history, scientists still do not know why cereal grass harvested at this special once-a-year jointing stage contains something that other vegetable do not contain. Some health practitioners speculate that abscisic acid in wheatgrass may slow the growth of tumor, but research has yet to confirm it. Dehydrated outdoor grown cereal grass grown in cold weather contains abscisic acid. This plant hormone slows the growth of cereal grass during cool weather and is the reason wheatgrass that has grown for 200 days through the winter is still shorter than wheatgrass grown indoors for ten days.
Schnabel Promoted Cerophyl as a Vitamin Rather than a Vegetable
Whatever it is that wheatgrass has (besides extremely high nutritional density) that other vegetables do not have, the research in the early days of wheatgrass history on the grass juice factor did not prevent the loss of market for Cerophyl when one-a-day pills made of synthetic vitamins began to appear in the late 1940s. Cerophyl, the world’s first multi-vitamin, started to go out of style. This was a time when “natural” was not in the consciousness. In fact, it was a time when people celebrated “the miracles of modern science.” At last, you no longer need to take 20 tablets a day for your vitamins and minerals. Now, you could take just one.
Pines Promotes Wheatgrass as a Nutrient Dense Veggie not Just a Vitamin
One-A-Day pills proved disastrous for Cerophyl. In wheatgrass history Cerophyl lost out to synthetic vitamins. The Cerophyl company saw its market share drop very quickly. The company tried to offset the problem by producing a product called “Viet” (rhymes with “try it”). Viet consisted of dehydrated cereal grass in a tablet form fortified with synthetic vitamins. You could now get your vitamins by taking four Viet tablets rather than twenty Cerophyl tablets. Viet did not compete any better with One-A-Day and other synthetic vitamins. Viet was a footnote in wheatgrass history. Cerophyl, however, continued to have a limited-but-slowly-declining market because many people still depended on it not just for its vitamins and minerals. They also recognized that it was an important roughage that helped keep them “regular.”
Cerophyl Continued but One-a-Day was More Popular with Young Consumers
Slowly, over time, enthusiastic Cerophyl customers grew old and passed away. Soon, all that remained of Cerophyl was a filing cabinet, some literature and a few cases of the product in the office of another company. This company kept a list of active customers. It included several hundred direct retail customers and a few remaining pharmacies that still sold the product. To supply these customers, they kept an inventory of dehydrated wheatgrass in frozen cold storage and would draw on it whenever they needed a production company to make more bottles of tablets and powder. Besides the remaining pharmacies, several University laboratories still ordered the Cerophyl powder. They used it as a growing media for one celled animals and for probiotics, including various strains of lactobacillus. These labs found that dehydrated cereal grass with it high nutrient content and excellent vegetable fiber was a perfect media for growing these friendly bacteria that are essential for good digestion in humans.
The Wheatgrass History Inspired Ron Seibold in 1975
In 1975, Pines’ co-founder and president, Ron Seibold worked in the office that stored the remains of Cerophyl. He spent months studying cereal grass research and the sales history of Cerophyl and Viet. Ron began to take Cerophyl tablets himself and noticed an immediate increase in energy, better bowel movements and a noticeable improvement in his skin. He became a student of wheatgrass history.
Ron grew up on a farm and already knew the strong health effect of wheatgrass in the spring after a winter of slow growth. His father and other farmers in northeastern Kansas pastured their cattle on wheatgrass in the spring prior to the jointing stage. It was common knowledge that wheatgrass would bring health to sick animals and increase their milk production. Ron had instinctively chewed the leaves of wheatgrass in the spring as a boy and remembered the rush of energy he had felt.
Ron Spent a Year Reading the Extensive Body of Medical Research on Wheatgrass
With that knowledge and experience, Ron eagerly set about reading all published research in medical journals that had used Cerophyl in their studies. He also read the massive testimonial file. The testimonial file only went back only 20 years, but it weighed more than ten pounds. It took Ron weeks to go through all the letters. He found it amazing how many people had taken the time to write letters praising the product. Many had overcome serious health problems and believed Cerophyl had been responsible.
Steve Malone Joined with Ron to Start Pines International in 1976
After reviewing all that research and testimonials, Ron wanted to establish a company to reintroduce dehydrated wheatgrass, not as a vitamin, but as a convenient and economical dark green, leafy vegetable. He met Steve Malone in Hays, Kansas in 1976, and the two men promised each other they would commit to the vision and make the new company a reality. Rather than approaching big investors or banks, Steve, a lifelong resident of Hays, lined up most of the investors. The two men convinced more than 200 people to invest an average of $200 each in the entities that merged into Pines International. Their vision was more than just marketing wheatgrass. They wanted to promote the American free enterprise spirit. The year 1976 was the bicentennial for America. In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, many became disillusioned with the American system. Ron and Steve wanted to prove that the pure spirit of free enterprise and economic democracy were still alive in America.
They also wanted Pines known honest company with integrity and known as a company that cared about improving the health of people. They wanted Pines known as a company that also cared about its employees and that cared about the future of the planet. A part of their dream was to discourage further loss of America’s farmland by converting as much of it as possible into organic agriculture.
More than 40 Years of Practicing Sustainability and Support of Charitable Programs
They believed in the power of the common people to pool their meager resources and build an international company that would stand the test of time. They chose the name “Pines” in recognition that the Pine tree as an internationally-recognized symbol of the peace that exists in nature. The investors, employees, customers and everyone associated with Pines International were like trees in a pine forest. A common phrase is “One pine tree does not a forest make.” Another is “In a forest, each pine tree grows tall to keep out of each other’s shadows.” Each of us is unique, but we are all part of greater efforts that grow strong not because of one individual but because of the cooperative effort of all the individuals involved. It seemed the perfect analogy of the philosophy that had drawn so many people together into Pines International.
Investors Joined because of Our Sustainable & Charitable Goals
Steve and Ron started the company with $8,000 in cash from some of the original stockholders. The rest received stock in return for services. The company paid the employees with stock. The farmer and dehydration company also received stock instead of money. With an average investment of $200, most stockholders did not expect to become rich but believed in organic farming and supporting charitable programs.
Ron and Steve Hit the Road with a Mission to Help People Eat More Green
After the first harvest, Steve and Ron hit the road with their message that Pines Wheat Grass is an economical and convenient way to get more vegetable nutrition and fiber in your diet. They shut the office down and moved it to the home of two stockholders, who took care of shipping the orders and answering the mail and phone.
Meanwhile, it was up to Steve and Ron to develop a market for the new product. They stayed at campgrounds at night and used campground showers and bathrooms to prepare for spreading their message during the day. At first, they tried to market Pines Wheat Grass as a multi-level product patterned after Amway. After a two weeks of hard work, it was clear that their business plan was progressing too slowly. Bills for harvesting supplies, cold storage, tableting, bottling and shipping were soon going to be delinquent. Steve and Ron had to change plans.
Vitamin Cottage that became Natural Grocers was Their First Customer
On a whim, they stopped into a health food store in Denver. The store owner bought six bottles of Pines Wheat Grass. Their next stop was at original Vitamin Cottage in Lakewood, Colorado. There the owner, Margaret Isley, befriended the pair and gave them valuable information about the Natural Food Industry. Further, she purchase 24 bottles!
Ms. Isley inspired the men. She went on to become one of the great leaders of the Natural Foods Industry. Her family now owns a nearly 100 Natural Grocers throughout the United States. After Ms. Isley’s education, Steve and Ron then started going from store to store in Denver. Most stores had not heard of wheatgrass, but they could understand Steve and Ron’s message about eating more dark green, leafy vegetables and fiber. After only a few days, the pair had sold enough Pines Wheat Grass to enough Denver area stores that they were able to convince a Natural Foods distributor in Colorado to carry Pines Wheat Grass and to continue to supply the stores.
Inspired by Margaret Isley, the Men Followed her Advice
Ron and Steve repeated that pattern throughout the United States during the next eight months. Independents stores dotted the natural foods landscape. A few small “chains” existed. The marketplace was changing. For example, Steve and Ron sold to each of the original small chains that merged to became Whole Foods Markets. Pines Wheat Grass was the first product in what became “the green food section” of Whole Foods and other Natural Food Stores. When Steve and Ron finished their original travels in 1977, more than 2,000 stores in the 35 states they had visited carried Pines Wheat Grass.
Shock at the Way Some People were Growing Wheatgrass
Steve and Ron began to hear that some people were growing wheatgrass in about 10 days indoors. Because they knew how Schanbel grew wheatgrass, they immediately realized that this was not a natural way to grow wheatgrass. No one had ever grown wheatgrass unnarually in a tray in wheatgrass history. Although people were achieving similar results that Dr. Schnabel had documented, growing wheatgrass in a tray indoors causes it to grow 20 times faster than it grows in nature. Never before in wheatgrass history had anyone used such unnatural methods including the extremelyunnatural practice is putting the seeds right next to each other and not allowing the roots to grow down a foot deep as is natural. This results in very high levels of mold and bacteria, which can cause nausea and even toxic shock. People often assume that this unnatural way of growing wheatgrass was how Dr. Schnabel grew wheatgrass used by medical doctors for the research involved in wheatgrass history. These medical doctors used Cerophyl. Schnabel grew that wheatgrass outdoors during the winter in often freezing temperatures and harvested it in the spring when it was still not as tall as tray grown, but much darker green.
The Difference between Real Wheatgrass and Tray Wheatgrass is Like Night and Day
For more than 40 years, Steve and Ron emphasize that Pines does not grow wheatgrass unnaturally in a tray. They emphasize that Pines grow using the methods used for the research. That means, Pines Wheat Grass grows outdoors in often freezing winter temperatures in northeastern Kansas. Growing it in a tray was never a part of the original wheatgrass history. Steve and Ron have sought to distance Pines Wheat Grass from tray-grown indoor wheatgrass because Pines Wheat Grass is a food, not a medicine. The FDA cannot prevent statements made in a book. The FDA would never allow the health claims about tray wheatgrass for a food product or supplement. As a result, all Steve and Ron have ever said regarding the amazing results people had had for more than 80 years with wheatgrass (even the pale tray-grown variety) is this: “The Standard American Diet (SAD) is very deficient in green food nutrients. Because of that, when people take Pines Wheat Grass or a even a shot of the weaker tray-grown juice, amazing things often happened because people are finally getting the kind of nutrition that their bodies have been craving.”
Hays, Kansas, was the location for the company for the first three years. Pines soured out everything including farming, dehydration and tablet making. The company depended on another company for bottling until they returned from their travels. After that, they filled the bottles in Hays but still had to ship the dehydrated wheatgrass off to Nevada to have it made into tablets before they shipped it back to Hays.
Western Kansas Banks Could Not Identify with Wheatgrass
Steve and Ron had developed a business plan that showed that the company could start making a profit if it had its own equipment. They approached bankers in Hays, Kansas. Hays is in Western Kansas. Oil and cattle are the basis of the economy there. Banks in Hays had no interest. The men did find a bank on the other side of the state in Lawrence that showed interest. The agreed to work with the company to obtain a small business loan. After receiving the loan, Steve and Ron moved their bottling equipment to Lawrence late in 1979, purchased a building, tableting equipment, and a much-needed tablet counting machine.
Returning to Schnabel’s Land and Laboratory
The men had forgotten that Cerophyl and wheatgrass history started near Lawrence. In 1984, Steve and Ron were looking for a place to put a new piece of equipment. They found themselves at an old alfalfa processing plant outside of Lawrence at place called Midland Corners. The owners had shut the plant down five years before. As they toured the buildings, Steve saw an old black and white picture on the wall with the word, “Cerophyl Laboratories.” Both men nearly screamed with joy. They were standing in the same building that contained an actual laboratory Dr. Schnabel had used in the beginning of wheatgrass history. “Yes,” the owner’s representative said, “Cerophyl built the plant and used it to dehydrate wheatgrass!” The men purchased this historic facility, including the laboratory where Dr. Schnabel had done some of his research in the beginning days of wheatgrass history.
Two New Buildings Added to Schnabel’s Facilities
Nearly forty years later, Pines obtained the Cerophyl trademark in 2012. The company dedicated a new company sign with the Cerophyl logo. On the same day, the company dedicated a sign in front of Dr. Schnabel’s laboratory, honoring his work as the one who started wheatgrass history. Dr. Schnabel’s daughter, Emily Schnabel Sloan, and two of her children were present for the dedication.
In 1987, Ron and Steve obtained another small business loan. They built a new building at Midland and moved their offices, tableting and bottling facilities there. With the market taking off in Asia and increased sales in the United States, the company built a second new building in 1991.
Continuing More than 80 Years of Tradition in Growing Wheatgrass
Today, the two men, the 200 shareholders and all the employees are fulfilling the vision that began in 1976. They to carry on the wheatgrass history started by Dr. Schnabel. So far, Pines has converted more than 2,000 acres of land to organic farming. Millions of people have benefited from Pines Wheat Grass. Hundreds of companies worldwide have used Pines’ marketing ideas and are selling green food products. Pines has donated several million dollars worth of wheatgrass to feeding programs for malnourished people in the United States and around the world. Through its foundation, the company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to environmental and organic farming causes and organizations.