The beginnings of Johnson Seeds go back to the 1930's when Kristjan and Snorri Johnson, along with their father S.S. Johnson, began producing pedigreed cereal seeds, multiplying new varieties, and retailing them to local farmers. As the years progressed, they built a very small seed cleaning facility. In the early 1950's they refurbished a small implement shed and began cleaning cereal seeds for the wholesale market which were sold through other seed companies and were then distributed throughout western Canada and the United States.
The Interlake region of Manitoba is very suitable for the production of timothy seed. In the early 1960's Kristjan and Snorri began custom cleaning timothy production from the Interlake. As time went on they began to buy, contract, process and market local production on their own. By building good, solid relationships with other members of the Canadian Seed Trade Association (CSTA), they were able to expand their forage operations to the point that in 1971 they formed a separate company, S.S. Johnson Seeds Limited, which also involved their sons Brian, Lorne and Keith Johnson.
Johnson Seeds has also diversified into special crops to give it a broader base. In 1983, they constructed a primary elevator consisting of 5400 tonnes of licensed capacity. Special crops are purchased from all parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan and marketed worldwide. Although forage seed continues to be a part of Johnson Seeds, the special crops area, especially the processing of human consumption flax has seen significant growth and continues to be an area for potential future development. In 2012, Johnson Seeds received certification from the Canadian Grain Commission for its food safety HACCP program.
Today, Johnson Seeds is owned by the Johnson family and managed by Brian, Lorne and Keith Johnson. They are very positive about the future potential and competitiveness of the Canadian seed and special crops industries in the world marketplace and are committed to being actively involved in this ever-changing environment
Johnson Seeds is licensed by the Canadian Grain Commission.