AGVISE Laboratories is an employee-owned analytical laboratory that serves agricultural and environmental clients in the upper Midwest, northern Great Plains, and western Canada. Since our inception in 1976, the size and scope of our services has grown from a small crop consulting operation to a world-class laboratory with clients scattered around the world.
1976: On April 12, AGVISE opened for business at 212 South Main Street in Northwood, North Dakota. Former North Dakota State University plant pathologist Dr. Edward H. Lloyd started AGVISE as a new agricultural consulting firm and research farm. The company activities included crop consulting for farmers and evaluation of new agricultural products. The first two employees were Dr. Ed Lloyd and John T. Nordgaard.
1977: The laboratory division began in April when Robert Deutsch was hired as a soil scientist. With the new laboratory division, AGVISE provided a wider selection and faster service of soil and plant analysis for crop consultants, fertilizer retailers, and independent soil samplers, than were previously available in the region.
1979: AGVISE moved located to the 5,500-square foot facility along ND Highway 15 in Northwood. As the company grew, additional buildings were constructed to accommodate growing demand for soil and plant analysis in the region. The analytical services expanded to include microorganisms, pesticides, seeds, and water.
1979: The second AGVISE Laboratory was established in Benson, Minnesota with John Nordgaard as Vice President. The Benson office also included an analytical laboratory, crop consulting services, and research farm.
1988: AGVISE discontinued crop consulting services and direct soil sampling for farmers.
1989: AGVISE discontinued contract soil sampling altogether. We chose to concentrate on providing analytical services to crop consultants, fertilizer retailers, and independent soil samplers. The field contract research division expanded into Good Laboratory Practice Standards (GLPS) compliance for agricultural pesticide registration, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1994: As the laboratory divisions grew through the 1980s and 1990s, the company was renamed AGVISE Laboratories. The company structure was reorganized as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which allowed employees to become part-owners in the ever-growing business. The corporate offices moved to downtown Northwood in 1994 to accommodate additional laboratory space.
1996: On December 29, the Northwood laboratory was destroyed in a devastating fire. Following the fire, Dr. Ed Lloyd sold his interest in the company to the ESOP. Dr. Lloyd and his family retained ownership of the contract research farm division; this company is now known as AGVISE Research. A new laboratory and office complex was constructed to replace the lost facility. The new facility was ready on August 1, 1997, just in time for the fall soil testing season. To thank the Northwood community for their support after the fire, AGVISE constructed a new grocery store in town. The previous grocery store had deteriorated beyond repair. The new grocery store is a testament to the value and trust we place in our local communities.
2007: On August 27, AGVISE Laboratories suffered a second disaster. An EF-4 category tornado struck the town of Northwood. The laboratory, storage buildings, and grocery store were completely destroyed. The entire complex was gone in a matter of minutes. The AGVISE Laboratories Board of Directors, along with the ESOP owners, voted within days to construct a new facility. A temporary 5,000-square foot laboratory was quickly constructed on the foundation of a destroyed storage building. A limited selection of soil testing services resumed on September 30. Soil samples were also trucked to the Benson laboratory on a daily basis, allowing us to provide a full array of services to all customers. The new laboratory building was completed and fully operational by August 1, 2008, again just in time for the fall soil testing season.
2009: The Benson laboratory added a 7,400-square foot addition. The expansion allowed for more equipment and automation, doubling daily laboratory capacity.
2012: The Benson laboratory added a 5,000-square foot addition solely dedicated soil drying and grinding. The expansion increased the soil preparation area to include, 1.5 days’ worth of laboratory throughput.