558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Helena Chemical Company purchases Round Butte Seed
The Culver-based company changed ownership, but hasn’t changed their core mission
January 07, 2013
A news release on Dec. 14 made it official — Round Butte Seed Growers had been purchased by Helena Chemical Company, of Memphis, Tenn.
Round Butte Seed has been a Central Oregon fixture since 1961, when it was formed by a group of Culver-area farmers to help market their seed crops and to provide a local source for agricultural chemicals and fertilizers. Since then, the company expanded its Culver-based operations by opening retail outlets in Bend (1998) and Prineville (2003), along with a small store in Christmas Valley (2006). An expanded retail facility was built in Prineville in 2007.
Along with maintaining its core mission of providing seed, fertilizer, and chemicals to local producers, Round Butte offered the consumer everything from bird seed to livestock panels. This not only included supplies for pets, landscaping, and all types of livestock, but Round Butte also provided expert advice on how to use them.
That’s not about to change, according to Britt Spaulding, manager of Helena’s Culver headquarters, who, for the last 20 years, has also been a Round Butte shareholder.
“It’s going to be business as usual,” promised Spaulding. “We kept all the same employees. Helena has some similar philosophies to what we always had. That was one reason that we (sold to them). We actually had a choice. We had different companies interested and I think we’re going to see business as usual, going forward.”
Jim Carlson agreed, but on an even more personal level. He, along with his siblings and those of the Macy family, are descendants of Round Buttes founders, and were the principal shareholders until its sale.
“We had people approach us that were very interested in continuing the operation in the area, and possibly even growing it from where it has been for 50-plus years. That was important to us — the retention of the employees and the growth of the business in the area — because it had been, for us, a real mainstay in the communities. We wanted to see that continue, if at all possible. The people that were approaching us to purchase it seemed of like mind, so that all goes together.
“I went to school with some of these guys,” Carlson said of Round Butte’s employees, “and so they’ve been there a long time too, and they’re part of it, so that was important. Helena made us the best offer — retention, business plans for the future, and price. The three of them together, they (Helena) were the logical choice.”
Helena Chemical Company began in 1957 as an agricultural chemical
hospice care to residents in Crook and Jefferson counties,” said Goodman.
Mary Shockey, who is the director of St. Charles Hospice for both counties, said that the location, services, and staff will basically be the same as Pioneer Memorial Hospice in Prineville and Mountain View Home Health and Hospice services.
“All we basically did was change the name, because with the acquisition of Madras, it is going to be named St. Charles Hospice,” said Shockey. “To have two hospices under one health system with different names — we felt it was time to be able to align with another hospice within the system. With doing that, we felt that having them under the same name was advantageous.”
She added that with the two hospices under the same health system, they are able to share some duties and some relief for each other, “So that’s a good thing,” commented Shockey.
The two facilities have plans to consolidate some of their functions that are already duplicated, which will provide efficiencies. The two hospices will share the same computer system for electronic medical records. They will also be under the same medication system.
“The big thing that is happening right now is sharing staff,” emphasized Shockey.
In the past, Pioneer Memorial Hospice had a half-time chaplain. Madras and Prineville will share a full-time chaplain, with Prineville getting that position for three-quarter time.
“In Madras, they were using a volunteer chaplain, who has another job. This will give them the benefit of having a chaplain,” she said. “It actually is increasing some of the services to Madras, but it is also helping us increase our services by being able to share a person.”
The two facilities will also be sharing registered nurses, aids, and some supervisory staff.
Shockey also stressed that the fundraising dollars that are raised in Crook County will stay in Crook County. Volunteer coordinator for St. Charles Hospice in Prineville Kay Kludt said that St. Charles Hospice provides services to Wheeler, Jefferson, and Crook counties. Any money that is raised in Crook County stays in Crook County.
Kludt went on to say that St. Charles Hospice in Prineville (formerly Pioneer Memorial Hospice) is the oldest hospice in Central Oregon. The local organization has been active for many years in raising funds from various fundraisers, including the annual hospice and Christmas tree auction, as well as the “Light Up a Life” ornament fundraiser. The money raised from the auction secures their massage therapists for their patients, and provides money for patients who do not have health insurance. She said that the ornaments for the other fundraiser for next year will say “St. Charles Hospice.”
Michael Knower, medical director for St. Charles Hospice in Prineville, said that he is looking forward to having a larger census to draw from, with Madras being part of the organization. He indicated that it gives a cross-cultural dimension. Knower was the medical director for Pioneer Memorial Hospice for more than 20 years.
Knower started a resident program for interns in 2004, and he will have three students between January and May in the hospice residency (geriatric) program. He is trying to figure out how to best incorporate the Madras Hospice to add another dimension to the experience of the residents.
“I am also doing some revamping of the curriculum to make it even more challenging,” he said.
Goodman said the goal at St. Charles Hospice is to focus on improving quality of life and addressing the medical, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient, their family, and significant others.
“Hospice respects patient’s wishes to die a natural death in a familiar environment with comfort (pain free), peace, and dignity,” she said.
St. Charles Home Health
Main Line: 541-706-7796
St. Charles Hospice:
Main Line: 541-447-2510
(toll free: 541-420-8673)