The Organic Development Company came into existence in the year of 1946. This company was formed to provide an alternative plant food to commercial blends of salt and acid based fertilizers. Mr. John Johnson had determined that his roses were not meeting his expectations. Their endurance and fragrance were falling short of his standards. The Organic Development Company started in Fullerton, MD (the suburbs of Baltimore, MD) in Johnson's garage. Mr. Johnson found that by mixing organic vegetable, animal and mineral compounds, the roses could attain maximum performance. Soon the company began to grow, and the need for production space arose. As sales grew into Lancaster County, the Organic Development Company relocated to the present site at Bainbridge, PA in 1961.
Rufus Miller became sales manager for Mr. Johnson and developed sales in the farming community, where the benefits of organic fertilizers have long been recognized by the Amish and Mennonite farmers. Mr. Johnson passed away in 1973. Rufus Miller became the major stockholder. With this ownership change, the company name became the Natural Development Company. The name changed again in 1975 to the Fertrell Company.
The name Fertrell was derived from Fer- fertilizer, tr- trace minerals and ell- elements = Fertrell.
The present metal buildings were built by Mr. Johnson who purchased the land from Rufus' father in law, Mr. Heisey. The bulk building came with Rufus Miller. Employment at the Natural Development Company numbered six.
The Fertrell Company purchased a farm in 1983 where many experiments were performed involving fertilizer, farming practices and animal feeding. This farm was later sold in 1989.
The Nutri balancer feed line came into existence in 1974. This addition became necessary when soil tests revealed shortages in nutrients in our farm land. Liquid fertilizers have been a part of the Fertrell Company since the move to PA in 1961. The liquids are blended from a fish emulsion base. The first mix was fish only. Out of state sales came first from advertising in organic magazines and then from selected trade shows. Much of our growth can be attributed to word-of-mouth advertising.
Late in 1990, Mr. Miller decided to offer the company for sale. There were several interested parties. After many discussions, three of Fertrell's employees came together and purchased Mr. Miller's stock and the ownership of The Fertrell Company. The sale became final in the fall of 1991. Dennis Nygaard, Reuben Gantz and David Mattocks purchased the company. Dennis Nygaard retired in 1996, and Reuben Gantz retired in 2000. David Mattocks continues as the company president. In 1996, under the direction of Mr. Jack Robinette, the Fertrell Co. introduced the Poultry Nutri Balancer. Jeff Mattocks, company vice president and nutritionist, has successfully promoted this product across the United States. His efforts have given the company a major push in the market place.
The Fertrell Co. is the oldest producer of organic fertilizers in the United States. Their reputation for quality and service is second to none. The challenges of organic production serve as stimulation for continued company growth. Dedicated employees are the key to this company's growth.
To take the company to the next level, Fertrell offers a value-added product for the turf industry and the home owner. This product is granulated reduce the dust factor.