We built this company to solve a problem we had on our own farm. When we launched our 400-acre hemp farm, the largest problem we had was finding a quality nursery that understood hemp that could also germinate hardened-off transplants and ship them to us for a reasonable, commercial-farming price. $3.00 per plant simply would not work for us. We couldn’t find one, so we ended up partnering with a well-established transplant nursery who knew starts very well but did not know hemp. When we married what we knew about hemp with their decades of transplant germination experience, the results were amazing and gave us the idea to help solve this problem for farmers everywhere.
Having produced millions of CBD hemp seedlings as a team and after nailing down our methodology, we launched Imperial Seedlings to provide farmers across the U.S. with hardy CBD hemp starts and ship them nationwide. Our management team includes generational and experienced hemp farmers, a 30+ year veteran team in seedling germination, and experienced operational executives. As a team we provide services from your perspective because we’ve been in your shoes.
Our nursery in the Imperial Valley of California has the perfect climate to produce top-quality hemp starts and has seen billions of starts germinated there in it’s 20-year existence. We have also pioneered development of proprietary inputs specific to hemp to make each start as hardy and viable as ever.
We are excited to get to work for our customers in being a part of their farming success!
EXPERIENCE IN CBD HEMP FARMING + EXPERIENCE IN BUSINESS
With a background in private equity and oil and gas investment banking, Colte Koen has a solid foundation of building and growing companies at all levels. After co-founding Entoro Capital – an energy-based investment bank – following a strategic acquisition and re-launch of a distressed broker/dealer – he put his background to use in the cannabaceae family of plants starting in 2015 and the ultimately launched Imperial Seedlings. Colte is leading the charge to fill a fundamental missing niche in industrializing the highly fragmented and burgeoning cannabinoid industry.
A Dallas native, he holds a FINRA license and Series 82 as well as B.A. in Business Administration from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University.
A fourth-generation farmer, Jeffrey McPhee has the experience to successfully lead any agricultural operation and has been laser focused on the hemp industry for more than a decade. As a Crop Advisor for agronomic and horticultural aspects of hemp farming, his education has included in-depth studies on soil type and health, micro-climate selection, genetic selection and fertilizer and IPM (Integrated Pest Management) systems as well as how to maximize scaled acreage performance. He has leveraged this to develop proprietary cannabaceae formulations of inputs/fertilizers for Imperial Seedlings and will lead all horticulture and operations undertakings for the company.
A native of Yakima, WA, Jeffrey has more than 20 years of experience in hemp and cannabis farming.
VP, NURSERY OPERATIONS
As a seasoned veteran of seedling farming, Rick Bernardi has more than 30 years in the industry. Over that time, he has been responsible for the seeding and germinating of over 200M seedling transplants annually for large-scale produce companies including Dole.
Rick has responsibility for successful growth and optimization of the hemp seedling products that Imperial produces on our 200K square foot facility in Southern California.
Mr. Bernardi is a lifelong Southern Californian and holds a B.S. in Crop Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
An accomplished marketing professional with more than 20 years of experience developing and executing integrated marketing solutions, Kim has leveraged her expertise on behalf of clients like Dr. Pepper, 7-Eleven and Mercedes Benz. In 2016, she launched Whyte & Company which disrupted the plumbing industry by reintroducing colorful sinks to the kitchen and bath and successfully negotiated the sale of the company a private equity firm in 2018. She will be using all facets of her robust background to grow the share of Imperial Seedlings in the marketplace.
Kim holds a B.B.A in Marketing from Baylor University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas—Dallas.