A “numbers man”  who also knows how to drive a tractor is forging a unique position in Pelican Rapids area agri-business.  

Casey Restad

Casey Restad, who worked for more than a decade with agricultural giant Cargill, Butler Machinery, and also with one of the region’s best known accounting firms, Eide Bailey; is back in his hometown area.  

As owner of Shada Seed and Ag Services, the 2003 Pelican Rapids High School graduate has returned to his roots–not only servicing area ag producers, but rolling up his sleeves as a working farm operator. 

Shada Seed offers REA Hybrid seed, fertilizer and chemical product and service.  But his extensive accounting background also brings a special dimension to his business: “Agro-nomic support.”

“I’m doing the same thing as all of the growers,” said Restad, who farms in collaboration with his father Peter Restad. “But having a background in accounting, I have the numbers and the data.” 

Growers today are not necessarily your farmers of the past–they’re businessmen, said Restad. With his broad experience, he’s in a position to assist customers with everything from planting to ag chemistry to tax planning. 

From a family with deep roots in the community, dating back more than a century, Restad found a unique opportunity to give back to his community recently. Shada Seed donated a mathematics computer software to the entire Pelican Rapids Elementary School class. 

Pelican Rapids first grade students, pictured here, will get a boost in math learning, thanks to a donation of computer software from “Shada Seed.” The ag service and seed company owned by Casey Restad, front right, donated the appropriately named software “Mathseeds,” which “plants seeds” of applied math–a study area that is a priority in the Pelican schools. Pictured at left in fitting Viking elementary school headwear is Principal Ed Richardson. Staff in background include Jess Sjostrom, Charla Setter, Pam Eiden and Angie Westby. Lower right, seated with first graders Lynette Gray.

Appropriately, a numbers guy in the seed business, with an accounting background, donated “Mathseeds” to the school–which will teach number skills to coming generations. 

The name “Shada Seed” is also a reflection of his hometown, dairy farm roots.  “Shada” is the Native American-Ojibwa word for pelican. The school’s yearbook is titled “Shada.” 

Even the choice of his business name was a calculated decision. 

“It’s a real conversation piece,” he smiled. Rather than “Restad Seed” or “Pelican Seed,” the name Shada sparks curiosity. “Once I explain the name–they always remember it.” 

Relating to farmers comes easy for Restad, because he has always farmed with the family–even when he was in corporate positions. Any vacation or paid time he accrued, he spent working Restad land–mostly in Pelican Township.  

Shada Seed was established in 2014, and is headquartered on a five acre site, north of Pelican Rapids, in a 60 by 128 foot warehouse. 

“I’m doing the same thing my customers are.  I know what works and what doesn’t,” said Restad, who brings both accounting and technology to the table.  “I always want to sit down and put together a game plan…With low commodity prices and tight profit margins, a ten bushel per acre difference in yield can be the difference between operating in the red or in the black.”

Restad also has financing options, as low as zero percent, with a number of vendors–including John Deere financing. 

A high school basketball player for the Vikings, Restad continues to shoot hoops–though he admits he’s lost a step or two over the years. 

Shada Seed’s Casey Restad, with his twin sister Sarah Gilbert, a school staffer, after the presentation of computer software to the Viking Elementary school. Both Casey and Sarah are Pelican Viking alumni, and 2003 graduates of Pelican Rapids High School.   

“Shada” is also the name of the famous Pelican Rapids “Three-on-Three” basketball tournament  every June.  And Shada Seeds’ Restad has the distinction of playing every single Shada tournament since its inception, 25 years ago.  To his knowledge, he and fellow Pelican High alumni Tyler Lage are the only two who can claim to compete in every Shada event for a quarter century.  

“I’m getting to be the old guy on the court,” he chuckled.  “I’m really dogging it by the end of the weekend.” 

Casey and his father Peter have the distinction of playing on two Pelican Viking high school teams that made trips to the state basketball tourney–Peter in 1977 and Casey in 2003. They may also be the only father-son pair to be named All-Conference. 

Avid basketball fans, both Casey and Peter are planning to attend the basketball reunion on March 1, when the state title 2009 team is honored.