Focused on Seed
The Holly Sugar Company was founded in 1905 in Holly, Colorado. Its founder liked the name Holly because holly berries were traditional symbols of friendship and good cheer. By 1915, the expanding company built a factory in Sheridan, Wyoming, under the auspices of the Sheridan Sugar Company, of which Holly Sugar was the main shareholder. Over the next 15 years, under the leadership of A.E. Carlton, the company expanded aggressively, adding 10 new factories, including those in Worland and Torrington.
Holly established an agricultural research station in Sheridan in 1936, which was known as Holly Hybrids. It sought to develop new beet seed varieties to increase sucrose content and yields. The Sheridan sugar factory, in operation since 1915, was discontinued in 1947, though the buildings are still used for processing, warehousing, pelleting and coating of high quality sugarbeet seed.
In 2005, Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative purchased Holly Hybrids from Imperial Sugar Company and the newly formed Holly Seed continued its Sheridan-based seed development and processing operations.
Holly transitioned away from seed breeding and sales in 2018 and towards focusing on seed processing.