(March 6) George Ahrens, 90, of Harvard, Ill., died Feb. 20, just two days short of his 91st birthday.

Ahrens founded Twin Garden Farms, Harvard, Ill., in the 50s. He remained involved in the company as a partner until his death.

Twin Garden Farms and its subsidiary, Twin Garden Sales Inc., will continue to operate under the direction of sons Ted Ahrens and Don Ahrens; his wife, Ruth Ahrens; son-in-law Gary Pack; grandson Gary Pack; and grandsons-in-law Cliff Ingersoll and Mark Hayes.

Known for his strong leadership and quiet nature, Ahrens was a prominent figure in the production and promotion of sweet corn in the U.S.

In the 1960s, Twin Garden was the first company in the northern regions of the U.S. to machine pick sweet corn. In 1968, he made the decision to begin shipping sweet corn in iced, waxed cartons. This was unlike other distributors that were still shipping corn in mesh bags and crates. In 1976, Twin Garden was a U.S. pioneer in the super sweet corn category.

“Early on, he paved the way for all these different processes of quality. He covered all the details,” said Hayes, president of Twin Garden Sales.

An unassuming man, Ahrens’ leadership was matched by his integrity, Hayes said.

“When he talked, you listened,” he said.

Ahrens other survivors include a daughter, Joan Pack of Harvard; 19 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Memorials have been set up in Ahrens’ name at Timber-Lee Christian Center, North 8705 Scout Road, East Troy, WI 53120, and Harvard Home Town Care Center, 901 Hayes St., Harvard, IL 60033.