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About US Chia

"At US Chia, we believe that high quality nutrition is fundamental to good health. We believe in safe, chemical free, and natural foods. And we believe that nutrition can be simple and effective."

Our Team

Zack Pennington US Chia CEOZack Pennington - CEO

Zack is one of the original co-founders, and has been with US Chia since it's start in 2011. Zack has transformed US Chia from and idea to a reality, starting with only 100 pounds of chia seeds. Zack is a musician turned entrepreneur who is interested in health and nutrition, and passionate about people who do what they love.

Whitney Hardesty US ChiaWhitney Hardesty - Client Relations

Whitney is a life-long animal lover and has been riding horses competitively since she was 7. She has an Off-the-track Thoroughbred named Cipher and a Mini named Moonlight. She has experience riding several different disciplines and is actively competing in Dressage. Whitney is currently studying Equine Business and Marketing the University of Louisville. She is obsessed with her Miniature Goldendoodle, Sophie!

Our Growers

Homegrown on Family Farms

Our farmers are the backbone of US Chia. We are proud to partner with our expert producers, Tim Dunn and John Seymour, to bring you American grown chia seeds.

Tim Dunn - Arizona

Tim Dunn grew up farming all his life with his grandfather and his father, Floyd Dunn. After studying agriculture at the University of Arizona, he returned to Yuma in 1989 and began his own farming operation, Tim Dunn Farms. In 1993, after seeing an increase in the wheat industry, Tim established and became President of Dunn Grain Co., Inc. which buys and sells durum wheat and garbanzo beans throughout the world.

In 1994, Arizona's wheat industry was hit hard by Karnal Bunt. Tim was one of five people in the state of Arizona that served on the Karnal Bunt Task Force. His dedication to all wheat farmers in Arizona was evident as he went from meeting to meeting all over the United States to help clear Arizona's name from Karnal Bunt.

Tim has been involved in many organizations throughout the years. He has been a member of the Yuma County Farm Bureau for 10 years where he has served at the local and state levels. He was named Farmer of the Year by the Bureau and earned the first Agriculture Person of the Year from the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the newly formed Yuma Area Ag Council, the Political Action Committee for the Arizona Farm Bureau, the Arizona Wheat Growers Association board, Arizona Crop Improvement Association and many other community organizations.

Tim has also been a member of the Wheat Advisory Committee of the American Farm Bureau Federation since 1995, and was a 10-year member of the Junior Livestock Committee of the Yuma County Fair.

John Seymour - Kentucky

John Seymour is the owner of Roundstone Native Seed, which is located in the "Big Barrens" of the Kentucky prairie region. Mostly thought of as primarily woodland, Kentucky had more than 3 million acres of tall grass prairie and savannah pre-settlement. With notable prairie remnants on their farm and a working knowledge of field botany, Randy and John Seymour started to produce native seed 16 years ago to help The Nature Conservancy in their quest for ecotype seed to use on their preserves.

From initial selection and hand collection of foundation seed and garden size production plots, Roundstone has grown to thousands of acres in seed production and is one of the largest producers of native seed in the East. The initial concept of environmentally sensitive collection of foundation seed from remnant sites in Kentucky, is now being performed in a host of other states in an effort to develop ecotype seed for the future. What sets Roundstone apart from other producers is their commitment to quality and attention to customer service.

Our History

Our story began in a classroom: four students wanting to learn more, to do more, and hoping that one day they might change the world. 

When Scott Serdoz of Lexington, KY began the Entrepreneurship MBA program at the University of Louisville, he had no idea that his job researching new plant varieties would ultimately lead to the creation of a new company. In 2005, Scott began working with chia, a plant native to Latin America. He spent his days on the university's farm, helping explore chia's potential to grow further north than ever before. In 2010, Scott began spending his nights on UofL's campus learning about what it takes to turn an idea into a business.

Scott then teamed up with classmates Jacy Cruz, Keith Starling, and Zack Pennington to move the research into the marketplace, and in 2011, Kentucky Chia was formed.

We went on to win top honors at local, state, national, and international business plan competitions with our plan to produce chia seeds in the US as a feed additive for horses.

After completing our MBA program in 2012, the Kentucky Chia team was enthusiastic about launching the business and Zack Pennington was selected as the company's CEO.

In 2013, Kentucky Chia began producing its own chia seeds. We knew that the real world would be unpredictable (especially in the agriculture business) and that every mistake would be more costly producing on a large scale. We partnered with top notch producers who shared our vision and were equally excited about the opportunity to bring a new crop to the United States.  

After successful production runs in both Kentucky and Arizona, we officially changed our name to US Chia to reflect the scope of our operations and to emphasize the value and pride we take in producing our products in the United States.