A Story With Humble Beginnings
In 1965, a 21-year old farm boy from Victor, Iowa opened his own welding shop with a small bank loan and $25 in his pocket. Anyone who knew young Jon Kinzenbaw at the time could see he had a gifted ability for "fixing things." However, no one could have predicted this little welding business would one day turn into one of the largest, privately held agricultural equipment manufacturers in North America.
Jon's first manufactured product: a 13-knife, 30-ft anhydrous ammonia application toolbar. His first patented product: a high-clearance, variable-width moldboard plow. His first major innovation: the first-ever single axle, low-profile grain cart (with giant high-flotation tires), designed and built in 1971. It revolutionized grain handling during harvest time.
However, the event that really placed Kinze on an amazing growth curve that continues still today was a conversation with farmers in 1975. After hearing some of his farmer friends complain about the amount of time they wasted constantly dismantling and loading their planters onto Donahue trailers, Jon invented a rear-folding planter toolbar. It revolutionized planting overnight.
"There is nothing more powerful than a better idea and a satisfied customer. That first rear-fold planter sold 20 more. The next 20 sold another 80. And that's the way it happens," Kinzenbaw says.
To meet the huge demand, Kinzenbaw purchased 10 acres of land and built a new manufacturing plant just North of I-80 near Williamsburg, Iowa. Before the end of the decade, he added 600- and 800-bushel grain carts to the product line-up. And ever since then, the ideas have just kept coming.
Today, Kinze is still privately held by the Kinzenbaw family and a market leader in innovative, durable and high-quality planters and grain carts. The company's world headquarters and manufacturing facilities span more than 25 acres under roof. Kinze continues to reinvest into the future with state-of-the-art facilities and manufacturing equipment, while marketing their equipment through a global dealer network.
The Kinzenbaw family and many Kinze employees own and operate row crop farms. This also brings a unique perspective to the way Kinze equipment is designed and manufactured. What better way to evaluate farm equipment than using it in your own farming operation.
At Kinze, it starts with listening. Listening to farmers at the forefront of innovation. Farmers who want to take advantage of proven technologies that maximize productivity. Listening, then designing, building, testing, refining and using it on our own farms. That's the way it works at Kinze!
Kinze History Book
To read the full Kinze story, purchase the Kinze history book, "50 Years of Disruptive Innovation."
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