Kinze Blog - Sparks of Innovation

The Story Behind (Beneath) the Iconic Kinze Yard Art

Published June 23, 2015 by Mike Dykstra


Over the years, millions of people traveling along Interstate-80 have passed Kinze headquarters and marveled at the spectacle of our yard art. Just about everyone who drives by and sees the iconic Kinze corporate sign, rotating planter and grain cart stack, can’t help but ask themself: What’s the story behind those installations? Well, without further ado...

Kinze Corporate Sign

The large Kinze corporate sign along Interstate 80 has been a familiar landmark to travelers since 1978. Towering over exit 216 and supporting a full-size grain cart, it is easy for millions of east and westbound travelers to recognize where they are on their journey. Many grain carts have ridden the rails up the side of the tower as cart models have have improved and changed, and two different styles of corporate logos have capped the tower over the decades.

Grain Cart Stack

During the Farm Progress Shows of the mid-1980s, space was at a premium and Kinze was not able display all of its products. But a joke from an employee about stacking the carts on top of each other got Jon thinking. He realized that it would not only save space, but would create quite the attraction. Back at the Kinze plant, anchors and brackets were fabricated to stack up four production carts topped off with a replica and an American flag. Today, the current cart-stack display at Kinze is made up of four production units, four custom-made models, and one 16th scale cart replica to top it off way up on top. 

Rotating Planter

Since its construction in 2003, many people have stopped and asked if the rotating planter in front of Kinze indicates the time. Honestly, no it doesn’t. Its purpose was to highlight Kinze’s popular pivot-fold planter by displaying the giant 60-foot wide planter straight up in the air with a unique two-tone tractor pulling it. Every Christmas the display is topped off with a 30-foot “blue” spruce Christmas tree complete with lights.

To learn more about the iconic Kinze yard art, visit the Kinze Innovation Center (KIC) and see the new exhibit dedicated to all of the pieces and their history.



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