Fifty years after its humble beginning as a small welding shop, Kinze Manufacturing is reflecting on a half-century of innovation with a look back at how they have become a recognized technology leader and innovator of planters for row-crop production and grain auger carts. The company has also remained true to the core values it was originally founded upon in 1965 by Jon Kinzenbaw, including innovation, excellence, integrity, customer focus and mutual respect.
History of innovation and a remarkable story of success
With only $25 in his pocket and a small bank loan, Kinzenbaw opened his own welding shop in Ladora, Iowa in 1965. Everyone who knew him could see that he had a gift for fixing things, but no one could have predicted his welding business would one day grow into one of the largest privately-held agricultural equipment manufacturers in North America.
The first product Kinzenbaw manufactured and sold was a 13-knife, 30-foot anhydrous ammonia application toolbar. His first patent was for a high-clearance, variable-width moldboard plow. In 1971, Kinze introduced their first 435-bushel two-wheel grain auger cart. This design set a new higher standard for speed and performance in grain handling. In 1975, it was the urging of local farmers, who wondered why a planter couldn't be "folded up" that inspired Kinzenbaw to develop the first rear-fold planter. "There is nothing more powerful than a satisfied customer. That first rear-fold planter we built sold 20 more. Those next 20 sold an additional 80. And that's the way it happens," says Kinzenbaw.
This company's growth has come from listening to customers
As business grew, Kinzenbaw bought 10 acres of land just off Interstate 80. In 1976, Kinze moved to their current location in Williamsburg, Iowa to begin their next chapter in innovation. For a full timeline of Kinze innovations and products, visit kinze.com.
According to Kinze, their growth has come from listening to customers. Farmers want their equipment to be at the forefront of innovation, taking advantage of new technologies that will maximize their productivity. Today, Kinze Manufacturing has continued to be a leader with a number of industry "firsts," including manufacturing the world's first commercially available electric drive, multi-hybrid planter.
Kinze uses 4900 Multi-Hybrid Planter to showcase 50th Anniversary
In honor of the company's 50th anniversary and to showcase their leadership in multi-hybrid technology, Kinze used its new 16 Row 4900 Multi-Hybrid Planter to plant two large 50s in the demonstration fields near the Williamsburg headquarters. This shows how the new multi-hybrid planter has the capability to switch automatically between multiple seed varieties.
In order to create the 50s, prescription maps were made to tell the planter where to plant the two different hybrids. Then the prescriptions were loaded into the multi-hybrid planter and the fields were planted accordingly. This resulted in the large 50s shown in the aerial photos. This same technology can be used to maximize yield potential in a field with varying soil types.
Kinze invites visitors to come and enjoy "50 Years of Innovation"
Kinze Manufacturing recently recognized its milestone anniversary with an open-to-the-public exhibit of Jon Kinzenbaw's collection of vintage farm equipment. A selection of the historic equipment is on display in front of the Kinze Innovation Center and will remain in place for a majority of this summer.
The Kinze Innovation Center embodies 50 years of inspiration, imagination and hard work by Kinzenbaw and generations of dedicated people. Visitors are invited to view a variety of exhibits and displays, including the very first grain cart, after which all of Kinze's other carts are modeled, and experience firsthand "Big Blue," Kinzenbaw's signature tractor that pulled his original moldboard plow at the 1974 Farm Progress Show. The Kinze Innovation Center and the outdoor historical equipment display are open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About Kinze Manufacturing: Founded 50 years ago on the premise of innovation, Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., markets its planters and grain carts globally and is known for a number of industry "firsts." Kinze operates under the core values of integrity, customer focus, excellence, innovation and mutual respect. Kinze Manufacturing is the recognized technology leader and innovator of planters for row-crop production and grain auger carts. Kinze employees spend their nights and weekends farming, putting them in a unique position to be both manufacturers and customers of the planters and grain carts they build. For more information, visit kinze.com.