Learn about our stores, equipment, employees and service to the community.
RDO Equipment Co. Announces New Location in Southeast Phoenix, Curtis Tuttle Named Sales Manager
RDO Equipment Co. announces the addition of a new John Deere construction dealership in Southeast Phoenix, AZ. The store will be located on Interstate 10 just south of the 202. Construction will be starting soon, with the expected opening in fall 2016.
The additional Phoenix location will complement the current location located in Central Phoenix. This new store will allow an enhanced level of service to customers in the Phoenix and surrounding area.
“The additional Phoenix location furthers our commitment to our customers and allows us to expand our overall services and product support capabilities in an expanding market,” commented Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction.
Curtis Tuttle will lead the sales team for the new location as Sales Manager. Tuttle joins RDO Equipment Co. with more than 17 years in the equipment industry, having management experience at Bobcat, Kubota, and CNH dealerships. Most recently he served as the Operations Manager for Ohio Valley Ag in Kentucky.
“If the first few weeks are any indication of the future, I can’t wait to be a bigger part of the culture and success of RDO Equipment Co. in the Southwest,” said Curtis.
Dan Rutten Celebrates 40 Years of Service
Dan Rutten, Technical Communicator Specialist, celebrates 40 years of service with RDO Equipment Co. and to celebrate, the Moorhead FSO held an event for him in early July.
Dan started at the Fargo store in 1975 working in set up before becoming a Service Technician and then a Field Service Technician. Dan focused on mostly Ag equipment in the Red River Valley. Combines, planters, and tractors became his strong suit.
In 2001, Dan transferred to Casselton and worked as a Field Service Technician, until 2005 when shoulder problems made it difficult to continue the demanding role of Field Service Technician. “Thanks to the Offutt family and management, I had a chance to become Service Advisor, and then Service Manager, which allowed me to still work with the customers,” commented Dan. In 2015, Dan transitioned to the FSO – Moorhead as a Technical Communications Specialist.
In 40 years, Dan has seen a lot change. “When I started doing set up, I’d work on 14-24 foot cultivators and 6-8 row flex planters and even combines with 12 foot headers. If you had a 20 foot header, you had a big combine. 4020 and 4430 were common tractors back then.”
Dan has built his entire career at RDO Equipment Co., and loves what he does. In fact – he says he can’t believe it’s been 40 years and that it doesn’t seem nearly that long, which is what happens when you love what you do as much as Dan does. “I have worked with so many good people, and the customers have always been my favorite part. I enjoy helping them with whatever issues they are having and the trust and relationships that I have made with them. I consider many of them friends.”
What advice does Dan have for team members just starting their career? “Jump in and get your hands dirty. Do your best every day and treat everyone with respect. Be yourself and be positive – when you enjoy what you’re doing, it shows and rubs off on everyone you come in contact with.”
Jeff Lemna, Customer Support Director, commented, “Dan sets the benchmark for great customer service and has been doing that for our organization for 40 years. Having people like Dan makes all of us better and it’s an honor to celebrate this milestone with him.”
North Dakota Construction Stores Donate Safe
Mike Daeley, Western ND Service Advisor for HI POWER, sits on the Foundation Board for the American Legion, and contacted the Minot store about donating an item for a silent auction the Legion was holding, which would benefit programs that help children and veterans throughout the state of North Dakota.
The Minot store decided to donate a John Deere security safe – and soon, all the North Dakota construction stores were involved.
The silent auction was held in late June and the recipient of the safe was located in Dickinson. Mike arrived at the Dickinson store, and asked for some help, and three team members, not even knowing what kind of help was needed – agreed to stay after five and help deliver a very large – and very heavy – safe.
“Sitting on this Foundation Board, I was amazed how RDO Equipment Co. quickly became involved in this effort. I heard several “no’s” while working on securing donations for our fundraiser, but I heard a very quick and resounding “yes” from RDO Equipment Co. This company has a high percentage of veterans – it speaks volumes with me and people in our community to see how we support these kinds of programs.”
Mike also adds how impressed and grateful he was for the help of the Dickinson team members: Seth Michael O’Donnel, Service Technician; Kade Anderson, Equipment Detailer, and Brad Kolling, Service Manager. “Without the help from these three gentlemen, I could have never gotten this project taken care of.”
Imperial Hosts Ag Technology Clinic
The Imperial team hosted a one-of-a-kind event for customers: a Technology Clinic that featured a first look at JDLink Connect and the opportunity to learn more about receiver calibration, implement adjustments, and value added services.
The event had 40 customers attend. Feedback after the event was very positive – customers said they found value and were pleased with the content and information provided.
“Customers were very engaged and asked several questions throughout. The question already asked is, ‘When is the next clinic?’” commented Ramon Beltron, Regional Aftermarket Manager.
He added, “On team was very pleased with how well the information was received and we’re already planning another clinic for the end of the year. These types of events give us a good idea of where our customers stand, as far as technology and implementation, and let us know what we need to work on in the future to get our customers up to speed on the latest advancements.”
Bozeman Joins Kiwanis in Community Event
The Bozeman store teamed up with their local Kiwanis group to help a community event of distributing sand boxes.
The Bozeman store donated a 60G excavator to load sand in trucks for the event. Shop Foreman Kenny Kroschel donated his time on a Saturday to load trucks with the excavator.
“It was a really great community event that we were glad to be a part of,” said Kenny. “I was proud to represent RDO Equipment Co. and be able to give back.”
Phoenix Gives Back This Summer
It’s been a busy couple of months for the Phoenix store. In the past two months, team members have volunteered at the local food bank and organized their annual water drive.
In the beginning of May, several Phoenix team members volunteered to pack emergency food boxes for those in need in the Phoenix area. The team helped pack 540 boxes of produce, which equaled about 6,480lbs of food. The store has volunteered numerous times of the past couple of years at this food bank, and over the span of this partnership, Phoenix team members have helped pack close to 10,000 boxes of food.
While they were donating, the food bank announced they were already short of bottled water. The store held their annual water drive during June and collected 114 cases of water that were delivered in early July. The water donated equaled over 3,600lbs of water that was immediately delivered to those in need in the Phoenix area.
North Mankato Parts Manager Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Jim Juliar, North Mankato Parts Manager, celebrated 30 years of service this month. The store held a celebration in honor of his years of service and Jim’s wife and family were able to attend.
Jim started his career checking in and shipping out parts orders as well as assisting with parts pickup and delivery. He spent a few years as a parts specialist before becoming Parts Manager, a role he’s held since 1997. In the early days, there were no computers – parts invoicing and inventory was all done on paper. “Times have certainly changed,” said Jim. “But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that this organization has a lot of really great people that make is such a fun place to work.”
“We want to thank Jim for his commitment and dedication over these past 30 years. He’s been an important part of the success the North Mankato store has experienced and we appreciate all that he does for our stakeholders,” commented General Manager Todd Koenigs.
San Antonio Team Works Hard and Has Fun in Their Community
The San Antonio team has been busy over these last few months working hard and participating in various community events. Only halfway through the year and they have had so much fun in several different events – see below what has made their store so unique and a great place to work!
April 2015 – Relay for Life – Comal County Team “RdiOs to Cancer”
The team relayed in the rain and honored loved ones during the relay’s Luminaria ceremony. Names were listed in the store’s “We Honor/Remember” board by employees to remember those close who have fought this battle. The team raised a total of $1,525.00 through fundraisers and a raffle.
May 2015 – South Texas Blood Drive
A highly successful blood drive was held in May with almost 30 employees who volunteered.
June 2015 – Summer Bowling Party
With General Manager Shane Brownlow in charge of the selfie stick, the excitement of the bowling event and the competitive Men vs Women game was captured in these priceless photos!
July 2015 – Care Packages for the Troops
The team came together to send appreciation to the troops overseas. They collected hygiene essentials, snacks, movies, and other items and packed them into 20 boxes!
“The entire San Antonio team has worked very hard to give back to our community in many different ways. If you work hard you can play hard! By the way…the men crushed the women bowling game!” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.
Texas Customer Helps Guide Development of JDLink and More
Elliott Stanton is the Shop Foreman at Strike, LLC, one of the nation’s fastest growing privately held energy service companies in the United States. Elliott is based out of Dilley, TX, overseeing fleet operations within Strike’s South Texas region of operations. Additionally, he is responsible for equipment uptime and repair across the continental United States. Strike has been a customer of RDO Equipment Co. since 2002 and has been utilizing JDLink since 2012.
Elliott, along with Jacob Koon, RDO Equipment Co. Product Specialist in Austin, attended the Customer Connect event for the ISG (Intelligent solutions group) Department of John Deere in Des Moines, IA. This event was a way for John Deere developers to meet and hear firsthand from customers and dealers how the technology pieces that John Deere is developing, is being utilized in the field on actual jobsites.
“I wanted to have Elliott involved in this panel because he uses JDLink every hour of the workday. He’s such a heavy user, and Strike is such an important customer to us, that I wanted them to be able to have the opportunity to share their likes and dislikes of the system directly with John Deere,” commented Jacob.
The event featured approximately 60 John Deere employees in attendance, and another 100 tuning in via WebEx. Paul Garcia, John Deere WorkSight division, asked Elliott to explain pipe laying and how it’s accomplished. Once Elliott explained how Strike does business, Paul explained how John Deere sees it and how they differ. They then opened the floor to questions from the developers of JDLink.
Some questions directed toward Elliott included: How do you use JDLink to manage your machines? Do you use JDLink to monitor your PMs? How does JDLink compare to your Vision/Product Link (Cat’s version of JDLink)?
Elliott explained that Strike now uses JDLink to watch where its machines are and where they are moving to, how many hours they are being used, and if any codes appear on the machine. He also told them that Vision Link had quicker access to some key features, such as Fuel tank level, DEF Level, Pump pressures, and exhaust filter status.
The developers will take this knowledge and use it when they design the new My John Deere portal, PM calculator and other John Deere web features. After the event, they showed Elliott and Jacob around the ISG buildings, allowing them to see how the developers work and what they do every day.
Jacob commented, “It’s great that a company like John Deere organizes events like these, because it shows how receptive they are to feedback from customers. It also demonstrates to our customers that we really listen and use the information they give us to help John Deere design the best product available.”
RDO Water Partners with Local Businesses to Provide “Farm-to-table” Garden at Local Junior High
The Santa Maria Valley Leadership Class of 2015 (a community leadership program that features business professionals) had to complete a Legacy project. After asking the Santa Maria community what they needed, it was decided to partner with local businesses and provide a garden to Kermit McKenzie Junior High in Guadalupe, CA.
The garden features six 4 x 10 foot raised planters and a 15 x 20 foot bed of planting rows. The garden was built as close as possible to the school's cafeteria and it will provide fresh celery, lettuce (both red and green leaf) kale, cabbage, jalapenos and peppers. It also will feature a salsa garden with a variety of tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and fresh herbs.
The project received help from many local businesses, including Engel and Gray, Home Depot, United Rentals, and RDO Water.
The Santa Maria RDO Water team designed and donated an irrigation system for the school’s garden.
“The Leadership class asked for help with the irrigation system, and we knew it’d be a great opportunity to get involved with our community,” commented Danilu Ramirez. Frank Toves, Account Manager, designed the system, Marcus Dunning, Account Manager, and Danilu Ramirez, Water Management Consultant, installed the system onsite.
“We worked on the project, onsite, for about four hours, before it was ready for use and we could turn it on. It’s always great to see the fruits of your labor! When school is back in session, the kids will be able to harvest and eat what has been grown. It’s a great project for our community and the importance of teaching the students about agriculture and healthy eating at the same time is invaluable,” added Ramirez.
Not only will the students appreciate the garden, but the Leadership group was appreciative of the support they received from RDO Water and other businesses. After viewing the irrigation system provided by the RDO Water team, the Project Lead for the program commented, “Wow! This is amazing! We are so fortunate to have your team onboard.”
Flagstaff Team Members Volunteer
Several Flagstaff team members volunteered and cleaned up a one-mile stretch of trail along Route 66 in late May.
Seven employees and their family members teamed up to help clean up a part of their community.
“This is a great project that our employees care about, and it was a rewarding experience that also built camaraderie among us,” commented Adam Spade.
Redfield Parts Specialist Celebrates 40 Years of Service
Joe Hurst, Parts Specialist, celebrated 40 years of service at the Redfield store. The team held an Open House serving lunch and more than 125 friends, family, and customers attended.
Clae Hoots, Store Manager, commented, “It was great to see so many people attend the event for Joe. He has spent his career building relationships in our store and community. Congrats, Joe, on this huge achievement!”
RDO Water Moves to New Facility and Expands Offerings
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (July 21, 2015) RDO Water, a division of RDO Equipment Co., is expanding and moving to a new facility in Santa Maria on July 27. The new store, located at 2221 Evora Way, will offer roughly 15,000 square feet of space for equipment, products, parts and service. In addition, the store will now support Pellenc and Vermeer equipment, with specialized parts and service availability.
Cassandra Durler, RDO Water Santa Maria store manager, says, “We are excited for the expansion into our new facility as well as the addition of Pellenc and Vermeer brands. This relocation will allow for us to carry a larger volume of inventory and expand our product offering to better support our customers. We cannot wait to show our customers the new facility and provide them with a true full service experience.”
The new store, which is just five miles from the existing RDO Water – Santa Maria location, is scheduled to officially open July 27, with a grand opening celebration to follow at a later date.
About RDO Water
RDO Water is a full-service provider of irrigation solutions, including products, parts, service, equipment rentals and sales, and design and consulting services. The company is a division of RDO Equipment Co. and has eight stores in Arizona, California, and Mexico. Learn more about RDO Water at www.rdowater.com.
About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. sells and support agriculture, construction, environmental, positioning, surveying, and irrigation equipment from manufacturers including John Deere, Vermeer, and Topcon. With more than 75 locations across the United States, including partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia, RDO Equipment Co. is a total solutions provider. Learn more at www.rdoequipment.com.
Moorhead Store Continues Partnership with Fargo South High School
The Moorhead store has formed a strong relationship with the Fargo South High School’s Auto Tech program over the course of several years. Each year, the Auto Tech program sponsors an Auto Show and at this year’s event, RDO Equipment Co. had equipment on display.
The store had a 644K loader on display, as well as a John Deere Gator wrapped in gator skin. The store also arranged an 8245R to give rides and demonstrate auto trac and the technology available.
“This partnership started 5 years ago, and we are beginning to see students partner with us and the AYF program at NDSCS. It’s been a great relationship, one that we plan to continue to grow and develop,” said Dustin Tuhy, Moorhead Service Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. Named 2014 Sakai Dealer of the Year
RDO Equipment Co. (Texas and Southwest Construction regions) was recently named the recipient of Sakai’s 2014 Dealer of the Year award. This award is based on metrics including both volume and total sales. Sakai’s Dealer of the Year award represents the manufacturers greatest level of appreciaiton for a strong dedication to both the sale and support of the Sakai product line.
“Sincere thanks for an outstanding year and a strong commitment to our relationship. We look forward to our future success together,” said Denver Weinstiger, Vice President of Sales & Product Support.
Day of Play Events Held in Moorhead and Hawley
Both the Moorhead and Hawley stores held Day of Play events and each was a great success.
The drizzly morning conditions didn’t discourage attendees who arrived before 9 a.m. to line up for the events at this year’s Day of Play. The weather cleared and children of all ages participated in games, rides, and coloring contests. Everyone was treated to a lunch (or breakfast) of hot dogs, chips, cookies, and refreshments. An inflatable Bounce-N-Slide and a barrel train – powered by a John Deere X738 – kept the kids very entertained.
Kids also had fun playing with John Deere toys in corn-boxes and enjoyed driving battery powered gators and pedal tractors. Another highlight for attendees was taking a ride in the John Deere 8R tractor that demonstrated the comfort and convenience of the latest Ag machinery and AutoTrac system.
In addition to Day of Play, the Hawley store combined their event with a Drive Green event, showcasing the latest from John Deere. They were fortunate to have a beautiful, sunny day and several nearby daycares stopped by to participate in the festivities. The store served hotdogs, chips, and cookies throughout the day.
Todd Thompson, General Manager of Ag Remarketing, commented, “Our teams showed up in full force to ensure everyone enjoyed their Day of Play. Thank you to everyone for attending and supporting this annual event.”
Pat Burnham Named Tucson Store Manager
Pat Burnham has been named the new Tucson Store Manager. He will be responsible for all operational aspects of the location. He joins RDO Equipment Co. with an extensive career in the equipment industry. Pat served as the Vice President of Sales for Sakai Manufacturing, where he worked closely with RDO Equipment Co. and was a key part of that manufacturing partnership.
Most recently, Pat worked in store management at Doggett Machinery, a John Deere dealer for south Texas and Louisiana.
Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction, said, “I am confident that Pat’s positive leadership will help grow the Tucson market.”
Great Day for a Great Cause
On June 20, many team members geared up for a Charity Cruise that visited the Minnesota Ag locations. The day started out rainy and cold, but luckily warmed up quickly.
Nearly 25 riders met in the morning at the Moorhead store and visited Ada, Hawley, and Fergus Falls, before arriving in Breckenridge early that evening.
Every Minnesota Ag store was represented, as well as team members from the Field Support Office and R.D. Offutt Company.
In addition to building camaraderie and experiencing some beautiful Minnesota scenery, team members raised nearly $900 for Make A Wish Minnesota.
“It was neat to see everyone participate from all entities of RDO. It demonstrates that RDO is a great company to work for and truly a single enterprise company,” commented Mike Makovsky, Breckenridge Store Manager and an organizer of the event.
Plans are already underway for next year’s charity cruise.
RDO Integrated Controls Sponsors First Ever DroneFocus Conference
On June 3, 2015, more than 130 attendees gathered at the Fargo Jet Center for Fargo’s first annual Drone Focus Conference, organized by Botlink and Emerging Prairie, and powered by RDO Integrated Controls.
“All drones, all day,” was the theme of the event. The intent was to gather professionals and enthusiasts to talk about drones.
RDO Integrated Controls jumped onboard as the premier sponsor. The one-day event featured a tour of the award-winning Fargo Jet Center (and site for the event), as well as a wide array of speakers from the UAS industry, varying from students, pilots, engineers, farmers, legislators, and more.
Matt Hayes, RDO Integrated Controls Mapping/UAV Product Supervisor, took the stage and showcased some of the latest drone technology that utilizes 2D and 3D mapping. He presented “eBee,” a fully autonomous fixed wing drone that specializes in mapping terrain. Through live simulations, he walked the crowd through the capabilities of these drones in mapping anything from stockpiles to corn fields, while also highlighting near-infrared and thermal applications.
“It was a great opportunity to educate the public on the amazing benefits the technology can bring to numerous industries,” said Hayes. “It’s really an exciting time to be involved with this industry.”
“This first-time conference was a real success for showcasing the opportunities for drones in the marketplace and how we can support our customers using this technology,” added Kelly Gress, Vice President of RDO Integrated Controls.
Portland and Eugene Support Local Dozer Day Event
Over the past several years, the Portland store has participated in the children’s event, Dozer Day. Dozer Day is like going to a fair, only the “rides” are heavy construction equipment. Kids hop in the driver’s seat and actually drive dozers, dump trucks, and other pieces of heavy equipment, with a professional operator at their side. The event is put on by the children’s organization, the Nutter Foundation, which raises money for several children’s charities in the community.
The Oregon team volunteered and once again hosted the “Shooting for Prizes” station utilizing a Vermeer 500 gallon vac to launch tennis balls at a target on both Saturday and Sunday at the Clark County fairgrounds. The Oregon team raised $1,771 in cash for the Dozer Day foundation. “The Dozer Day event is always a great time for all of us that volunteer and for sure, the kids that get to shoot the tennis balls with our equipment. It is definitely a huge hit every year!” said Ollie Windle, General Manager.
Grand Forks Volunteers at Relay for Life Event
A group of Grand Forks team members helped set up for the Relay for Life event in Grand Forks in late May. In addition to setting up tables, chairs, and signage, the guys showed their creative side by spelling CURE and HOPE on the hillside with dozens of candle-lit luminaries. They also spent much of their time walking the route and taking care of luminaries that had tipped over in the strong wind gusts.
Although it was cold and windy, the team had a great time and said it was rewarding to help with such a worthy cause. They enjoyed their time working together as a team, and also the time they spent with the Relay participants.
Team members who participated included Kevin Grove, Service Manager; Jared Harshman, Sales Professional; Mark Salberg, Field Service Technician; Jeff Sheard, Parts Specialist; Paul Seidel, Field Service Technician; and Tim Sattler, Sales Professional.
Minot Hosts Exclusive Event Showcasing Launch of 1050K Dozer
In late April, the Minot store hosted a unique opportunity to give owners and operators a look at John Deere’s 1050K dozer. The store targeted current 1050 users, as well as Cat D8 and Komatsu D155 users. They were pleased to see 80% or better attendance from those who were invited, which was about 50 customers.
Two John Deere factory representatives were in attendance and did walk arounds on the machine and answered individual questions.
“Because of the event, we generated a lot of excitement about the launch of this all new, Deere built product,” said Jon Markle, General Manager. The store has several demos lined up in the near future.
Burnsville Construction’s New Store Wows
In 2013, the Burnsville Construction store began plans for a new and larger 16-bay service shop, machine and hydraulic shop, and track shop. In addition, the remodel plans included a new customer showroom and parts desks, offices, and the creation of a large training center and conference room.
In spring 2015, the remodeled store was complete and the team held a VIP Customer dinner and Open House event in late April to show off the new space.
On Thursday, April 23, roughly 100 customers, employees, and manufacturing partners enjoyed a cocktail reception in the new training room of the Burnsville store. The group enjoyed a catered meal in the shop and listened to stories from Leadership, including Chair and
CEO of RDO Equipment Co. Christi Offutt, and Founder Ron Offutt. Mr. Offutt shared the story of how the four Minnesota construction stores joined the RDO Equipment Co. family.
On Friday, April 24, more than 500 customers and community members attended the Open House event. They received tours of the new facility, enjoyed lunch, and saw the latest and greatest from John Deere.
“We heard a lot of great comments from our customers. They are impressed with the facility and the commitment that RDO Equipment Co. is making to the market for many years to come. The Burnsville team is excited to utilize the new facility to build customers for life!”
Burnsville Vermeer Delivers Exceptional Service after the Sale
Tjader & Highstrom Utility Service, LLC, operates out of Wisconsin and is an RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer Corporation Global Account. They are a high profile, long time Vermeer customer. They own several directional boring rigs, quad track utility plows, and recently purchased four drop plows. They also have multiple Vermeer mixing systems, vacuum excavators, locators and pneumatic piercing tools, and a brush chipper, to round out their Vermeer fleet.
The Burnsville-Vermeer team recently delivered three directional boring machines including a D36x50II, D24x40II, and a D20x22S3. Along with the drills, they also delivered two MX240 sixing systems and one MX125 mixing system as well as three DCI F2 locators.
Then, on May 8, the Burnsville team worked together to perform an onsite HDD Fundamental and Machine Operation training at Tjader & Highstrom’s headquarters.
The training included two presentations – one on HDD Fundamentals and the other on Operation Training. After the two presentations, the group of 14 trainees was educated on downhole tooling and other products by Parts Manager, Bruce Getman. There was great interaction during this session and it brought all the Tjader & Highstrom crews up to speed on some of the latest tooling and familiarized them with Vermeer’s Borestore and the Borestore app when ordering HDD tooling.
For the final part of the training, attendees were invited to join Service Manager, Jeff Kockelman and HDD Product Specialist, Tim Williams, on an operational and maintenance walk-around of a newly-delivered Vermeer D36x50II directional boring rig. Jeff and Tim focused their time on machine maintenance and daily operating checks along with new operator station changes. Trainees were also shown Insight, Vermeer’s latest operating system that each new drill includes. MyVermeer.com was also introduced to the group and will be set up for all the Vermeer equipment in their fleet. This was another great session as many questions were asked by Tjader personnel.
The training concluded with a pizza party and refreshments. Pat Arnold, Sales Professional, commented, “Training sessions like this show our customers that we are dedicated to serving them beyond the sale. It also provides an opportunity for us to make an impact getting to know our customers better and understand what our customers are up against daily in the field. Gaining this insight is valuable for our teams as this allows us a higher, wider, deeper relationship with the customer.”
Irving Provides Unique Solution to Customer
What do you do when you need to pulverize a bridge? You contact RDO Equipment Co. in Irving, who then partners with Okada America, a leader in construction attachments, to provide you a perfect solution.
The customer, Pegasus Link Constructors, is the contractor on a large job in Dallas called the Horseshoe Project – a $798 million design-build roadway construction project by the Texas Department of Transportation to improve traffic flow through the heart of Downtown Dallas.
Pegasus Link demo’d the John Deere 350G and when paired with the Okada Pulverizer attachment, proved a great combination that took their job and made it much easier to tear down bridges.
“This was another example of how RDO Equipment Co. supports the needs of customers and provide them a successful solution,” commented Brandon Aldridge, Sales Professional.
Aberdeen Represents RDO Equipment Co. at the South Dakota State FFA Convention
South Dakota State University was home to this year’s SD State FFA Convention. Aberdeen team members Brian Bjordal, Store Manager, and Taylor Gosch, Parts Manager, attended the opening awards ceremony and helped present Proficiency awards on behalf of John Deere for categories of Forest Management and Products; Landscape Management; and Turf Grass Management. RDO Equipment Co. was also recognized as a Star Partner of the SD State FFA program.
Brian and Taylor, joined by JD Kessler, Webster Store Manager, were also a part of the Career Fair that all the high school students attending SD State FFA visited. They brought a John Deere dozer simulator, which drew much attention and was a huge hit amongst the students, as well as other vendors and dealers who attended.
“It was a great opportunity to tell the RDO Equipment Co. story and have many conversations regarding our AYF program,” commented Taylor. “It was exciting to meet some of the future leaders and future growers/producers in agriculture from all over the state of South Dakota.”
RDO Equipment Co. Acquires Montana John Deere Stores
FARGO, N.D. (June 25, 2015) RDO Equipment Co. announces the acquisition of three stores from Montana dealership Triple W Equipment. The stores are located in Missoula and Kalispell and sell and service the full line of John Deere equipment, with an additional service center in Ronan.
These are the first new John Deere stores RDO Equipment Co. has added since 2010 and they expand the company’s reach to new customers across the western part of Montana.
Triple W Equipment supports forestry customers and the addition of these stores will double the business of that product line for RDO Equipment Co.
RDO Equipment Co. has served Montana customers for more than 20 years from three John Deere construction stores located in Billings, Bozeman, and Great Falls. The company provides positioning systems through the RDO Integrated Controls division located in Billings, MT, and irrigation systems through Minnesota Valley Irrigation, located in Billings and Great Falls.
Ian Carey, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President, commented, “Along with Triple W Equipment, we share a strong belief in treating customers as stakeholders in our business. We look forward to working with the team, along with the communities of Kalispell and Missoula, in continuing our track record of growth and a superior focus on customer service.”
Triple W Equipment, a family owned-company, was founded in 1986 in Missoula as a John Deere lawn and garden dealership. The company added the agriculture line within months of opening and became a full line John Deere dealership with the addition of construction and forestry products two years later. With an emphasis on good customer service, Triple W Equipment has grown to its current staff of 55 people and in 2009 opened a new 55,000 square foot John Deere store in Missoula.
JDLink Lunch and Learns Prove Successful in Texas
Irving, Austin, and San Antonio each held JDLink Lunch and Learn events for customers. The goal was to educate customers and demonstrate how JDLink works and what it does – from machine tracking, to alerts, to machine data, and more.
RDO Equipment Co. team members went in depth and showed how to operate the system step-by-step, setting up group alerts, Geofences, users, and groups. In addition, the presentation featured information on FleetShield Services.
Customers also learned how JDLink will transition to the MyJohnDeere website next year, and they were given a sneak peak at what the new site will look like, along with features geared at making the site more user-friendly.
“Our CSA’s and Sales Professionals did a great job of spreading the word about the event and getting our customers engaged,” said Jacob Koon, Worksite Pro Product Specialist. “It’s great when we can demonstrate the many ways RDO Equipment Co. can add value to our customers’ business.”
Jeff Chenault, Product Specialist in Irving, added, “These events are a great way to help not only educate our customers, but to let them see our team as a whole, and to understand that we are here to help their business in every way possible.”
Dickinson Customer Uptime Clinic
The Dickinson store held a unique event in its store in early May. Roughly 40 customers and 30 team members attended a Customer Uptime Clinic. Five John Deere experts presented on various topics including ground engaging tools, undercarriage, Ultimate Uptime, filters, oils/grease, and Reman.
Attendees had the opportunity to see new John Deere products and offerings and enjoy lunch with RDO Equipment Co. team members and John Deere product specialists.
“The feedback we received was that the event was informative and beneficial. This event was the first of its kind that our store has hosted, but it was received very well, and is something we’ll look at holding again,” said Patrick Frohlich, Parts Manager.
RDO EQUIPMENT CO. PARTNERS WITH FARMLINK TO OFFER YIELD BENCHMARKING
Fargo, ND — June 10, 2015 — RDO Equipment Co. and FarmLink today announced a new agreement that will further enable improvements in productivity and profitability by bringing together insights from yield benchmarking and the benefit of precision equipment capabilities.
“Through our long standing relationship with RDO Equipment Co., we share a strong commitment to improving the overall profitability of farm operations,” said Jeff Dema, President of Grower Services for FarmLink. “With access to actionable data, farmers can see how to treat fields differently and then more easily take advantage of precision technology. We are excited to expand our partnership to offer TrueHarvest benchmarking to RDO Equipment Co. customers and help pinpoint opportunities for yield improvements on every acre.”
Using the 2014 TrueHarvest benchmark* released earlier this year, FarmLink identified an additional $1.7 billion revenue improvement opportunity available to farmers in five of the 10 states where RDO Equipment Co. currently operates, including: California, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Washington. Benchmarks for Arizona and Oregon are forthcoming.
“Benchmarking is a critical new tool for growers and will expand our ability to help our customers leverage precision equipment services,” said Mark Kreps, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Agriculture Sales. “TrueHarvest by FarmLink offers independent, objective and actionable data that allows our product specialists, in partnership with farmers, to measure their land’s performance and make decisions for the next growing season. We look forward to utilizing this new tool with our farmers.”
With TrueHarvest benchmarking, agronomists and farmers can pinpoint where there is opportunity for yield improvement to help make investment decisions and evaluate input effectiveness. RDO Equipment Co. customers interested in using TrueHarvest to measure their land’s performance and make decisions for future growing seasons should contact their product specialist. Learn more about FarmLink and TrueHarvest at www.FarmLink.com.
ABOUT RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. is a family owned and operated company that provides and supports innovative solutions for John Deere agriculture, construction, lawn and garden; Vermeer; Topcon; and RDO Water customers.
The organization, with headquarters in Fargo, N.D., employs more than 2,300 team members. The company has 78 sales and service locations in 10 U.S. states and partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia. Learn more about RDO Equipment Co. at www.rdoequipment.com.
*CALCULATIONS ARE BASED ON ALL FARMLAND PERFORMING AT THE 50TH PERCENTILE PERFORMANCE LEVEL, AND IMPROVING TO THE 75TH PERCENTILE PERFORMANCE LEVEL.TOTAL REVENUE IMPROVEMENT WAS CALCULATED USING COMMODITY PRICES ON JAN. 6, 2015.
Burnsville Vermeer Hosts Drill School
In mid-April, the Burnsville Vermeer store conducted two separate, two-day sessions of Drill school for employees and customers.
In each session, the first day of school was held indoors at the Holiday Inn in St. Cloud, followed by a day at the Sauk Rapids dealership. Session 1 had roughly 30 customers and 12 employees; Session 2 had 30 customers. In total, 14 companies were represented.
The training covered in-depth discussions on drilling, utility locating, tooling, service tips and tricks, mud mixing, and drilling safety.
“A special thanks to the support members at the Sauk Rapids store for their help in putting this together as well as all of the team members in the Burnsville Vermeer store. This event was a huge success and would not have been possible without all of us pulling together as one!” said Mark Rieckhoff, Burnsville Vermeer Sales Manager.
RDO Water Participates in University of California Cooperative Extension Strawberry Field Day
Each year, the University of California’s Ag and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension department host a Strawberry Field Day event in Santa Maria for local growers, educators, and researchers.
Sessions ranged from topics such as water management and drought impact, pesticide use trends and safety, nutrient management and drone usage in strawberry production.
Danilu Ramirez serves as the Water Quality Consultant for RDO Water. She discussed research on water conservation and spider mite control in strawberry production using micro-sprinklers.
Danilu was aware of the event in the past, and decided to get involved for this year’s event. She proposed doing research on micro-sprinklers in strawberry production for both organic and conventional strawberry production and then presented the findings.
This year’s attendance was the highest to date with more than 120. “This was by far the biggest turnout the event has ever had. I feel a lot of attendees were our customers or prospect customers, due to the promotion we did of this event,” commented Danilu.
Newest Location Invites Customers, Community to Open House
RDO Equipment Co.’s newest location in McKinney, TX, opened its doors for an Open House event on May 21. The event featured Leadership, employees from many Texas locations, customers, city officials, manufacturing partner representatives, and community members.
The event included tours of the 38,000 sq. ft. facility, product displays, lunch, and prizes and giveaways (including John Deere safes and Yeti coolers). Members of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce were also on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The McKinney store, with roughly 25 team members, is the seventh location in Texas and complements the Fort Worth and Irving locations.
“We had a great event and appreciate all of the hard work and effort that ensured its success,” said Jim Carell, General Manager. “Customers and community members continue to be impressed with the reinvestment that RDO Equipment Co. has shown in the Dallas community. We were proud to show everyone our new store.”
Burnsville Vermeer Supports MMUA Training
Each year the Minnesota Municipalities Utilities Association (MMUA) holds a safety and training exercise in Marshall, MN for its linemen. The MMUA consists of Municipal Electric Divisions from mainly Minnesota, but other municipalities from bordering states with cities near the Minnesota borders are also members, including Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Vendors are asked to bring in equipment for the lineman's use to complete jobs at the training center. The MMUA then sets it up and runs it like an actual jobsite in one of the municipalities’ city limits.
RDO Equipment Co. team members were there to showcase products and help train and show the linemen how to use the Vermeer equipment. The Burnsville Vermeer store had an S800TX mini skid steer, RTX750, BC1500 and a VacTron LP533SDT vac onsite, while the Marshall store brought a John Deere 310SK Tractor Loader Backhoe and a 130GLC Excavator.
The event consisted of four days of alternating classroom training with outdoor hands on training with underground equipment.
"For RDO Vermeer to be involved in this event is a great way to show the capabilities, features, and benefits of Vermeer equipment to the customer. This gives the customer confidence that not only are they buying a quality product in Vermeer, but with that purchase they are getting RDO Equipment Co. and the resources a solid dealer can provide,” said Pat Arnold, Sales Professional.
Fontana Hosts College Students
Students and instructors from Mt. San Antonio College (located in Walnut, CA), recently visited the Fontana store. The store has developed a strong relationship with the college throughout the years.
The store had several demonstrations of equipment available. Fontana team members Rick Shepherd, Rigo Leon, Tareck Karam and Colby Gergovich discussed how diagnosing equipment has progressed over the years, as well as what tools and training are required for Service Technicians to be successful.
“The students are always a great crowd and they had a great time this year. Giving students experiences like this is a great way to gain positive momentum and exposure for RDO Equipment Co.,” said Colby Gergovich, Aftermarket Manager.
Hawley Hosts First Grade Visitors
For several years, the Hawley store has sponsored Mrs. Carlson’s first grade class. On May 15, the class came and toured the store. They had many questions about how tractors and combines work, and of course, each student wanted to ride in the sprayers and combines.
After the tour and some treats, the kids got their wish to ride in some equipment. Six employees gave rides to all the kids in tractors, sprayers, combines and gators. When the tour was over, all the kids received a surprise gift bag from RDO Equipment Co.
Steve Martin, Store Manager, commented, “It is always fun to have these first graders visit the store. They have amazing questions about everything. The usual questions are, ‘How much does that cost?’ However, this year, one of the questions stumped me: ‘How many parts are on that tractor?’ I answered, ‘Lots!’”
Williston Kicks Off Parade Season
The Williston store participated in the 85th Williston Band Day Parade on May 9. This event was very well attended by the community and the streets were lined with people.
The team handed out candy and small footballs and keychains with the RDO Equipment Co. logo on them.
“Our store’s float turned out great and I am proud that we had so many employees participate from all departments of our store,” commented Scott Anderson, General Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. Names Chris Cooper Chief Operating Officer
FARGO, N.D. (June 3, 2015) Chris Cooper has been named Chief Operating Officer of RDO Equipment Co. In this role, he will be responsible for the daily business operations across all regions and teams and will work directly with Christi Offutt, RDO Equipment Co. CEO and Chair of Offutt Family Enterprises, and the leadership team in driving business goals and results.
Cooper has served as an RDO Equipment Co. executive vice president since 2012. He joined the organization in 2004 as general manager of the Irving, Fort Worth, and Waco, TX locations. In 2007 he was promoted to vice president of Texas region and in 2010, assumed leadership of the southwest construction region, serving as vice president of southern construction.
Prior to his employment at RDO Equipment Co., Cooper spent nearly 10 years working for Michigan Cat in various roles including service management, corporate product support management, sales, corporate rental and inventory management, and product support management. Before that, he managed his own maintenance and repair company with 16 field technicians.
Cooper commented, “RDO Equipment Co. is a proven leader in our industry because of the incredible insight and skills of the Offutt family and the leadership team. My pledge to everyone at the company is to continue operating with these ideals in mind and to drive our business while strengthening the relationships with our customers and business partners.”
Christi Offutt commented, “During his career at RDO Equipment Co., Chris has proven himself as a true leader who is skilled at building relationships with all of RDO’s stakeholders as well as creating strong teams. RDO has a talented leadership team which has led to a workplace culture we are all proud to be a part of. I trust Chris to continue to promote this great culture while delivering successful strategies for our company.”
Cooper will be based at the company’s Field Support Office in Fargo, N.D.
Tree Climbing Seminar in Fontana Huge Success
The Fontana store held an Advanced Climbing Techniques seminar on April 23. More than 90 attendees represented 34 companies in six cities which was a large turnout for an event held offsite such as this.
An instructor from NATS on behalf of SherrillTree provided the demonstration and instruction portion of the seminar. The course offered 6.5 continuing education units (CEU) for ISA Certified Arborists and Tree Workers.
“The feedback we received from the event was terrific,” stated Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager. “Sherrill is a great complimentary product to our environmental line and training events like these provide a great touch point for our customers.”
RDO Water Partners with Secretary of Agriculture in Mexico
Much of the talk of drought has been focused on California, but Mexico is also feeling the effects of a severe drought. In April, the RDO Water team was asked to provide a tour of alfalfa fields where irrigation technology has been implemented to Mexico Agriculture authorities. The Mexicali Valley is a large alfalfa growing area and they are looking for expertise from U.S. companies.
RDO Water customer ACX – Al Dahra Farm Operations is a leader in Alfalfa grown with drip irrigation in the Imperial Valley and Arizonaand was a perfect showcase for the Mexico team to learn firsthand what can be done with irrigation.
Three years ago ACX – Al Dahra Farm Operations began implementing drip irrigation on alfalfa. John Summers of ACX – Al Dahra and their engineering department designed the system and put out a bid for parts and components. RDO Water was selected and since then has continued to build a relationship with the company.
During the visit to the fields, RDO Water team members explained to Guillermo Aldrete, Representative of the Secretary of Agriculture of Mexico, how the system works and the benefits of implementing such a system on alfalfa. Along with Guillermo, a group of alfalfa farmers from the Mexicali Valley joined the tour. These farmers are interested in implementing this technology successfully in their businesses in Mexico.
According to John Summers, by not only switching to drip a farmer can expect an increase in yield, but with the addition of good management, a 40% increase on yield can be achieved.
Ernesto Beltran, RDO Water Regional Sales Manager, commented, “Contrary to what many people think, the savings in water use due to the use of drip irrigation is not significant. The benefit comes with the optimal use of water applied – when a plant needs it, exactly where a plant needs it.” Ernesto and his team explained to the visitors that simply implementing a drip system will not necessarily warrant success but that it takes an integral management of the crop and proper system maintenance.
After displaying a drip system, the RDO Water team took the visitors to a field where they had implemented a PVC (instead of aluminum) sprinkler system. This alternative features no leaks due to the characteristics of the assembly of the pipe and the way water is supplied to it. This field also has a Remote Automation System which allows a farmer using any smart phone, computer, or tablet to start up and shut down the system remotely; open and close vales; inject fertilizer; and get a full report of activities performed at the end of irrigation. “This is another way to use water more efficiently and effectively,” said Ernesto.
In a meeting to wrap up the tours and discussions, Guillermo Aldrete was very impressed with the technology showcased by the RDO Water team. He commented that in the next three years, his goal is to have nearly 25,000 acres of alfalfa under drip irrigation in the Mexicali Valley and that RDO Water will be a very reliable partner in achieving this goal.
Portland Donates to Fruit Tree Project
The Portland team recently got involved with a unique organization called the Portland Fruit Tree Project. The project is a group of local arborists that prune/maintain fruit bearing trees in the Portland community that people are not able to take care of themselves, either due to financial constraints or physical abilities (elderly, disabled, etc.). In trade, they take the fruit and donate to local homeless shelters to avoid wasting the fruit falling on the ground and rotting.
The store donated four pruning saws and scabbards to assist the volunteers’ efforts. In a thank you letter, Program Manager Bob Hatton, shared:
The tools that you have donated will make it possible for our Fruit Tree Stewardship programs to be successful. In 2015, Portland Fruit Tree Project plans to organize 100+ community harvesting events, which will bring together hundreds of volunteers to harvest approximately 50,000 pounds of fruit that might otherwise go to waste! This fruit will be distributed to at least 7,000 families in need. Thank you for contributing to the unique and valuable work of Portland Fruit Tree Project. Your support helps us make lasting change in the health and sustainability of communities in Portland.
Ollie Windle, General Manager, commented, “This is a great organization that we are glad to get involved with. We look for ways to continue to get involved with them.”
Sioux Falls Service Technician Wins First Place at National Tractor Pull Classic
Kent Huwe, Sioux Falls Service Technician, stands with his first place trophy from the National Antique Tractor Pull Association Corn Husker Classic, held in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received first place in the “Jackpot Pull” with a 1937 A John Deere pulling 4750 lb weight.
Kent has been “pulling” and competing for more than 25 years. “I enjoy the people involved in the events and I enjoy the completion of the pull, to see if my tractor can compete with others in my class.”
Kent has been with RDO Equipment Co. for more than 20 years. Congrats, Kent!
RDO Equipment Co. Names Jim Carell General Manager of New McKinney Location
MCKINNEY, Tex. (May 18, 2015) Jim Carell has been named General Manager of RDO Equipment Co.’s newest location in McKinney, TX. This location sells, rents, and services John Deere construction equipment and opened in March 2015.
Carell joined the company in 2002 as a sales professional at the Irving location. In 2014 he was named sales manager of McKinney, then under construction. Prior to RDO Equipment Co., he worked in sales at Kirkpatrick & O’Donnell as well as Continental Equipment. Carell has 25 years of experience in the heavy equipment industry.
He’ll oversee a McKinney team of more than 25 employees. With the addition of McKinney, RDO Equipment Co. has seven locations along I-35 from Dallas to Laredo. This location will provide additional support to north Texas customers and complement RDO Equipment Co.’s Fort Worth and Irving locations. The new store boasts 38,000 sq ft. and was designed to achieve LEED Certification by the United Sates Green Building Council (USGBC).
Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment Co. vice president of Texas region, commented, “Jim’s vast industry and RDO Equipment Co. knowledge and experience provide a solid foundation for the launch of our newest Texas location.”
Carell added, “I am excited and honored to be chosen to lead a great team forward and meet the high standards set by the other stores in Texas and across our organization. It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of building the business utilizing our company’s core values.”
Burnsville Vermeer Team Members Jump in Frigid Water for a Good Cause
The Polar Plunge is an annual event that supports Special Olympics Minnesota. It involves teams raising funds and jumping into frigid Minnesota waters in the middle of winter! Polar Plunge events happen all over Minnesota (and similar events may even happen in your state!).
Dawn Albright, Parts Warehouse Specialist, has been jumping in the Polar Plunge since 2012. It started as a “bucket list” item but she loves the organization so much, she has continued to jump each year. After joining RDO Equipment Co., and talking about the event with her teammates, Katie Davis, Parts Specialist, and Amanda Freiermuth, Office Administrator, even though it sounded a little crazy, they were convinced to join in the fun for a wonderful cause.
The team raised a little more than $1,700, which included a donation from the Burnsville Vermeer store. They even had matching shirts with the RDO Equipment Co. logo.
Amanda commented, “Katie and I, being first time jumpers, were a little apprehensive, but the water was not nearly as cold as we anticipated! We had a great experience, and want to thank our store, RDO Equipment Co., and all those who donated to our cause and cheered us on. We had a lot of great support and we will be jumping into freezing water again next year!”
Grand Forks Hosts Week-Long Job Shadow
Three students from Sacred Heart High School, East Grand Forks, MN, job shadowed employees at RDO Equipment Co. in Grand Forks for five consecutive mornings. The students were exposed to our Core Values, stakeholders, culture, and Access Your Future (AYF) program in addition to spending time in the shop and the parts department. These students were very engaged and genuinely interested in what our business and our industry were all about.
A highlight for the students was operating a loader under the watchful eye and guidance of Mike Harshman, Shop Foreman. They were particularly impressed with the advances between the 644H loader and the 544K loader. Mike enjoyed his interactions with the students and commented that they were excited about operating the equipment and asked great questions about the features and functions of the machines.
Roni Lillehaugen, General Manager, commented, “All three students were interested in the AYF program and how it works. One of the students has committed to the program and will begin working with us in June. We hope that the other students will join the program when they graduate in 2016.”
Sunnyside Helps Teach Kids about Ag Equipment
In late March, the Sunnyside team participated in Dozer Days. This is the same event that the Portland store participates in every year, except this is the first year a Dozer Day event has taken place in Yakima, Washington. The event featured 2,500 attendees.
The event gives kids an opportunity to drive construction and AG equipment with proceeds benefitting children-related charities. The Sunnyside store brought two 7R series tractors, a gator, and a 3032E tractor for the event.
“It was a great time. We had a long line at our booth and the kids were very excited to drive the biggest tractor at the event,” said Ike Malson, Store Manager.
Those who helped and donated time: Central Trucking (donated trucking time), Ryan Johnson, Gill Perez, Joe Castillo, Eric Garza, Travis Hanger, Jake Hazzard, and Ike Malson.
Salinas Gets Involved in Local FFA Field Day
RDO Equipment Co. in Salinas, CA donated six 60 series machines for use at the 2nd annual Hartnell College FFA Field Day. This competition is hosted at the local community college for all of California’s Central Coast FFA chapters to participate. The competition consists of different events including welding, to produce judging, to farm power.
RDO Equipment Co.’s machines were used in the farm power event to assess the students’ tractor knowledge and operating ability. Students had to complete two separate tasks:
1. Students had to back an empty irrigation pipe trailer at a 90 degree angle through a set of cones, and then pull forward back through the cones without making contact (a task difficult to even seasoned operators!)
2. Next, students had to make three passes down a mock field using live implements:
One pass with a disc – students were required to lower the three point mounted disc o the proper depth, run the pass, and pick up the disc set at the designated field border.
One pass with a rototiller – students were required to engage the PTO, lower the three point mounted rototiller to the proper depth, run the psas, and lift the attachment at the designated field border.
One pass with a box float – students were required to scrape the ‘field’ flat using the drawbar mounted float, preparing the ‘field’ for the next competitor.
Students were judged on time, proper ground speed, starting/stopping at correct time, PTO engagement/engine RPM, use of machine’s seatbelt, and overall quality of the pass.
“This event was a great success, promoting our commitment to our community, as well as demonstrating the quality of the John Deere brand,” commented Peter Stuhlmiller, Service Advisor, who also helped design and judge the farm power event.
The Salinas team received the following thank you from the college: Thank you so much for your contribution of time and energy toward making our field day at Hartnell College a success. It’s only with committed volunteers like you that we can organize and run fun and educational events such as these. Without your judging skills and knowledge in Farm Power, students would not have been able to expand and strengthen their knowledge and abilities.
International Delegation Visits Red River Valley
A delegation of 20 international visitors stopped by the Moorhead store.
The group was represented by the Managers of agricultural companies in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. The goal of their trip was to learn about seed business and agricultural equipment market in the USA, visit USA farms to learn about modern farming techniques, crop rotations and agronomy.
The trip was organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce / International Trade administration.
Brian Verkuehlen, General Manager of Sales, and Olga Hall, Division Manager of Ag Exports served as RDO Equipment Co. hosts.
“This group was very impressed with the Moorhead facility, expressed a strong interest in RDO Equipment Co. operations worldwide, and had insightful questions,” said Olga. “We were pleased to share our experience and knowledge of agricultural equipment business with them.”
Annual Safety Days Success in Washburn and Hazen
For the past several years, both Washburn and Hazen have conducted a Safety Day event for local elementary students.
February 19 marked the annual Safety Day for area First graders in Washburn. Looking for help to keep things running smoothly, Mike Kamurth, head of the Washburn Future Farmers of America (FFA), was approached and was more than happy to lend a helping hand. It was a win-win situation as it allowed RDO Equipment Co. to keep Service Technicians working, and the local FFA students who need to complete community service projects, the opportunity to contribute to a fun event.
At Safety Day, First graders were lead through the stations with FFA students explaining the dangers of fire, PTO, blind spots, animal safety, helmet safety, bike and ATV safety, and how to use 911.
“The event went very smoothly, and it was a great opportunity for us to partner with the local FFA. These students were a great resource, and helped add feedback to ways we can improve the event in the future,” commented Chad Richter, Store Manager.
This year’s event also featured four RDO Equipment Co. employees that had First graders who attended. Neal Neukomm with son Dierks; Wyat Klabunde with daughter Hannah; Dave Green with son Cory, and Loren Henke with son Treyden. The dads all assisted with the event, which made their First graders very proud!
Nearly 85 First graders from the Beulah/Hazen community attended Hazen’s 4th annual Safety Day. Terry Newman, Account Manager, led the day’s event, along with help from other RDO Equipment Co. employees from Hazen and Washburn.
“It’s a great opportunity for the children to learn and have fun. It also gives us the opportunity to do something great for the community,” said Dave Ripplinger, Store Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water Partner for SWAg Summit
The two-day SW Ag Summit is a cooperative event by Arizona Western College Foundation, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and Yuma County Farm Bureau. In its 9th year, this event is focused on educational breakout sessions for local growers, ag professionals, college students, and businesses. RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water in Yuma were involved in a big way at this year’s event.
The first day was primarily focused on demos. RDO Equipment Co. demoed the eBee drone and JDLink technology, while RDO Water demoed an automated pump/sprinkler irrigation system. In addition, both RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water were sponsors of the event and had exhibitor booths.
During the General session, five experts discussed the Colorado River system, which was a very educational and eye-opening seminar. Other topics included food safety liability, efficient irrigation in the Low Desert, and drones and UAVs.
“The Summit is the only ag-industry event of its kind in our area,” commented Chris Harmon, RDO Equipment Co. – Yuma General Manager. “It’s important for our team to not only demonstrate the value we can bring to the agriculture community, but a chance for us to learn about the topics and challenges growers are facing.”
Ada Helps Youth with Eagle Scout Project
In 2014, two young men from the Ada community approached the team and asked if they could assist with their Eagle Scout Projects.
There were two separate projects that were completed. The first was a Veterans Memorial made of granite. The store assisted with time and machinery to help set the foundation for the very heavy stone to sit on. They also made a monetary donation and Tim Spilde, Lead Parts Specialist, operated the skid steer used for the project. The memorial is a main landmark of the community cemetery and is visible from the main throughway in town.
The second project was for a new sign for the Heart of the Valley (HOV) Golf Course in Ada. It was a “Course Rules” sign along with a memorial bench. Tim and Kirk Spilde, Central Parts Ordering Specialist, utilized Community Time and helped operate a skid steer and manual labor.
The two young men received their Eagle Scout Awards in February and were both very appreciative of the help they received from RDO Equipment Co.
“We were happy to help give back to these young individuals. Their projects help better our community,” commented E. Marquis, Store Manager.
More than 100 Attend Northwest Precision Ag Training
Over the course of three days, the RDO Equipment Co. team provided a training event to help customers learn strategies for better fleet and asset management.
Held at the Kennewick fairgrounds, customers attended classes that included MyJohnDeere.com, Apex Farm Management software, and in-field ride and drives with sprayers and tractors.
This was the first year trying a new format for the precision products training. The focus was to hold interactive and informative sessions that customers could gain value from and take back to their operation.
Saul Amezquita, Product Specialist Supervisor, conducted sessions in Spanish, which nearly half the attendees participated in.
Dan Eslinger, Product Specialist, and Joel Kaczynski, Product Specialist Manager, trained on JDLink and MyJohnDeere Operation Center and sprayers.
Kyle Sannes, Product Specialist and Alex Umpleby, Product Specialist trained on general set-up/operation, in field adjustments, and GreenStar Rate Controller set-up and operation.
Reps from SurFire AG also held a session to inform customers on solutions that can be used in conjunction with our John Deere Precision Products that will help them increase their chemical application accuracy.
“We were pleased with the turnout and the response to the materials,” said Joel. “This is the type of event that showcases the value and expertise our team brings to our growers business.
Vermeer Dealer Year End and Individual Award
The RDO Vermeer team recently attended the Dealer Year End Meeting in December along with the Sales – Parts – Service event in February, both held at Vermeer Corporation in Pella, IA. It was very exciting this past year as the team had many accomplishments along with a few individual accomplishments.
The following were awarded to RDO Vermeer teams and individuals:
CA & OR – Top 3 in the world for Tree Care Products
MN & ND – Top 3 in the world for Utility Products
Randy Logan (Fontana Sales Professional) – Recycling Products Champion
Mark Rieckhoff (Burnsville-Vermeer Sales Manager) – Sales Manager of the Year
Brian Schafer - #5 in the world for Sales
Eric Punt – 1st Vermeer Certified Master Technician
Marshall Anderson, Executive Vice President, stated, “The Vermeer Division had a great year in Fiscal Year 2015 and it was wonderful to see us recognized by Vermeer across all the segments as well as all regions. On an individual basis, we are very proud of the personal recognition that Mark, Brian, Randy and Eric received for their contributions to both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer. We are also proud of all the team members whose dedication and hard work allowed us to perform in the Top 3 of all dealers in five major categories.”
RDO Equipment Co. Announces Partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS
FARGO, N.D. (April 10, 2015) – RDO Equipment Co. announces a partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS, a manufacturer of power generation and power distribution equipment. All 17 Midwest Construction locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana will represent all of HIPOWER SYSTEMS’ product lines, from rental generators to power distribution products.
“The new partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS is a great fit for our organization, as we have similar values and goals. In their approach to customer service and with their equipment, HIPOWER SYSTEMS is equally committed to building and maintaining satisfaction and strong relationships with their customer base,” commented Justin Schulz, RDO Equipment Co. Product Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. will be sending six Service Technicians to the HIPOWER SYSTEMS facility to complete a comprehensive, three-week training curriculum. The program imparts knowledge on everything from basic generator engine and controller operation to troubleshooting and system maintenance of HIPOWER SYSTEMS equipment, specifically.
“We are impressed with RDO Equipment Co.’s commitment to uptime and superior service, which is important not only for the Oil & Gas industry but for all of our markets,” said HIPOWER SYSTEMS President Rafael Acosta. He continued, “Our joint dedication to quality, integrity, and customer support will be the key to success in this new partnership.”
Lon Kindseth, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Midwest Construction, concluded, “This is a quality solution we are able to offer and take care of our customers’ business needs.”
Ron Offutt Named to ND Agriculture Hall of Fame
Ronald Offutt, founder and Chairman Emeritus of R.D. Offutt Company was inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame on March 7, 2015 during the 78th annual North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City.
Offutt is the founder of R.D. Offutt Co., the nation's largest producer of potatoes, and RDO Equipment Co., the largest network of John Deere construction and agricultural equipment dealerships in the U.S.
A native of Orrick, Mo., Offutt grew up on his family’s farm in Moorhead, Minn. He attended Moorhead High School and graduated in 1964 from Concordia College, Moorhead, with a degree in Economics.
Offutt is the former chairman of the Board of Regents of Concordia College in Moorhead, where he has served his alma mater for over 20 years on its board. He is a member of the Global Leadership Board of the Offutt School of Business at Concordia College and a member of the Board of Regents.
He is one of 41 recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, North Dakota’s top honor, recognizing North Dakotans who have achieved national excellence in their fields of endeavor. He has also received numerous other regional and national awards for his contributions to agriculture.
The North Dakota Winter Show is home to the North Dakota Agricultural Hall of Fame. A selection committee, made up of different segments of the state’s agricultural committee, selects the yearly inductees from those nominated individuals. The selection is based on an individual’s contribution to agriculture in the state. Offutt was nominated by the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.
RDO Equipment Co. Opens New Location in McKinney
MCKINNEY, Tex. (March 16, 2015) – RDO Equipment Co. has opened a new store in McKinney Texas. With seven current locations in the state, the McKinney store will provide additional support to north Texas customers and complement RDO Equipment Co.’s Fort Worth and Irving locations.
The new 38,000 sq. ft. location will offer sales, parts, service, and rental of John Deere heavy construction equipment. The store was designed to achieve LEED Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Texas, stated, “The additional north Texas location furthers our commitment to our customers and allows us to expand our overall services and product support capabilities in an expanding market. We look forward to growing our close-knit team into an additional location and serving the McKinney community for many years to come.”
The store will host a Grand Opening later this spring.
Moorhead and Hawley Host Spring Clinic
The Moorhead and Hawley locations each held a clinic called, “Enabling Solutions.” This clinic was aimed to help customers get prepared for spring and touched on their equipment, AMS solutions, manufacturer news, and more.
The clinic kicked off with an AMS refresher – things growers need to do before they hit the field, such as how to setup planters and air seeders on their displays and value added services.
After the AMS piece, RDO Equipment Co. team members discussed equipment readiness (tractors, planters and air seeders), winter inspections, and Technical Support.
Parts was next, including discussion about retrofittable parts from the MaxEmerge 5 row units to previous model row units, as well as John Deere incentives, and the filter sale. Customers were given a sneak peak of some of the newest products from John Deere, including the 9RX, 2730 ripper, SectionCommand (for air seeders), and SeedStar Mobile. Wrapping things up was a discussion on the importance of good data and how that applies to agronomic practices.
“These types of clinics are great opportunities to partner with our customers in preparing their businesses for planting season. Their uptime and productivity are crucial for the success of all RDO stakeholders,” commented Todd Thompson.
Jerry “Doc” Holliday Celebrates 25 Years
Doc Holliday celebrated 25 years of service this month with a store event. Doc grew up in rural Texas and graduated college with an engineering degree. Doc worked several years in the engineering industry, including time as the Lead Engineer on two large construction projects in Texas: one for the Corps of Engineers and another for the Texas Department of Transportation. After those projects wrapped, Doc entered the heavy equipment industry, where he’s been ever since.
Doc spent several years as a Sales Professional and is currently the Sales Manager in New Braunfels and Laredo. In his 25 years, he’s seen a lot of changes by way of technology and processes. “When I started, all of our quotes and POs were hand written, and we carried our inventory list on a computer-generated print out that was 8” x 14” x 3”. We made most our calls from pay phones. You made sure you always had your rolls of quarters, and I knew where every pay phone was located in the San Antonio area,” he said. The change of equipment technology – and price - has also been quite drastic. “Backhoes used to be in the $30k range, and now they are in the $70k range. They both still dig the same hole!”
What hasn’t changed, however, is how much he’s enjoyed working for RDO Equipment Co. “I am so thankful and fortunate to have built these relationships and long lasting friendships with my fellow team members and customers. Not only have I gotten to know them, but their wives, their children, and grandchild. I even know some of their in-laws!” he adds.
“I have also been graced to have worked for a family-owned and operated organization, and fortunately for me and my family (wife, Traci, and sons Justin, Sims, and Clay, who works in San Antonio as a Sales Professional), it has always been a feeling of one big family. My family and I are blessed to be a part of the RDO family.”
Aberdeen Employee Retires after 36 Years
Linda Hansen, Parts Administrator, etired from RDO Equipment Co. after more than 36 years. An Open House was held in her honor on February 20. The community was invited to come into the store to wish Linda well and enjoy refreshments.
Linda started her career in 1978 in the service department, back when the John Deere dealership in town was Brown County Implement. She transitioned to a parts role right before RDO Equipment Co. purchased the store.
What’s changed the most in her 36+ years in a dealership setting? It’s no surprise – technology. “I suppose the biggest change I’ve seen is the use of computers, when everything at one time was done manually or with just a typewriter!” she comments. She also notes that the machinery is so much larger and much more expense.
“I’m very fortunate to have made many wonderful friends of both employees and our customers in the past 36 years,” Linda adds.
Brian Bjordal, Store Manager, said,” Linda has done a great job for RDO Equipment Co. and will be missed by our customers and employees. We wish Linda the very best in her retirement.”
JD Kessler Named Webster Store Manager
JD Kessler is the new Webster store manager. He’s been with RDO Equipment Co. for nearly 7 years, and in his time with the organization has gained experience in several roles in sales and management, including Sales Manager in Livermore (focused on Vermeer product), Account Manager for Core Accounts in South Dakota, and most recently, Regional Sales Manager for Webster and Aberdeen.
“I look forward to taking the relationships with our internal and external customers to the next level and helping them be a part of the RDO story every single day,” said JD. “I have always been amazed no matter what store I have worked in, how great the people are – and it again rings true for the Webster team.”
Kevin Grove, Service Manager in Grand Forks, spent two days in mid-January teaching first- and second-year Auto Mechanics at Red River High School in Grand Forks. When the instructor for the class was called out for a few days, RDO Equipment Co. and another local industrial dealership were asked to fill the void.
Kevin’s assignment was to speak about cooling systems to the second year students and about preventative maintenance to the first year students. To supplement the classroom education, Kevin brought a new John Deere 524k loader into the class shop – a big hit with the students. He was able to show the students the similarities between gas and diesel machines through the combination of classroom and hands-on presentations.
Roni Lillehaugen, General Manager, was glad that Kevin and RDO Equipment Co. were able to help the school and the students. “We are fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable as Kevin who was able to step in and help out. The students appreciated having a guest speaker – and a loader to climb around on!”
RDO Equipment Co. Donates Equipment, Time to Local Event
Each year, RDO Equipment Co. supplies machines and man power to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. And every year at this event, many FFA chapters from around the state participate in the AG Mechanics show that is part of the event.
These students build saddle racks, smokers, fire pits, bumper pull trailers, goose neck trailers, deer feeders, hog traps, cattle pins, and even bottom dump trailers for 18-wheelers. The RDO Equipment Co. team donates time and equipment to help load and unload these projects made by students.
This year’s event boasted 243 projects – loaded and unloaded by the RDO Equipment Co. team – from 98 FFA Chapters, represented by 600 students.
“The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is a long standing tradition in our community, and I am happy that we can support the event and the work of these talented young men and women who participate,” said Matt Daniell, RDO Equipment Co. General Manager.
FAA Proposes New Rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
February 17, 2015 - By GPS World staff
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system for commercial purposes.
“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”
The FAA proposal offers safety rules for UAS under 55 pounds conducting “non-recreational” operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.
The proposed rules also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can further leverage the UAS test site program and an upcoming UAS Center of Excellence to further spur innovation at “innovation zones.”
The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The FAA also intends to hold public meetings to discuss innovation and opportunities at the test sites and Center of Excellence. These meetings will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.
“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The proposed rule would require an operator to maintain visual line of sight of a small UAS. The rule would allow, but not require, an operator to work with a visual observer who would maintain constant visual contact with the aircraft. The operator would still need to be able to see the UAS with unaided vision (except for glasses). The FAA is asking for comments on whether the rules should permit operations beyond line of sight, and if so, what the appropriate limits should be.
Under the proposed rule, the person actually flying a small UAS would be an “operator.” An operator would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate. To maintain certification, the operator would have to pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months. A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (such as a private pilot license or medical rating).
The new rule also proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground:
A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away.
The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property.
A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS.
A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight.
Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.
Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).
The proposed rule maintains the existing prohibition against operating in a careless or reckless manner. It also would bar an operator from allowing any object to be dropped from the UAS.
Operators would be responsible for ensuring an aircraft is safe before flying, but the FAA is not proposing that small UAS comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification. For example, an operator would have to perform a preflight inspection that includes checking the communications link between the control station and the UAS. Small UAS with FAA-certificated components also could be subject to agency airworthiness directives.
The new rules would not apply to model aircraft. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. Generally speaking, the new rules would not apply to government aircraft operations, because we expect that these government operations will typically continue to actively operate under the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process unless the operator opts to comply with and fly under the new small UAS regulations.
In addition to this proposal, earlier today, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum concerning transparency, accountability, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for the Federal Government’s use of UAS in the national airspace system, which directs the initiation of a multi-stakeholder engagement process to develop a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning commercial and private UAS use.
The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit www.knowbeforeyoufly.org.
CADsoft Consulting Announces partnership with RDO Integrated Controls
CADsoft Consulting Announces partnership with RDO Integrated Controls Representing innovative positioning technology solutions in the construction industry dedicated to Building Information Modeling (BIM)
FARGO, ND – CADsoft Consulting Inc., a proven leader in the implementations of Design and Construction technologies for the last 24 years, announced that they have signed a joint venture with the leading positioning distributor of Topcon’s field scanners and robotic technologies, RDO Integrated Controls, a division of RDO Equipment Co. This synergy is made possible primarily due to high level collaboration at the root level between Autodesk Inc. and Topcon. CADsoft and RDO Integrated Controls’ joint venture makes it possible for small and major construction trade partners to easily adopt and implement the most streamlined technology in the construction industry.
Topcon is a global leader in precision positioning technology and solutions and has designed their solutions to allow building and civil infrastructure construction customers to form a tighter, more seamless workflow that will increase on-site worker productivity, enhance jobsite safety, and improve quality control.
Additionally, Topcon and Autodesk, a leader in cloud-based design and engineering software for the construction industry, have collaborated to allow products, such as Autodesk Point Layout and the new BIM 360 Layout iPad app, for BIM to more efficiently interact with Topcon’s LN-100 3D Layout Navigator. This provides greater interoperability between Autodesk’s design solutions and Topcon field positioning hardware to connect workflows between the office and the field utilizing robotic total stations for construction positioning. As an Autodesk Authorized Gold Partner and an Autodesk BIM 360 Advisor, CADsoft Consulting has the expertise to provide a complete solution and create jobsite efficiencies by helping contractors more easily connect BIM output to field based implementation. These efficiencies reduce contractor error and re-work while speeding-up the overall installation process.
“By selecting to partner with RDO Integrated Controls, CADsoft Consulting continues to expand our innovative and advanced technology offerings to meet our customer needs,” said Lisa Duncan, Principal of CADsoft Consulting. “Our customers are embracing BIM and have an immediate need for layout workflows to increase jobsite and project accuracy and substantially increase productivity as well. The LN-100 total station robot and Autodesk Point Layout software sits as the focus for the delivering these needs to our clients. With RDO Integrated Controls' expertise and guidance with positioning technology this can be quickly translated into real opportunities with our clients moving forward.”
”As part of our business philosophy to be a total solutions provider in the positioning industry, we are excited about the strategic advantage that this partnership will allow customers. This is an opportunity to extend our services and continue to deliver superior results that will truly benefit the work our customers do,” said Kelly Gress, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President.
About RDO Integrated Controls
RDO Integrated Controls, founded in 2009, is a division of RDO Equipment Co. The division provides positioning solutions for customers in the construction, mining, engineering, survey, and landfill industries. For more information, visit www.rdointegratedcontrols.com.
About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. is a family owned and operated company that provides and supports innovative solutions for John Deere agriculture, construction, lawn and garden; Vermeer; Topcon; and RDO Water customers. The organization, with headquarters in Fargo, N.D., employs more than 2,200 team members. The company has 70 sales and service locations in nine U.S. states and partnerships in Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, and Australia. Learn more about RDO Equipment Co. at www.rdoequipment.com.
About CADsoft Consulting
CADsoft Consulting is a proven leader in the implementation of architectural, engineering, and construction design technologies and workflow. With over 24 years of industry, business, and technical experience, CADsoft Consulting’s unique services are sought after by leading architectural firms, engineering companies, manufacturing and mining, government agencies, and academic institutions. CADsoft Consulting is an Autodesk Gold Partner with specializations in Building, Civil Infrastructure, Advanced MEP, Advanced Structure, Process & Power, and Government. In addition, CADsoft holds Autodesk Consulting and Product Support Specializations and is an Authorized Training Center (ATC). For more information visit www.cadsoft-consult.com.
Autodesk, the Autodesk logo and ATC are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.
Grand Forks Service Manager Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Several team members joined the Grand Forks store in recognizing Kevin Grove, Service Manager, for his 30 Years of Service. Kevin’s wife, Carol, and son, Ryan, helped celebrate this special milestone along with many guests including Christi Offutt, CEO; Lon Kindseth, Vice President; and Ron Saar, Regional Aftermarket Manager.
Kevin stated that he has enjoyed his years at RDO Equipment Co. and has built many strong relationships and friendships with both customers and employees. Roni Lillehaugen, General Manger, Grand Forks, is pleased to be able to work with Kevin. “Kevin is a wonderful employee who truly exemplifies our Core Values and Stakeholder philosophy of doing business. He is well respected by our stakeholders and is a great ambassador for RDO Equipment Co. – I am honored to work with him and have him on our team.”
Brian Bjordal Named Aberdeen Store Manager
Brian Bjordal has been named Store Manager in Aberdeen. Brian joined RDO Equipment Co. one year ago as the Webster Store Manager. He previously worked at Walmart for 23 years, with the last 11 as the Walmart Store Manager in Aberdeen.
“Brian brings a wealth of customer service experience,” commented Brook Stephens, Regional General Manager. “Brian has made an immediate impact to our stores in South Dakota, and I look forward to his leadership in Aberdeen.”
Partnership Formed with Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College, with campuses in Brainerd and Staples, Minn., attended RDO Integrated Controls’ Roadshow this spring. John Maleski, instructor, brought a few students with him from their Heavy Equipment Operations & Maintenance program.
The students and faculty were so impressed with the technology and the partnership between Topcon, John Deere, and RDO Equipment Co., that the college has purchased a Topcon 3DMC2 system for their John Deere 700J and a GR-5 Base/Rover/Data Collector to integrate into their operator training program.
Through Topcon’s Educational Partner Program (EPP), the RDO Integrated Controls team was able to present Central Lakes College with a substantial discount on the gear. “This is a big win for us,” commented Scott Schumacher, Account Manager. “To have these students entering the workforce with an excellent base of knowledge on Topcon machine control, along with the support they’ll receive from our team, is huge.”
When working through the deal, John’s biggest concern was getting the students questions answered after the initial training was completed. “When we discussed Fleet Shield Services and explained the RDOIC Solutions Center, it really made the college feel comfortable moving forward with the purchase,” added Scott.
Portland Volunteers Time and Equipment
For the 7th year in a row, the Portland store was involved at the Portland Creative Science School to chip Christmas trees. Rod Fischer, Field Service Technician, and his son volunteered to do the work.
Joanna Goebel, with the Creative Science School, told Ollie Windle, General Manager: “This year’s Treecycle was a huge success. We collected $650 in donations by “recycling” or chipping around 100 Christmas trees. The chips will provide mulch for our garden and the money will go towards our Environmental class time which includes teaching the students about gardening, horticulture, and the natural world.”
She added, “We so appreciate Rod and his son for coming out and giving their time. They helped for several hours, hauling trees, getting the area ready for the chips, and most of all chipping the trees. Our event would not be as successful if it weren't for the donated time and equipment.”
Midwest Construction Sales Professional Wins John Deere Award
In early December, Chad Kesteloot, a Sales Professional in Sioux Falls, was awarded the John Deere Signature Salesman Award for 2014. Chad joined RDO Equipment Co. in 1996 as a Field Service Technician and transitioned into a sales role in 2005.
“Chad has shown exceptional dedication to our customers and organization and is incredibly deserving of this recognition from our manufacturer,” commented Morgan Hullinger, General Manager.
“The nice thing about this award is you didn’t even know you were competing for anything! I truly enjoy partnering with my customers and promoting RDO Equipment Co. and John Deere. This organization is a great place to work and I am grateful for the opportunities that are available.”
Fontana Partners with Police Department’s K9 Unit for Toy Drive
Over the holiday season, the Fontana store held a toy drive and partnered with the Fontana Police Department K9 unit. The store was able to fill up a few stock boxes with toys which were then donated to the Kaiser Hospital and given to children who will be spending Christmas in the hospital, undergoing cancer treatments.|
Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, added, “I was impressed with the efforts of the entire team and I know we made some very sick kids and families who will be spending Christmas in the hospital really happy.”
Tom Yarrington, Sargent with the K9 unit, said, “Last year, we partnered with the great folks in Fontana. Through a toy drive they initiated, so many toys were collected not only were we able to service all of the children who were in the hospital during the time of our visit, the remaining toys were used to bring happiness to children for several weeks after! Last year three large boxes of toys were collected. One of the boxes of toys were given to the West Covina Police K9 Unit (who we train with regularly). We taught them how to conduct these visits. Last year their K9 Unit made their first visit to children at a hospital near them. Due to the success, they partnered with a company in their city and this year they have just completed their second visit!”
Tom added, “We are honored and blessed by the partnership/friendship we have with Vermeer – RDO in Fontana. It is through their generosity that we are able to bring happiness to so many children and families during this holiday season.
Flagstaff Donates Turkeys
The Flagstaff team “hatched” a plan to help their local food bank during Thanksgiving with a donation of 10 turkeys, matched by their local grocery story. Through Thanksgiving, customers and employees were encouraged to donate a turkey
Employees were also challenged to bring in non-perishable food items for the food bank.
In total, about 20 turkeys were donated along with 50 pounds of non-perishable food items donated by employees.
“It was great to be able to donate to those in need during the holiday season,” commented Glen Preston, Parts Specialist.
Portland Donates Bikes
The Portland store donated two BMX bicycles to the Clatskanie People's Utility District for their annual Christmas gift to those in the local community that are in need.
Account Manager Nick Frappier stated, "This was an exciting opportunity for our store to be a small part of kids in need this Holiday season.”
Pictured (left to right) is Missy Shepherd, John Elliott, Zach Ramey, Nick Frappier, Derrick Hough, Jaime Garcia, Michael Lampkins, Dave Geiger.
Minot Participates in Local Radio Station’s Christmas Giving
KHRT in Minot organizes its Horn of Plenty each year to help families in need during the Christmas season. This year, the Horn of Plenty packed enough baskets for 350 families in the local community.
RDO Equipment Co. in Minot stepped up to help KHRT’s efforts. The Minot employees donated non-perishable food items and the store matched the donation. Galen Weltikol, Julie Kinn, and Marchell Walker utilized Community Time to deliver the food items and purchase the items that the store matched.
Jerome Dahlin, Trever Campeau, Lynn Burns, Kaleb Boehler, Gordy Nord, Travis Klein, and Galen also used their Community Time to help deliver food items to the collection site as well as deliver baskets to local churches so they could be dispersed to families in need. They helped deliver 700-800 boxes of food to five area churches.
“The employees of KHRT radio were very appreciative for our help. It takes a lot of time and planning to make something like this a success, along with the support of the entire community,” said Marchell Walker. “It was a great opportunity for our store to get involved with this project and to help area families have a more enjoyable holiday season.”
The Amazing RTK Race
In early December, 18 students of the Surveying & Civil Engineering program and Construction Management program at Dunwoody College of Technology participated in the Amazing RTK (Real-Time Kinematic surveying) Race led by instructor Kelly Ness.
Using Topcon Hiper V GPS systems provided by RDO Integrated Controls, seven teams were given 60 points to “stakeout” combined with “clues” to verify that the team visited each point. The GPS stakeout positions had to be accurate to within 0.04 feet. The clues were questions such as “What letter__?” and the GPS would lead them to center of the letter “T” on a water valve. The final point to be located was only found by solving a Coordinate Geometry problem which led the teams to a MNDOT survey monument named S 62 located at the Basilica of Saint Mary.
Josh Nave, Bloomington Account Manager, commented, “Despite freezing temperatures, the spirit of competition was alive and well as I witnessed several teams running between stakeout points. This was a great event that we were happy to support.” The winning team received hats provided by RDO Integrated Controls.
Aberdeen wins 2014 Abby Award for Community Service
Each year the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Abby Awards. These are 10 awards that recognize a business or organization for their work in a certain area.
At the 2014 Abby Awards, RDO Equipment Co. was selected for Community Involvement – Business.
Community Involvement—Business: Exceptional performance in its support of arts and culture, sports, education, voluntary groups, and/or community service.
Evan Fonder, RDO Equipment Co., said, “There are number of businesses in Aberdeen that work to make it a better place to live through giving back both time and money so it was very humbling to be selected and gives our store a tremendous amount of pride to know that we are recognized among a lot of very great organizations.”
RDO Integrated Controls Takes Top Awards at Annual Topcon Event
RDO Integrated Controls took home several awards at Topcon Xperience 2014, the manufacturer’s annual sales awards event.
The RDO Integrated Controls team was the recipient of six awards, including:
1. Top 10 Construction Sales Dealer
2. Top 10 Survey Sales Dealer
3. Top 3 Emerging Business Sales Dealer
4. Top 5 Market Performer for Construction
5. Emerging Business Dealer of the Year
6. Construction Business Dealer of the Year
Blair Schneibel, Bloomington Regional Sales Manager, and Chris Jeffers, Anaheim Account Manager, were also recognized by Topcon for a standout year. This award, called, “Coffee for Closers,” comes from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. Topcon has been doing this award for several years, and award winners a plaque and $50 Starbucks gift card.
Kelly Gress, Vice President of RDO Integrated Controls, commented, “We have made significant accomplishments this past year and it was great to be recognized as an industry leader by our manufacturer partner. Providing great technological solutions and best-in-class service to our customers remains our primary goal. Being recognized by Topcon means we will be able to continue to do this with the additional leverage we gain as a top dealership.”
He added, “None of this would be possible without the dedication, innovation, and hard work of the entire RDO Integrated Controls team.”
RDO Equipment Co. Represented at IEA Conference
When the Industrial Environmental Association (IEA) was planning their annual conference held in October in San Diego, they wanted local speakers who could cover a range of topics in regards to promoting the industry and protecting the environment. Some of these topics included: Regulatory Updates, Recycling/Composting, Water, Cap & Trade, Mobile Diesel Compliance, and Energy.
The IAE made their speaker inquiry to the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD). Because of the relationship and partnership built over the past few years by Alan Rakow, Power Plant Technology and Emission Specialist, the group recommended him. Alan was asked to present on Mobile Diesel Compliance as it related to the off-road industry.
“The opportunity to be a presenter at this conference was a huge win for RDO Equipment Co.,” said Alan. “Attendees learned that our fleet is compliant through 2022, (making it one of the cleanest fleets in the county); that we have someone on staff to answer emissions questions; and that we also contribute to the community and are actively involved in reducing emissions.” Because Alan is an advocate for the Carl Moyer Program, which secures funding for customers who wish to update their fleets, he’s helping companies become compliant while saving them thousands of dollars at the same time.
Alan added, “More importantly, I believe the biggest take away for those who attended was seeing that there is more than one highly qualified heavy equipment dealer in San Diego.”
Hayward participates in California Coastal Cleanup Day
Employees from the Hayward store participated in the 30th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. During this annual event volunteers clean the shoreline from Mexico to the Oregon border including beaches, inland waterways, around the San Francisco bay and as far inland as Lake Tahoe.
Team members decided this year to volunteer at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center located at the southeastern part of the San Francisco bay, about a mile away from the store. This was just one of the more than 850 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties available for volunteers this year.
Hayward volunteers included Shop Foreman Frank Gouveia; Service Technician Zack Knight; Service Technician Jet Mathews and their family members and friends. Also in attendance were family members of Aftermarket Manager Ryan Scott and Office Administrator Erin List, who were busy working at the Hiring Open House being held at the store.
Some individuals combined with other community volunteers and picked up trash along the entry road and salt marshes while others pulled invasive ice plant, Russian thistle, Australian saltbush, and stinkwort. The naturalists noted the 65 large bags of green waste picked was a record by far for that location. Some unusual items were found including a 8” diameter mooring rope, a very heavy, large plywood fish prop, and a ruby red slipper that sparkled in the light. The team members joked that it belonged to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!
With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stood at 54,124 volunteers. Together, those volunteers picked up 576,571 pounds of trash and 109,494 pounds of recyclable materials for a total of 686,065 pounds or 343 tons. Organizers estimated that 60% to 80% of the debris picked up on the beaches and shoreline is made up of single use disposable plastic items that originate on land and travel through storm drains, creeks or rivers and end up on the beach and in the ocean.
After the event, everyone met back at the store and enjoyed a fantastic BBQ of Tri Tip steak with all the fixings prepared by Sacramento Shop Foreman LaVor Steenblik. Frank commented, “Everyone always has such a good time at these events and it’s great to hear them say how much fun it is to cleanup as well as how good it makes them feel.”
RDO Caters Taters is another Record Breaking Event
Fargo/Moorhead area R.D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment Co. team members hosted the 15th annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity on November 6 benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village Family Service Center in Fargo. The event was a huge success, and served more than 2,790 guests during the two hour luncheon. Along with sponsorships and a raffle, the final total give to the charity was $52,135.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is America’s leader in one-to-one youth service, with more than a century of proven success in creating positive friendships that benefit children, volunteers, families, neighborhoods, and communities. In the Fargo-Moorhead area, BBBS has been a program of The Village Family Service Center since 1973. School based mentoring was added in 1998.
At the event, guests were served a “pound-tato” (a gigantic, one pound baked potato), choice of toppings, a beverage, and dessert, all for a ticket price of $6. The event also featured a popular Take Out area, a raffle, door prizes, sales of fresh bagged potatoes, and an appearance by the event’s mascot, Tommy Tater.
Susan Smith, BBBS Director, said, “These funds will go directly towards helping us forge strong and lasting relationships between children and adults mentors in our community. This will help us change children’s lives.”
Phoenix Partners with New Charity
For the Phoenix store’s third quarter community involvement project, the team wanted to do something different and decided to work with an organization they had never previously worked with.
They decided to volunteer at Mary Ellen’s Place, which is part of the Veteran’s First organization. This facility is designed to help struggling or homeless veteran women and continues to stabilize lives while assisting in meeting the unique and challenging needs of women veterans.
Over the course of three days, Phoenix team members assisted by painting the trim around the building and around their back patio. They also made donations of file cabinets and other items.
Founder and CEO Joan Sisco sent a thank you letter that stated, “Because of your group of volunteers spending three days at Mary Ellen’s Place, the trim and back patio look like new. Keeping the building in good shape makes the women proud of where they live and because of you, they can be proud to call Mary Ellen’s Place home.”
Chris Devoe, General Manager, stated, “We had more than 15 team members utilize their Community Time and/or donate toiletries and supplies. Great team effort by everyone!”
“It was a great opportunity to get involved with a new organization,” added Michael Carr, Phoenix Parts Specialist. “A huge thanks to Rich Vormelker, Service Manager, and Jim Kleppe, Parts Manager, for organizing the event.”
FSO Team Members Utilize Community Time to Give Back
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays quickly approaching, many team members are making sure they don’t miss out on utilizing their Community Time before the end of the year. Here are some examples of what some FSO teams are doing with the benefit.
Ronald McDonald House
The Employee Relations team volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley hanging Christmas lights and doing some light yard work at the north and south houses in Fargo. The Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley offers home-like comfort, support and care for families with children receiving medical care in Fargo-Moorhead. Their homes provide the opportunity for families to stay together, in proximity to the treatment hospital, and be comfortable and cared for during their stay.
Individuals involved in these projects included Ryan Johnson, Amanda Dawson, Emily Keeling, Ann Hauff, Christy Gustafson, Jamie Ihry, Jody Jahner, Leslie Olson, and Tori Weisbeck.
Ryan Johnson, Employee Relations Director, commented, “It was fun team-building activity and a rewarding experience to support a charity whose mission is geared around helping families through a difficult time. The people at RMH were very appreciative of the support and we enjoyed the day.”
Festival of Trees
The FSO’s Community Responsibility Committee (CRC) made someone’s holiday season a little brighter by participating in the Fraser Ltd. Festival of Trees. The decorated trees are displayed and then donated to families who otherwise would not have a tree for Christmas.
Becky Sjolin, Sheena Wendlick, and Cindy Bye decorated two trees this year. The trees featured several toy tractor “ornaments” along with a John Deere beanie and blanket, serving as a tree skirt.
“It is a terrific event which truly benefits all involved,” said a representative from Fraser, Ltd.
Sioux Falls Donates their Time for Community in Need
Canton, South Dakota suffered a horrible flood earlier this summer that affected many people in the small community. Many people were affected and had damage to their homes.
RDO Equipment Co. in Sioux Falls stepped up to help those in need. Six employees utilized their 8 hours of Community Time to help remove damaged items from basements including furniture, carpet, paneling, and more. They also helped with removing water and sludge caused by sewer backups. After the removal, they assisted with bleaching the basements.
“It was not easy work for our team. It was hard, dirty, and messy, but work that the city desperately needed,” said Morgan Hullinger, General Manager.
“The residents of Canton were so appreciative. They really couldn’t thank us enough,” added Cory Myhre, Yard Coordinator, who was also instrumental in arranging the volunteers.
“After a hard day, I know that our team members felt extremely satisfied knowing that they helped out a community in need.”
RDO Equipment Co. Recognized by Lignite Energy Council
The Lignite Energy Council recently honored individuals and companies for their dedication to the lignite industry during the Council’s 41st Annual Meeting on October 1, 2014, in Bismarck, ND. RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck was awarded the Lignite Contractor/Supplier award in appreciation of the company’s dedicated service as a contractor/supplier to the lignite industry. Randy Hoovestol, Sales Professional, accepted the award.
“These individuals have given much of their time and energy to help sustain a strong lignite industry that benefits our region by providing reliable, low-cost and increasingly clean electricity,” said Jason Bohrer, president & CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.
Derek Shaffer, General Manager, commented, “Our mining sales and support have come a long ways in the past few years ago. This award recognizes those efforts. We are very proud and honored to be recognized by the Lignite Energy Council for our hard work.”
New Midwest Construction Region Store Managers
Two new Store Managers have been named in the Midwest Construction: Pete Barrie in Sauk Rapids and Doug Maus in Dickinson.
Pete was previously a Sales Professional at the Burnsville – CE store and he has nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Prior to joining RDO Equipment Co. three years ago, Pete served as a Product Support Representative for a Komatsu dealer in Utah and Nevada.
“I look forward to building a lasting relationship with the team in Sauk Rapids. We have a very dedicated and talented group who exemplify our Core Values. I look forward to growing the Sauk Rapids market and continuing to be a business leader that is very involved in the community as well as the preferred heavy equipment dealer,” Pete commented.
Doug joins RDO Equipment Co. after spending 25 years with CIH dealer West Plains Inc. At West Plains he served in various roles including Service Technician, Service Manager, Parts and Service Coordinator, and Store Manager.
“I’m excited to join RDO Equipment Co. and look forward to learning the construction industry and working with the team members,” Doug said.
Moorhead Partners with NDSCS for Safety Days
Each year North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) hosts Safety Days, an event for students that focuses on safety associated with safe operation of equipment.
The school requests equipment from businesses in the industry so students can get hands-on operator training.
For this year’s event, the Moorhead store brought a 210LC excavator and 544K loader.
“One of the benefits of being involved with this event is that we get quality one-on-one interaction with first year students. They are getting familiar with our equipment, and we’re able to build a relationship by promoting the opportunities at our company. It’s also a great opportunity to further connect with our current Access Your Future students,” said Mike Wollschlager, Store Manager.
In addition to Mike, Shawn Pascke, Customer Service Advisor; Erik Sahr, Sales Manager; and Rick Thibert, Sales Coordinator, attended.
Burnsville CE Participates in Day of the Dozer Charity Event
The Burnsville CE store participated in the second annual Day of the Dozer fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota on September 13th. Day of the Dozer was organized to give children of all ages the opportunity to get into the driver’s seat of all types of construction equipment. Through donations from equipment dealers and local contractors, there were more than 40 pieces of equipment at the event and included both an operational area as well static display. RDO Equipment Co. donated the use of a 210 Hitachi, a 772GP motor grader, and two simulators.
Burnsville CE Sales Manager Scott Weness served on the planning board for the event. “There were more than 1,500 people at the event. Our goal was to raise $10,000 for Children’s Hospitals. We blew past that goal and raised $15,000.”
Burnsville CE, along with the Burnsville VER and RDO Integrated Controls teams welcomed more than a dozen employees and their family members as volunteers for the event. “I was very proud of all my fellow team members who volunteered. Many participants and customers commented on the level of support RDO Equipment Co. gave to the event,” said Scott.
Matt Dull, General Manager, added, “Scott did a tremendous job arranging the details of this event. Not only does he support our employees and customers on a daily basis, but has a passion for giving back to our community. Thank to you our team members who gave their time to a cause that we truly believe in supporting.”
Minot’s Community Giving
Individuals from the Minot store recently spent time giving back in two unique ways – by volunteering at DaySun’s Day of Giving and at Luther’s Kitchen, one of Minot’s soup kitchens.
DaySun Day of Giving
This community event is supported by several businesses throughout Minot, ND, in memory of DaySun Gross, a Minot resident. This event is a celebration of life aimed to spread awareness to drinking and driving. At the event, 550 bikes and helmets were given to low income families, as well as 1,200 coats and 1,100 backpacks full of school supplies.
The store was asked to get involved by a customer who owns Magic City Harley Davidson. Mike Daeley, Service Administrator, helped assemble many of the bikes, and several employees came on Saturday morning to help set up the bikes outside for the event. The store also made a financial donation to help purchase bikes.
Looking for ways to volunteer in the community, Matthew Barron, Sales Intern, suggested Luther’s Kitchen. The Minot team felt it was a worthy cause to give of their time. Over the past several weeks, team members utilized their Community Time (Team members included Albert Ahanonu, Bob Amick, Woody Baker, Matthew Barron, Sharon Baxter, Lynn Burns, Jerome Dahlin, Jennifer Korgel, Jim Little, Keenan Lopez, Brad Murphy, Todd Nelson, Marchell Walker, Greg Wiest, Nathan Wohlk, and Katie Woller.)
While there, the team prepared food for the weekly meal for the homeless in the Minot area. They also help serve food and did anything else the soup kitchen needed.
Jon Markle, General Manager, commented, “These experiences taught us how much the community really appreciates the donation of time. In my opinion, the donation of time demonstrates to the community members that we care and we are truly vested in the community.”
RDO Equipment Co. in Ada Supports Local Ag Day
Ag Day is an annual event for local high school students put on by Paul Borgen Farms, a RDO Equipment Co. customer from Ada, MN. This annual event encourages young people to understand the important details necessary for today’s farmers to continue providing quality produce. Students attend ten separate, twenty-minute sessions presented by professionals from across the agriculture industry, including American Crystal Sugar Co., Amity Technologies, Agvise Laboratories, GK Technology, Inc., Ag Country Farm Credit Services, West Central Ag Services, John Deere Seeding Group, Pioneer Seed, Eide Bailly, LLP and RDO Equipment Co.
Team members from RDO Equipment Co. in Ada, MN presented the benefits of John Deere FarmSight Solutions, escorted John Deere Tractor rides guided by John Deere AMS equipment, documented the day’s events with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and served noon lunch to everyone.
“We are fortunate to be involved in this annual event to help present information on the important solutions that demonstrate the role farming plays in feeding, clothing, and powering a growing world,” said Todd Thompson, Regional General Manager.
RDO Integrated Controls Partners with North Dakota State University Geology Students
Field Geology is a capstone course for the Geology major program at North Dakota State University. In 2014, 22 students spent a week studying the geology of the Little Badlands area of western North Dakota. Their goal was to demonstrate their ability of integrating knowledge they have gained from all their undergraduate courses in interpreting the geology of a specific area. After making observations and measurements, the students are required to create an extensive report of the type required by companies and in graduate-level courses.
Before this time in the field, NDSU approached the RDO Integrated Controls team in Moorhead to get replacement batteries for an older Sokkia total station they were planning to use. After contacting manufacturing partners Topcon and Sokkia, Scott Schumacher, Account Manager, discovered that the batteries for that specific unit were no longer manufactured.
Only weeks before the students headed out to western North Dakota to collect data, the team recognized this as an opportunity to help them out. “We offered them a demo on a brand new Topcon ES-105 total station so the students could complete their project and be exposed to the latest and greatest technology,” said Scott.
He added, “This was a great way to show we are invested in our community and provide a solution to the university. The demo also provided us with an opportunity to do a presentation on the future of the survey and machine control technology to over a 100 students next month, something we’re really looking forward to.”
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Accepted!
Throughout the month of August and September, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dominated the social media scene. If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, here’s how it worked:
1. You are nominated (by a friend, colleague, family member, business)
2. You have two options – accept the challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and making a small donation to the ALS Association, OR forgoing the ice water and make a large donation to the ALS Association.
3. If you accept the challenge, you are then allowed to nominate 3-5 individuals/businesses of your choice.
What is ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" given that the baseball player was a victim of the disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $100 million. This money will be used across the country to assist in research.
Many of our employees personally took this challenge, but so did many of our stores!
Megan Pemberton, Salinas Service Advisor, lost her Mom to ALS four years ago. When the ALS Ice bucket challenge surfaced, she knew she wanted to take action. She mentioned doing a store-wide challenge to see if they could raise any funds. The Salinas team had 11 volunteers and in total donated $1,700. They also challenged a few other stores to see if we could keep the movement including Yuma, Pasco, and Imperial.
Yuma accepted the challenge next. Nine team members got water dumped on them by their coworkers. Employees donated personally to the Association and the Yuma store matched the donation, for a total of $310.
The Pasco store had 7 volunteers who braved the ice bucket and made a $500 contribution to the ALS Association.
Nine Imperial team members accepted the challenge and donated $400. In return, they challenged their local water and energy provider, Imperial Irrigation District. Joe Castillo, Regional General Manager, commented, “This was a great event for a good cause. Everyone, including those who were only spectators, had a good time with this event.”
Aberdeen was challenged by their local Case dealer, Titan Machinery. The store had 20 employees either participate through a donation or do the ice bucket challenge, or both. They raised $2,350 for their local ALS Association. They in turn challenged Artz Equipment (an AgCo dealer), HC Clark (the Titan Machinery – New Holland Dealer), Pierson Ford and Dakota Fluid Power (a competitor in the Hydraulic repair business).
Evan Fonder, Aberdeen Store Manager, commented, “When Titan challenged us, it was great to see a bunch of our employees want to respond, both for the cause and to have some fun with it. It was also great to see how businesses that compete against each other day to day could come together for a good cause. We received a lot of positive comments from around the community after participating.”
San Antonio Donates Box Fans for Seniors in Need
Project Cool is a city-wide initiative hosted by United Way and the City of San Antonio, in partnership with the San Antonio Fire Department, which aims to provide free box fans to seniors in need during the summer months.
While most families in Texas can usually cope with the extreme heat of the summer, seniors often struggle with high temperatures. Some seniors do not have air conditioning and those that do may not be able to run theirs for fear of the expense on their utility bills, especially those who live on fixed incomes. Last year, nearly 4,000 fans were distributed to San Antonio-area seniors who are 60 years of age and older.
This is one of the annual projects that the San Antonio store donates to because employees feel it’s such a worthy cause. The store donated twenty fans to Project Cool.
They were delivered to the distribution center where seniors can also go to get food, including fresh fruits and vegetables provided by the San Antonio Food Bank.
“The Texas heat is nothing to mess around with, and we’re proud to support an initiative that helps take care of members of our community,” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.
Portland Hosts Sherrill Tree Seminar
More than 40 people attended a Sherrill Tree aerial rescue training seminar, hosted by the Portland store. Some participants traveled from nearly 300 miles away to attend.
The training featured techniques and hands on scenarios related to aerial rescue situations that arborists and line workers may encounter. The participants learned a lot and stated that they hoped they never had to use the skills, but feel confident that they could if necessary.
“The instruction was great, the customers that attended were energetic and eager to learn and the Portland weather couldn’t have been more perfect,” commented Ollie Windle.
Escondido Partners with Local Elementary School
The Escondido store completed a community service project at Cajon Park Elementary School where they set up an irrigation system for the school’s garden.
They arrived bright and early to start gluing parts, digging trenches, and installing equipment to give the garden a stable watering system. In addition to the volunteer hours of the setup, the store also donated a large amount of the parts and product needed to complete the project.
El Cajon Park Elementary school uses its garden to further the education of the their students by creating a gateway for them to learn more about different cultures, insect types, gardening and vegetation practices, and how to maintain a stable environment for different plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
Massiel Perez, Store Manager, commented, “When speaking with the teachers involved, we found that the garden is very popular among the students and causes much excitement. We are proud to have the opportunity to supply them with the foundation needed to keep this garden running smoothly for years to come!”
Tucson Donates Backpacks to Military Families
For the third year in a row, the Tucson store has donated backpacks and school supplies to Tucson Troop Support, a local charity that helps local military families.
This year, the store donated enough supplies to provide 32 filled backpacks to children in military families that are in need of assistance during the back to school season.
“We are truly grateful to give something back to our military families that give so much to support our country,” commented Lisa Roberts, Office Manager.
“We have a great relationship with Clarissa Geborkoff / Tucson Troop Support and the entire store looks forward to working with her and her team to support military families in need. It’s a gesture that we can all be proud of,” added Bill Hitchcock, Tucson General Manager.
Farm Rescue to Help 300th Farm Family This Fall
By the end of the year, Farm Rescue will have assisted more than 300 farm families in crisis. Each of these families has experienced an illness, injury or natural disaster that prevented them from planting, haying or harvesting their crop in a timely manner. Farm Rescue stepped in and helped these families when they needed it most.
No, in this case, 300 is much more than a number – 300 families in the upper Midwest are able to continue supporting their communities and feeding America. These families are friends, neighbors, and customers. They are the rural community.
This year, Farm Rescue gears up for their eighth harvest season. The non-profit organization is supported primarily by business sponsors, personal donations and grants from foundations. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is currently matching new donations to Farm Rescue 2-for-1. RDO Equipment Company sponsors field equipment. Farm Rescue is on schedule to help more than 50 families this year.
Families. Not numbers.
Has someone you know been helped by Farm Rescue? Share your story of how Farm Rescue ‘came to the rescue’ or donate to support our mission at farmrescue.org
FSO Team Volunteers for United Way
The Payroll, Benefits, and Safety team supported the United Way of Cass Clay School Supply Drive by counting, sorting, and organizing supplies that will be distributed to local school-age children in need.
“We volunteered last year for the event and everyone had a great time, so we knew it was something we wanted to do again. It supports a need in our community and we were glad to again be involved,” said Brett Olson, Compensation and Benefits Director.
John Deere Day of Play events Held in Aberdeen, Casselton, and Moorhead
Aberdeen, Casselton and Moorhead stores held Day of Play/Drive Green events this summer.
This was the 2nd annual Day of Play for Aberdeen, and was a great event. Nick Kallhoff, Parts Manager, took the lead on organizing the event and the whole team did a great job making a fun day.
They had activities both inside and out, including play areas for toys, ride-on and pedal equipment, face painting, coloring station, pools filled with corn and soybeans for sand toys, Barrel Train rides, a duck pond, and every kid that attended received a free coloring book and small toy. They also had the Fire Department out with a truck for the kids to tour, and the Aberdeen Police Department conducted a bike safety class.
The team raised roughly $500 for the area Boys & Girls club through a free will offering during lunch. They estimate they had about 500 in attendance, which was up from 300 last year. In addition to traditional marketing, they brought flyers to the local YMCA Youth Center, the Boys & Girls Club, and mailed flyers to every daycare in Aberdeen, as well as partnered with a local grocery store to hand out flyers to their customers.
Evan Fonder, Store Manager, commented, “We saw a lot of people that had never been to the store before, but it also brought in a lot of customers and their families that we regularly do business with, which helps to connect with them on a different level and strengthen our overall partnership. This type of event is so different from anything else we do, and when you see 200 kids running around, it’s hard not to have a great time with it.
Moorhead’s event, held in late June, was a bit rainy, but still proved to be a great day.
The showroom was pristine and featured new interior signage, which encouraged attendees to take a look. Many were surprised and didn’t know that the Moorhead store had such a vast array of lawn and garden equipment, as well as a huge selection of John Deere merchandise, Honda, and STIHL products. They served lunch and had several pieces of equipment on display, along with gators for kids to play on.
Paul Morlock, CP Manager, commented, “Despite rainy conditions, it was a great event and good exposure.”
Casselton’s Day of Play event featured combine and tractor rides, barrel rides, a corn play area, yard games, face painting, coloring, and seed planting. Around 100 kids attended – some all the way from Williston, Iowa, and even Pennsylvania.
Store Manager Nic Miller said, "This is a great event that showcases to the community that we have something for everyone at the dealership. The team pulled together and put in a lot of extra work and that helped make the event a success."
Washburn Parade Makes for a Family Affair
The Washburn store participated in their community’s Lewis and Clark Riverboat Days Parade in June. This is always a popular event for employees to participate in, and they never seem to struggle finding willing participants to drive equipment.
This parade has become a fun event for employees and their families to spend together. This year, Josh Wooledge, Service Advisor; Neal Neukomm, Account Manager; Loren Henke, Parts Specialist; and Josh Bintz, Equipment Detailer, all brought their families along for the fun event.
Brent Slaubaugh, Account Manager; Vernon Cole, Service Technician; and Ian Zimmerman, Account Manager also joined in the fun.
The store had an S680 combine drop candy from its auger a few stops along the route, which was a huge hit with parade goers.
“This parade is a great way to show our community – and our family members – who we are,” said Chad Richter, Store Manager.
Regional Training Event in Hayward
Service Technicians from Portland, Sacramento, Fowler, and Fontana joined Hayward Service Technicians for a regional Vermeer training event, held in Hayward.
Lance Langle from Vermeer Freeman and Jeff Vander Molen from Vermeer Manufacturing facilitated the training which covered compost turners and electrical and hydraulic systems of trammel screens.
They brought a simulator for a trammel screen that they used to show how each component works together. A CT718 compost turner and two TR626 trommel screens were available to the class for troubleshooting and utilizing the diagnostic program.
“It was a great turnout even during an incredibly busy time for our stores. The attendance shows the value of training to everyone within the organization and our manufacturing partners. Vermeer’s participation in the event was very appreciated, and we hope to have many more opportunities like this in the future.
Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-Vermeer Employees Participate in Mended Hearts Golf Tournament
For the second year, Burnsville and Sauk Rapids team members participated in the Zipper Open Classic Golf Tournament for Mended Hearts (Chapter 10).
The event was held in Sartell, MN at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Fifteen teams participated including doctors and nurses from the Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital as well as heart procedure survivors.
Mended Hearts is a support system for individuals that have endured heart procedures.
The money raised this year again will go towards AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) that will be placed throughout central Minnesota. RDO Equipment Co. served as a Cart Sponsor. Each cart used at the tournament featured the RDO Equipment Co. logo and the company had representation in the program.
Employees from Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-VER participating in this year’s event included Dan Dostal, Sauk Rapids Sales Professional; Tom Pistulka, Sauk Rapids CSA; Jason Nigg, Burnsville-VER Parts Specialist; and Pat Arnold , Burnsville-VER Sales Professional.
For Pat, Mended Hearts is an organization that holds special meaning. “My father-in-law, who serves as the Mended Hearts Chapter 10 President, had open heart surgery 5 years ago, and both my uncle and father passed away from heart attacks. This organization holds some special interest to me, and RDO Equipment Co. sponsoring and allowing us to be part of this event is just awesome!”