Agrivision excited to break ground

AgriVision Equipment Group regional manager Dale Vatthauer talks with Sioux Center fire chief Dave Van Holland about the site plans for AgriVision’s new facility after the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting Wednesday, Jan. 8.

SIOUX CENTER—AgriVision Equipment Group, a John Deere dealer, is excited to expand its company footprint with a new facility in Sioux Center.

The equipment dealership has seen rapid growth since it came to this area in January 2018 after acquiring the Icon Ag locations in Doon, Ireton and LeMars.

“Looking at our 2020 projections, we’re expecting to break $500 million in total sales for the first time as a company,” said regional manager Dale Vatthauer to those attending the Sioux Center Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting Wednesday, Jan. 8.

Another example of that growth is that the Ireton location had about $10 million in business two years ago and now has just shy of $26 million.

“We doubled in sales without adding people and we’re starting to feel the crunch,” Vatthauer said.

To accommodate AgriVision’s growth, the company rents hanger space at the former Sioux Center Municipal Airport and a spec building in Hull for its technicians to work on equipment.

“It was a wise decision to partner with the city on renting the former airport,” Vatthauer said. “We’re so excited to be in Sioux Center. We look forward to a great future and like I told the city council, I hope we make a John Deere dealership that the city is proud of … that’s what it’s all about. We want to be a part of the community and a respectable place to do business with.”

The company, which announced its intentions to build in Sioux Center at the Sioux Center City Council’s Nov. 4 meeting, is working with the city to purchase 15 acres of city-owned land located on North Highway 75 for the development of its new dealership. Before closing on this transaction in late February or early March, the city is drafting a development agreement that will outline the city’s and developer’s obligations as part of the project. Included in the final agreement will be requirements for the purchase of the property, high quality jobs grant, terms of a partial property tax exemption and terms of a loan for site development.

Construction is slated to begin this spring. Vatthauer said the shop will be sized to house 30 technicians to serve local customer needs and making it the company’s largest facility. The state-of-the art facility will be equipped with overhead cranes, a large area for combine/forage harvester storage expanded parts inventory, wash bay and training facilities. Once established, the new location will employ 30-50 people, bringing new jobs to the area.

AgriVision formed in January 2014 with the merger of A&M Green Power Group and Barker Implement and is rooted in more than 100 years of farm heritage with its first dealership opening in 1899. Today, the company has 17 locations and more than 450 employees, serving customers throughout Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri.

Vatthauer said since 2006, AgriVision has been recognized yearly by John Deere as a “Leader’s Club” dealership, an award only given to the top dealerships in North America based on the criteria set by John Deere.

“What has set the organization apart is the long history of being a customer-focused organization dedicated to supporting customers, being adaptable and being on the leading edge of technology,” Vatthauer said.

Despite flooding impacting two of its stores in southern Iowa, the company continues to look forward, including remodeling a former Shopko building in Onawa within the next few months to open a new facility. The company is also “taking a leap of faith” reopening its Hamburg location on the Iowa/Missouri border.

“We’re going to persevere,” Vatthauer said. “We’re still trying to pick through the semi trailers of parts we had to load up but we want to serve our customers.”