The Agriculture & Automotive Industries: Promoting Diligence, Honesty, and Excellence
You don’t have to know much about South Dakota to understand that agriculture is a vital contributor to the state’s economy.
According to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the industry makes up one-third of the state’s economic activity — equal to roughly $32.5 billion.
While the ag industry’s numbers are important, the way of life it helps generate is arguably more so.
The Great Plains region may be notorious for a slower life, simpler life, and one that prioritizes community over status. While this is a basic overgeneralization, many of these characteristics most certainly apply.
Much of this has to do with the agriculture industry, which consists of roughly 97% family-owned and -operated farms. Children who grow up on a farm often spend countless hours diligently working outdoors with fellow family members. Family and hard work are naturally prioritized, as is the innate longing to provide the world with something of value.
But the agriculture industry is not the only one that exhibits these traits. Many small businesses in the automotive industry are presented with another prime opportunity to promote honesty, hard work, and excellence in the workplace.
Here in Hartford, South Dakota, we’re fortunate to have an abundance of both. Indeed, these workers contribute considerably to our local and state economies. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the quality of life they help supply our community and the genuine characteristics they pass onto future generations.
The Agriculture Industry — The Staple of Our Harvest
It’s impact is massive.
We have already established some astounding facts about the agriculture industry’s contribution to the state of South Dakota.
Looking nationally, South Dakota frequently ranks in the top-five in various livestock and crop categories, such as beef, lamb, wheat, honey, oats, and bison.
Consider: the United States itself exports more agricultural products than any other country in the world — and second place is not even close. The total value of U.S. agricultural exports reached $140 billion in 2018.
All of this is to say that the agriculture industry in South Dakota has further-reaching effects than simply the state itself. Quite literally, South Dakota farmers are feeding, powering, and clothing the entire world.
In Hartford and the surrounding area, farmers are provided an invaluable resource through the Valley Central Coop.
Originating in 1904 as the Farmers Elevator Company, the coop has since merged the Colton Farmers Elevator and the Hartford Farmers Elevator under one entity.
Valley Central Coop serves local farmers in a number of ways: Whether through providing seed, feed, fertilizer, grain handling, or crop protection, the coop and its patrons are committed to helping farmers thrive year after year. In a fickle business as agriculture, it’s crucial that farmers have top-notch service and resources to aid in their operation.
Valley Central provides just that.
Likewise, it’s important to farmers that their equipment performs for optimal return on their investment. To accomplish this, farmers must work with honest, quality distributors to ensure that they are equipped with the right tools.
Ludens, Inc. sits off of I-90 in Humboldt, South Dakota, and has been in the agriculture equipment business for over 40 years.
In the 1970s, founder Allen Ludens was a farmer who gained a knack for visiting farm equipment auctions, fixing reusable equipment, and reselling to local farmers.
Over the years, Ludens has seen his business expand both in volume and in family member-owners. Ludens’ sons, Landon and Jason, now help run the business as the operations manager and service manager, respectively.
While their product line has evolved, Ludens, Inc. continues to sell used farm equipment in addition to new trailers, skid-steer attachments, and a host of others.
In a more consumer-type fashion, Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment offers a large selection of top brands in power equipment. Selling both new and used lawn tractors, walk-behind mowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, trimmers, tillers, generators, and more, Gillespie seeks to serve the people of our community with the tools needed to get the job done right.
Not only do shoppers receive a great selection of inventory, but they gain access to expert knowledge and servicing on any of their outdoor maintenance needs.
Hartford’s Automotive Industry — Characterized by Quality and Honesty
It may be fair to say that — generally speaking — customers tend to struggle with trust as it pertains to their auto servicer.
This is understandably so, being that the average car owner has very little knowledge of how their vehicle functions. Many of us know the feeling.
Just as health care providers are given an abundant amount of trust from their patients, so are auto mechanics trusted by their customers that their vehicle will be repaired accurately, timely, and cost-consciously.
The good news for residents of the Hartford area is that they have a great selection of honest, reputable servicers to choose from — each with a specialty of their own.
A number of full-service auto repair shops are located right in town, including Tammen Auto & Tire, Two Guys & A Garage, and Automotive Tire & Service.
Tammen Auto & Tire offers a friendly, clean shop to free customers of the stress that often comes with auto repair. While customers typically find themselves worrying about the timeliness, accuracy, and cost of their repair, Tammen Auto & Tire earns the respect of their customers by focusing on the small, important details.
Two Guys & A Garage is a newer business, but is already gaining much traction based on the satisfaction of their existing customers.
Owners Josh Hamann and Dave Stofferan have cultivated deep trust with their new customers by educating them thoroughly. And as a smaller shop, Two Guys is not tied to one specific vendor — meaning customers are able to shop around for better alternatives.
Opened earlier this year, Two Guys & A Garage is still in the early stages of development. But if customer satisfaction is any indicator, these “Two Guys” are here for the long-haul.
Another full-service shop in the Hartford area is Automotive Tire & Service (ATS). Owners Ryan and Lacey Pressler opened their first location in Humboldt in 2002, and have recently opened a second location in Hartford.
The Presslers have specialized their Humboldt location in diesel mechanics, though both shops offer full automotive services.
ATS is all about getting things right the first time, on time.
While Hartford offers plenty of reputable options in terms of full-service repair, we are also home to quality specialty auto shops.
Auto Glass Express handles glass restoration ranging from a chip in a windshield to residential window repair.
Hartford’s Best Paint & Body specializes in restoring paint and body on nearly any vehicle, yet their cup of tea lies in fixing up “teenage dream” cars.
The agriculture and automotive industries’ products and services may seem inherent. But their impact reaches further than most realize.
This impact extends beyond the monetary value that they provide our local, state, and national economies. Business is transacted at a personal level, and farmers and auto servicers own the ability to either damage or enhance honesty and excellence in the workplace.
Fortunately for those in Hartford, the consensus has been promotion.
This will play an important part in our city’s growth and prosperity — not only for this year, but for decades to come.