Harvest International, Inc., a new Cherokee business, manufactures high speed grain augers.
A manufacturing plant has started operation in the former Obeco building north of Highway 3 in Cherokee. A brand new company, Harvest International, Inc., is producing high capacity grain augers in 10"and 13" models in lengths up to 82 feet. A nine-month process involving the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC) and the Cherokee Industrial Corporation (CIC) paved the way for the 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The plant has started with eight employees which will soon grow 10 to 12, a number that could grow significantly within the next two or three years. Founders Byron Friesen and Jeff Sivinski have issued a press release stating, "The goal is to produce a product that is superior to any other auger on the market today. We offer engineered reliability that means years of service to our customers." "Every Harvest International auger is the result of precision engineering, quality laser cut parts, and durable Powder Coat Plus finishes." The Friesen Family has been manufacturing agricultural implements since 1963. "We were really aggressive in trying to accommodate this new business," Mark Buschkamp, CAEDC executive director, said. He noted that the last obstacle to overcome was a gap between what the property owners wanted for the property and what the new business was willing to pay. Buschkamp explained that CIC played a crucial role in bridging that gap through a forgivable loan. The forgivable loan is tied to the number of employees that the company has in the future. The address of Harvest International is 1130 Riverview Drive and is in the Cherokee City limits.