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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

HI goes International

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

(Photo)
Workers at the Harvest International manufacturing plant in Cherokee loaded high capacity grain auger parts recently for shipment. The final destination is Russia. Photo by Ken Ross
When they named their new company last year, Harvest International founders Byron Friesen and Jeff Sivinski anticipated that the company would eventually market their product globally but they didn't anticipate that they would be shipping their high capacity grain augers overseas less than a year after production began at the manufacturing plant in Cherokee.

The company has experienced steady growth in its market since production began in July of last year but shipment of the augers was previously within the Midwest. On Wednesday a shipment was prepared for delivery to Kansas City with the eventual destination being Russia. This is the first part of a 26-auger order going to Russia.

"I never dreamt that we would be making shipments overseas," Sivinski said.

Friesen noted that they are already working on an order for shipment to New Zealand.

"There is a huge potential out there. We haven't even been marketing the product overseas," Friesen said.

The Canadian company that arranged the sale to Russia first learned about Harvest International from its website.

Friesen noted that foreign companies have tried to manufacture high capacity grain augers but haven't been able to achieve the quality and reliability of the product manufactured in Cherokee, so it is worth it for customers to ship augers overseas.

Harvest International operates out of the former Obeco building north of the HyVee Distribution Center. A nine-month process involving the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation and the Cherokee Industrial Corporation paved the way for the 40,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.



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