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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

15,000th spreader rolls off the line at Simonsen's

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

QUIMBY - Simonsen Industries has been a presence in Quimby for more than 80 years. It all began with a small rendering operation, and over the years Simonsen's expanded to include a feed mill, fertilizer sales and application, and selling LP gas appliances and furnaces.

With the realization that the fertilizer application equipment they were purchasing could be improved to do a much better job of spreading, Merle Simonsen, a mechanical engineer, modified existing equipment for a short time then realized that it would probably be more cost effective to build the fertilizer spreaders from scratch.

Here is the 15,000th fertilizer spreader built at Simonsen Manufacturing in Quimby, and the crew which built it, left to right, Jay Dungan, Bob Wright, Kerry Smith and Warren Simpson. Photo by Dan Whitney
An old turkey shed was converted to a small manufacturing shop and 'Simonsen Manufacturing' was born. The business has continued to boom and Simonsen Manufacturing today builds high quality equipment that is sold all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and some European countries.

Today, Simonsen's builds fertilizer tenders, LP delivery trucks, and bulk feed bodies, in addition to the fertilizer spreader which got the business rolling.

Simonsen Industries today employs an estimated 85 employees, including some who are part-time employees and some who are seasonal. About 50 people are in the production area.

When the 15,000th fertilizer spreader built by Simonsen Manufacturing in Quimby is finished, it will look quite a bit like this. Photo contributed
Simonsen Manufacturing built their first fertilizer spreader in January, 1961 and sold it to Co-Op, Inc. in Ida Grove. At their peak of production, they manufactured 600 spreaders a year, but today, due to a decrease in the number of farmers, Simonsen's manufactures about 200 a year.

The durability of the Simonsen spreader might be a factor in decreased sales as well, because Simonsen's works on "re-conditioning" their machines in the summer off-season, and John Simonsen said that farmers still bring in spreaders which were built in the early 1960s for reconditioning.

Recently, the 15,000th fertilizer spreader to be built at Simonsen's rolled off the production line. When it is painted and ready for sale, it has already been spoken for. One of Simonsen's distributors, Riggins R. Co. in Marshall, Missouri, will be the proud owner of Number 15,000.

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