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.
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.
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.