Farm Equipment Staff Report

The independent judging panel once again had an impressive pool of candidates to choose from for this year’s Dealership of the Year honorees. But, they made their choices and Farm Equipment’s 2015 Dealerships of the Year are: Ritchie Implement, a 3-store group based in Cobb, Wis., in the over $75 million in revenues category; and Salem Farm Supply, a single-store dealer located in Salem, N.Y., in the under $75 million in revenues category.

In total, fellow dealers, employees, customers, Dealership of the Year alumni and equipment suppliers nominated several dozen North American dealerships for this year’s program.

The judges also named three “Best-in-Class” dealers for 2015. In the over $75 million category, the Best-in-Class dealerships includes Quality Equipment Co. of Crowley, La., and H&R Agri-Power of Hopkinsville, Ky.

In the under $75 million category, the judges named Gellings Implement of Eden, Wis., the Best-in-Class dealership.

Comparing Numbers

Combined, these 5 dealers accounted for $599,210,807 of total revenue in 2014. Revenue per employee came in just shy of $917,300 for the group. Together, they also produced an average parts and service absorption rate of 76.7% for the year. The return on assets for these top dealers averaged 9.9%.


Class of 2015:

Salem Farm Supply, Salem, N.Y.
Category: Under $75 Million in Annual Revenue


Ritchie Implement, Cobb, Wis.
Category: Over $75 Million in Annual Revenue

Dealership of the Year Judging Panel

The challenging task of choosing Farm Equipment’s annual Dealerships of the Year fall on three highly experienced and eminently qualified individuals that comprise the independent judging panel. Not only do these experts take on the responsibility of choosing the top dealers each year, but they also advise and give guidance to Farm Equipment’s editors on guidelines for the program.

Dr. W. David Downey


Executive Director, Center for Agricultural Business (CAB), Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind.

Dr. Downey is responsible for the development of education programs at the CAB, which is regarded as the leading center for agribusiness education in the U.S. A distinguished agricultural marketing professor and proficient author, Dr. Downey also consults extensively throughout North America on a variety of agribusiness issues. He has been a Dealership of the Year judge for all 11 years.

David L. Kahler


Retired CEO of Ohio-Michigan Equipment Dealers Assn., Dublin, Ohio

Kahler spent his entire 39 year career assisting equipment dealer-principals with their business affairs. He served for 22 years as CEO. He was an active industry participant who earned the respect of both dealers and manufacturers. Kahler retired from full-time employment in 2008, but still works part-time as the Associate Director for AMG LLC. He is now in his 46th year of serving dealers.

Charles R. Glass


President, Glass Management Group, chairman emeritus, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn.’s (FEMA) Dealer Relations Committee, Arlington, Texas

With more than 4 decades in the industry, Glass produces an annual tractor and combine forecast and provides technical assistance to various investment groups. A former director of FEMA, he is also a frequent presenter and author of several white papers on the future of farm equipment distribution.

As for the 2015 Dealerships of the Year, Ritchie Implement produced a ROA of 16.9% and an absorption rate of 95.1%, both the highest of all nominated dealers. Salem Farm Supply had a ROA of 4.2% and achieved an absorption rate of 74%.

Compared to the industry as a whole, this year’s finalists surpassed North American averages for aftermarket absorption. According to the SouthWestern Equipment Dealers Assn.’s 2014 “Cost of Doing Business Study,” the average aftermarket absorption rate stands at 62.2%.

A Continuing Tradition

Farm Equipment’s Dealership of the Year program was established in 2005 “to elevate farm equipment dealerships that are leading the industry in best practices, operations management and customer care.”

Since that time, 23 dealerships from the U.S. and Canada have been honored as Dealerships of the Year. They are joined by 43 dealers who have been recognized as Best-in-Class dealerships over the past 11 years. Together, these dealerships make up Farm Equipment’s Dealership of the Year alumni group and are instrumental in nominating their fellow dealers for recognition.

Words from Past Winners

“We were honored to receive the Dealer of the Year Award and humbled that we would be selected from so many fine dealerships. The award affirmed the efforts of our team to grow our business and care for our customers. It was a pleasure presenting the award to them. We also received congratulations from many of our long-time customers and suppliers who shared in the enjoyment of recognizing how hard everyone has worked to be a top class organization with which to do business.”

— Brian Carpenter, general manager,
Champlain Valley Equipment, Middlebuy, Vt.
(2006 Dealership of the Year)

“Being recognized as a Dealership of the Year was a real positive for the company. We sent reprints of the article to each employee with a note about how we couldn’t achieve such recognition without motivated, committed and dedicated employees. The award also was meaningful to our suppliers, stakeholders, lenders and key customers. We also had a lot of comments and questions from other dealers who read about our business model and how we do things, and that interchange is good for all of us. The program is a win-win for everyone involved.”

— David Meyer, CEO, Titan Machinery,
Fargo, N.D. (2006 Dealership of the Year)

Dealership of the Year Alumni Group — 2005-15


Class of 2015

Dealerships of the Year


Ritchie Implement, Cobb, Wis.

Salem Farm Supply, Salem, N.Y.

Best-in-Class Dealerships

Quality Equipment Co., Crowley, La.

H&R Agri-Power, Hopkinsville, Ky.

Gellings Implement, Eden, Wis.

2014 Dealerships of the Year

PrairieLand Partners, Hutchinson, Kan.

Godfrey Bros., Jonesville, Mich.

2014 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Agri-Service, Twin Falls, Idaho

Straub International, Great Bend, Kan.

Linden Agri-Centre, Linden, Alta.

New Holland Rochester, Rochester, Ind.

2013 Dealerships of the Year

Stotz Equipment, Avondale, Ariz.

Lake County International, Madison, S.D.

2013 Best-in-Class Dealerships

PrairieLand Partners, Hutchinson, Kan.

Sydenstrickers of Missouri, Mexico, Mo.

Mitchell Equipment, Atkinson, Neb.

Godfrey Bros., Jonesville, Mich.

2012 Dealerships of the Year

Johnson Tractor Inc., Janesville, Wis.

Kennedy Implement, Philip, S.D.

2012 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Chabot Implement Co., Elie, Man.

Agri-Service, Twin Falls, Idaho

Moker & Thompson Implements Ltd., Prince Albert, Sask.

Linden-Agri Centre, Linden, Alta.

2011 Dealerships of the Year

JayDee AgTech, Swift Current, Sask.

Janson Equipment, Reese, Mich.

2011 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Johnson Tractor Inc., Janesville, Wis.

BTI (Bucklin Tractor & Implement Co.), Greensburg, Kan.

Chabot Implement Co., Elie, Man.

Heritage Agriculture of Arkansas, Carlisle, Ark.

2010 Dealerships of the Year

RDO Equipment, Northern Agriculture, Fargo, N.D.

Codington-Clark Equipment, Watertown, S.D.

2010 Best-in-Class Dealerships

BTI (Bucklin Tractor & Implement Co.), Greensburg, Kan.

Elder Implement Co., Muscatine, Iowa

Janson Equipment Co., Reese, Mich.

Selmac Sales Ltd., Stoney Plain, Alta.

2009 Dealerships of the Year

Young’s Equipment Inc., Regina, Sask.

Bonneville and Madison County Implement, Idaho Falls, Idaho

2009 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Kay Jan Inc., Fort Morgan, Colo.

RDO Equipment Co., Fargo, N.D.

Codington-Clark Equipment, Watertown, S.D.

Miller Sellner, Windom, Minn.

2008 Dealerships of the Year

Miller Farm Equipment, Moosomin, Sask.

Vincennes Tractor, Vincennes, Ind.

2008 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Hendershot Equipment, Stephenville, Texas

Kay Jan Inc., Fort Morgan, Colo.

Kunau Implement, Preston, Iowa

Young’s Equipment Inc., Regina, Sask.

2007 Dealerships of the Year

Birkey’s Farm Store Inc., Rantoul, Ill.

Scott Supply Co., Mitchell, S.D.

Record Harvest, Nevada, Mo.

2007 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Coastal Tractor, Salinas, Calif.

Fairbanks International, Hastings, Neb.

Hendershot Equipment, Stephenville, Texas

Kunau Implement, DeWitt, Iowa

2006 Dealerships of the Year

Champlain Valley Equipment, Middlebury, Vt.

Titan Machinery, Fargo, N.D.

2006 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Dave’s Tractor, Red Bluff, Calif.

Greenfield Equipment Co., Madison, Ga.

Hlavinka Equipment Co., East Bernard, Texas

S&H Farm Supply Inc., Rogersville, Mo.

2005 Dealerships of the Year

Fred Haar Co. Inc., Freeman, S.D.

Jamestown Implement Co., Jamestown, N.D.

2005 Best-in-Class Dealerships

Atkinson Implements, Hartney, Man.

RDO Equipment, Yuma, Ariz.

S&H Farm Supply Inc., Lockwood, Mo.

Swartzrock Implement Co. Inc., Charles City, Iowa