JCB dealer Orton’s Equipment Company of Stratford, Calif., is celebrating its 110th anniversary with the launch of a “110 Days Challenge,” an initiative to deliver 110 full days of community service.
Established in 1906, Orton’s Equipment Company is a family-owned business that strives to provide customers with the highest care and respect possible.
James Orton and his family came to the fertile Central Valley in California in the 1850s, searching for new opportunities and a better life. In the late 1800s, James Orton opened the first family store, thus beginning what would become a family tradition. That first store sold a wide variety of supplies and farming tools, from dried goods and firearms to simple plows and equipment. “It was the Wal-Mart of its day,” laughs Josh Orton, sales manager and fifth generation co-owner.
After World War II, James’ son refocused the business to sell the new generation of farm equipment that recently hit the market, including the first tractors and combines from International Harvester. Later, the company began searching for another manufacturing line and discovered JCB in a trade magazine.
“Even though JCB is a much larger company than our own, they are also a family business with similar goals and values as Orton’s Equipment Co.,” explains Josh. “JCB has an amazing line of reliable products, hires quality folks and has always provided us with great support. That is why we have remained a JCB dealer over the years and plan to continue to offer JCB products, including backhoes, rough terrain forklifts, telehandlers and wheel loaders, for the generations to come.”
Josh Orton serves as co-owner of Orton’s Equipment Co. alongside his brother, Jason Orton, and their father David Orton, who is owner and president of the company. Today, 5 generations later, the business remains family owned and operated, providing sales and service support for farming and agricultural equipment.
“We’ve truly enjoyed working with the Orton family and Orton’s Equipment Company over the years,” says Dan Schmidt, JCB North America’s vice president of agriculture. “At JCB, we take pride in providing not only top-notch products but excellent service to ensure our customers’ needs are always met. Orton’s Equipment Co. shares the same values and has proven this time and time again over the years.”
When the family isn’t busy helping local farmers find the right agricultural equipment to suit their needs, they are busy tending to their own farming operation. The Orton family produces hay and manages a cattle operation. This provides them with a unique perspective and enhanced customer service, as they can relate to their own needs and provide real-world experience when recommending equipment.
“We love helping other farming families in our community, and have worked with many of the same families that our ancestors worked with100 years ago,” explains Josh. “It’s great to know that we’re helping new generations of the same families. They came to us for JCB equipment long ago and continue to come to us today, and we’re very proud of that.”
As the company celebrates its 110th anniversary, it attributes the business’s longevity to its ability to change with the times, as well as its employees loving what they do. “We’re a family of farmers,” explains Orton. “If you don’t love something, why do it?”
What better way for a company grounded in its local, family roots to celebrate this incredible milestone than to find a way to give back to its local community? “We wanted to do something to give back,” says Jason Orton, company spokesperson and co-owner of Orton’s Equipment Co. “When we asked members of the team where we wanted to give our time, nearly everyone had a different idea of what group or organization to support. All were worthy causes and we didn’t feel we could pick just one organization to benefit from this service.”
Each Orton’s Equipment employee has agreed to volunteer with a charity or organization of their choice, including volunteering at soup kitchens, the SPCA, local youth sports, and more. All volunteer hours will be logged and the organizations and individuals will be recorded. At the end of the year, Orton’s Equipment will present the logs to the Kings County, California Board of Supervisors in an effort to encourage other Kings County organizations to give back and become more involved in the community.
Team members who provide at least 24 hours of service throughout 2016 will be honored on a special plaque commemorating participation in the 110 Days Challenge. The company is also challenging friends, family and even competitors to get involved in the initiative, in hopes of creating a culture of continuous service to the local area.
“We are so excited about our 110 Days Challenge and the impact it will make on our community,” says Josh. “This community has supported our company’s success for so many years so it is a great opportunity to give back and show them our appreciation. We look forward to working with this wonderful community for another 100 years.”