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“If we didn’t have those early-adopting, innovative farmers that are willing to take a chance, companies like us couldn’t exist ... The ‘against-the-grain’ farmers allowed us to develop.” -- Joe Bassett, President & CEO, Dawn Equipment Company, Sycamore, Illinois

Dawn Equipment Co., a manufacturer of row crop tools and conservation tillage attachments, is led today by Joe Bassett, who joined his dad, Jim, in his small 11-year-old manufacturing business in 2003. As you’ll hear in today’s podcast, Joe is cut differently than many CEOs. He profiles as a product designer, he is not a farm kid, and is a deep thinker who’ll share what’s on his mind. He chose shortline equipment manufacturing career for the impact that an innovator can still make in this business of agriculture.

As a 38-year-old CEO, he’s leading a specialty equipment manufacturer at interesting intersection in time. While many of the contemporaries of his father’s generation are embarking on the generational changes where the founder is no longer visible, Dawn Equipment, true to its roots, is positioning themselves for a head-start.

For today’s “Conversations with Ag Equipment Entrepreneurs” podcast, Joe and I carved out time at the National Strip-Tillage Conference to talk about Dawn Equipment’s history – including facing the brink of insolvency in the early years – the inflection points for ag and his business, and even some esoteric thoughts on the challenges ahead, and what still keeps him awake at night.

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Farm Equipment‘s How We Did It podcast is brought to you by Ingersoll Tillage.

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Ingersoll specializes in seedbed solutions. Whatever seedbed challenges you have, Ingersoll can give you the right tools to get the job done. For every tillage and planting practice, there's an ideal Ingersoll application, visit

Music: Josh Woodward - Golden Sunrise (Instrumental Version)