AGCO announced its plans to produce Massey Ferguson and Challenger high-horsepower wheeled row crop tractors in the company’s Jackson, Minn., farm equipment manufacturing facility. AGCO’s plans include a 75,000-sq.-ft. expansion of the manufacturing facility and construction of a state-of-the-art visitors’ center.

“Manufacturing our high-horsepower tractors in Jackson is just one more aspect of AGCO’s commitment to bringing high-quality products and the latest technologies to professional producers in North America,” says Bob Crain, senior vice president and general manager for AGCO North America. “By manufacturing our Massey Ferguson and Challenger mid- to high-horsepower tractors in the United States, we’ll be able to offer machines more closely configured to the production practices and needs of our customers here while also reducing the delivery time to both dealers and farmers.”

The facility currently produces Challenger track and articulated 4-wheel-drive tractors as well as high-flotation applicators and high-clearance sprayers.

The manufacturing expansion is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The first tractors are expected to roll off the line before the end of the year. Plans for the visitor’s center have not been finalized, but the projected 17,000-sq. ft. facility is intended to host as many as 10,000 local and international visitors as they experience the newest products from Challenger and Massey Ferguson.

Long-Standing History in Jackson

AGCO’s decision to expand the Jackson facility is part of the company’s plans for increasing its manufacturing capabilities throughout North America. Crain saluted the more than 900 employees in Jackson and their role in the company’s future expansion during the official announcement to employees, state and local leaders, affiliated dealers and media.

“Inside these walls is a long-standing tradition of dedication, excellence and hard work that brings agriculture some of the highest quality and most respected products on the market,” Crain sys. “The heritage and work ethic of the residents of southwest Minnesota were among the deciding factors as we evaluated where to manufacture our most advanced machines. We know you will help us achieve great success.”

Farm equipment manufacturing has been a part of the Jackson community since 1963 when Ag-Chem Equipment Company was founded as a distributor of spraying equipment. Ag-Chem was purchased by AGCO in 2001.

Good for Southwest Minnesota

As the largest employer in Jackson, AGCO’s expansion will add 100 manufacturing and support jobs with annual payroll of $5.68 million. According to economic impact studies completed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the visitor center and resulting expenditures from visitors is expected to create as many as 95 jobs throughout the community and increase the Jackson economy by $2.26 million.

The study also found that in total, annual economic impact of the expansion is projected to bring nearly 200 jobs and more than $17.3 million in annual Gross Regional Product (GRP) to the area. Construction of the facility is expected to bring more than 50 jobs in construction and support industries and more than $2.2 million of GRP during the construction phase.