Stotz Equipment and Lake County International earned the industry’s top honors as Farm Equipment’s 2013 Dealerships of the Year.

The judges for Farm Equipment’s 2013 Dealership of the Year program report that selecting this year’s award winners may have been their most difficult challenge since the recognition series was established in 2005. But they made their choices and the 2013 Dealerships of the Year are: Stotz Equipment, a 23-store network based in Avondale, Ariz., in the over $50 million in annual revenue category; and Lake County International, a single-store dealer located in Madison, S.D., in the under $50 million revenue category.

In total, fellow dealers, employees, customers, Dealership of the Year alumni and equipment suppliers nominated nearly 100 North American dealerships this year.

Source: SouthWestern Assn. 2011 Cost of Doing Business Study

In addition to their selections of the top dealers, the judges also named four “Best-in-Class” dealers for 2013. In the over $50 million category, the Best-in-Class dealerships included Prairieland Partners of Hutchinson, Kan., and Sydenstrickers of Missouri, Mexico, Mo.

In the under $50 million in annual revenues category, the Best-in-Class dealers are Mitchell Equipment of Atkinson, Neb., and Godfrey Bros., Jonesville, Mich.

Comparing Numbers

Combined, these six dealers accounted for $720,573,000 of total revenue in 2012. Revenue per employee came in at nearly $676,000. Together, these dealers also produced an average parts and service absorption of 87.2% for the year. The return on assets for these top dealers averaged 14.8%.

As for the 2013 Dealerships of the Year, Stotz Equipment produced an ROA of 15.2% and an absorption rate of 82.7%. Lake County International posted the highest ROA of all the finalists with 24% and an absorption rate of 97.2%.

Compared to the industry as a whole, this year’s finalists easily surpassed North American averages for return on assets and aftermarket absorption. According to the SouthWestern Equipment Dealers Assn.’s “2011 Cost of Doing Business Study,” the average pre-tax ROA for all farm equipment dealers is 8.61% and aftermarket absorption stands at 68%.

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 and the important criteria needed to make the selections meaningful.

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.

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 45th 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.

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, 19 dealerships from the U.S. and Canada have been honored as Dealerships of the Year. They are joined by 36 dealers who have been recognized as Best-in-Class dealerships over the past 9 years. Together, these dealerships make up Farm Equipment’s Dealership of the Year Alumni Group and are instrumental in nominating their fellow dealers for the award. Several of them will also serve on a newly appointed editorial advisory board for Farm Equipment. This board was formed to ensure the magazine continues to cover timely topics of most interest to Farm Equipment’s 12,000-plus qualified subscribers.

Words from Past Winners

Here’s what a selection of previous winners had to say about what the award meant to their dealerships.

“I underestimated what the nomination would mean to me personally. Once we were open to assembling our story, it allowed us to recognize the contributions of our people who made it happen. They were lifted up emotionally and the process helped to reinforce our business philosophies and practices — in a positive way. It’s been overwhelming to see the pride our people are showing in what they’ve done to be recognized as Farm Equipment’s Dealer of the Year.”

— Ron Birkey,
Retired President/CEO,
Birkey’s Farm Stores,
Rantoul, Ill.

“The performance of our dealership is regularly judged by our major supplier, but to be recognized by the farm equipment industry in Farm Equipment magazine is another thing altogether because it acknowledges the individual contributions of everyone on the staff of Vincennes Tractor. It meant a lot for all or our employees to be singled out by their peers. It was great!”

— Rick Lineburg,
Vincennes Tractor,
Vincennes, Ind.

“This award means a lot to us because we feel it recognizes what our employees have accomplished. Coming from the industry’s premier magazine and to have the caliber of people on the judging panel say, ‘Janson Equipment is one of the best dealerships in North America’ is a great honor. It’s the highest recognition we could ever receive.”

— Tom Janson,
Janson Equipment,
Reese, Mich.

“All successful teams appreciate recognition from their peers and their industry. Because of this Dealership of the Year award, we have received great feedback from our employees, customers, manufacturers and other dealers that will inspire us to continue our momentum into the future.”

— Keith Kreps,
RDO Equipment Co.,
Northern Agriculture,
Fargo N.D.

“Since winning the 2005 Dealership of the Year award, there has been a buzz around the store not only from the employees, but also from our customers and other companies that we do business with. You can see the pride in our employees when our customers congratulate them. It has been a big honor for our company.”

— Al Haar,
Fred Haar Co.,
Freeman, S.D.

Dealership of the Year Alumni Group

Class of 2013

Dealerships of the Year

- Stotz Equipment, Avondale, Ariz.

- Lake County International, Madison, S.D.

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. LTD, Elie, Manitoba

- Agri-Service, Twin Falls, Idaho

- Moker & Thompson Implements LTD, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

- Linden-Agri Centre, Linden, Alberta


2011 Dealerships of the Year

- JayDee AgTech, Swift Current, Saskatchewan

- Janson Equipment, Reese, Mich.

2011 Best-in-Class Dealerships

- Johnson Tractor Inc., Janesville, Wis.

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

- Chabot, Elie, Manitoba

- 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, Alberta

2009 Dealerships of the Year

- Young’s Equipment Inc., Regina, Saskatchewan

- 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, Saskatchewan

- 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, Saskatchewan

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, Manitoba

- RDO Equipment, Yuma, Ariz.

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

- Swartzrock Implement Co. Inc., Charles City, Iowa

Make plans to participate in Farm Equipment’s 2014 Dealership of the Year program. To nominate a dealer whom you believe is worthy, or for more details, contact Dave Kanicki, executive editor, at or call 800-645-8455, ext. 414.

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