Leadership today was in Haven, Kansas. It’s a town of nearly 1,200 people about 15 minutes away from Hutchinson. Despite their size, they have a lot of manufacturing there, not the least of which is at Kincaid.
Brad Stephenson, the manufacturing manager, gave us a tour. They make equipment geared toward seed producers. A large part of what they make is sold to universities.
They have agreements with a company in Finland that provides a combine that they then modify to work for seed producers.
Because test plots are done in 20 feet rows, and the seed can’t be mixed, special equipment is required to harvest that so it can all be tested.
Some of the folks in our tour group were really knowledgeable – namely Pam, Dan and Brad. They all have experience with manufacturing and/or farming.
Scott also seemed to know quite a bit about all of this. He was asking lots of great questions.
That’s one of the things that’s always interesting on these tours – the questions people bring up.
Our host was very patient with us and explained how they’ve built their business over the years.
Part of the way is by adding to their products. They now make these machines that spray a water mixed with wood or paper cellulose that makes a covering over exposed soil to cut down on erosion, such as at road construction sites. It’s also used at landfills and such.
It was an interesting way to wrap up the day. The topic today was economic development, which I enjoyed.