Grossenburg Implement now the new name among Philip businesses

Grossenburg Implement of Philip, formerly Moodie Implement, made a smooth and quick transference of ownership without missing a day of business. Pictured are, from left: Joe Woitte (service manager as well as the new general manager in Philip), Gene Grossenburg (CEO of Grossenburg Implement), and Pat Grossenburg, his wife.

"We actually changed our name from Moodie Implement last Friday. We answered the phones 'Grossenburg Implement' on Saturday and some callers hung up, thinking they had the wrong number," said Joe Woitte, who remains the service manager and is also now the new general manager of Grossenburg Implement in Philip.

Some things will remain the same at the implement company. All 16 employees at the Philip store will remain with the new organization. The store will also remain a John Deere outlet.

Doug Percy, controller for Grossenburg Implement Incorporated, said, "Barry Grossenburg and Rob Moodie came to an agreement and created a letter of intent. This allowed contact with the venders, the employee group and in some cases the customers. Representatives of Grossenburg Implement visited with the Philip store employees for a re-interview process - to hear the employees' goals and communicate the company's goals," said Percy.

Moodie Implement's Pierre location was also purchased as part of the deal. With Philip's 16 and Pierre's 24 employees, Grossenburg Implement Incorporated now hires a total of 100 employees, 40 of those are trained technicians.

"The John Deere corporation actually encourages multi-dealerships," said Gene Grossenburg. But that wasn't the main reason for combining the three implement companies. "We felt that we were at a plateau," explained Gene Grossenburg. "We couldn't expand, which we really wanted to do, so we acquired these other two stores." G. Grossenburg believes that the combined stores will now be the main John Deere centers for the western half of South Dakota. "We are excited about this. The Winner area is cattle, wheat and the people who work with the land - like the Philip area. We are the same type of people and territory."

Some things will change. The labor rate for in-shop repair work has been decreased by five dollars to $57 per hour. Repairs done in the field have gone down $11 to $62 per hour plus mileage.

"Service is the key word," said G. Grossenburg. "We spend a tremendous amount on continually training our technicians to increase that service. They know their stuff and the parts. The sharing of knowledge and expertise from all the stores will expand everyone's knowledge."

Woitte added, "We will be able to transfer parts between stores readily. Normal delivery is three days, but because of stock kept at other stores we can get those parts in one day."

G. Grossenburg said that there will be a larger machinery inventory in Philip, with more used and new machines on the lot. Grossenburg Implement's motto is "We provide the best product at a reasonable price with the highest level of service."

A "John Deere Day" on Tuesday, April 3, will celebrate the change in management. Part of the plans for that day will be a baler clinic, an auto-steer demonstration, informative films, visiting representatives from John Deere and Summers Equipment, and a free public lunch. The day will also allow the Grossenburgs to meet local residents.

"The Grossenburgs are community minded," said Woitte. "They believe in their employees being a friendly and helpful part of what is going on in the area."

Grossenburg Implement was founded in 1937 by Charlie Grossenburg, who originally sold and traded livestock in Sioux Falls and Omaha. He began bringing back tractors to the Tripp County area. During World War II the market for two cylinder tractors was on the rise and that created the start of Grossenburg Implement.

His son, Gene Grossenburg, also sold automobiles along with John Deere products. At the age of 21, after serving in the Army during the Korean War and getting married, Gene became half-owner of Grossenburg Implement.

Gene's son, Barry, graduated from Winner High School and later from South Dakota State University in 1978 with a B.S. degree in Agri-Business. His wife, Marilyn, is the owner of Rosebud Concrete at Grossenburg Imp.

Moodie Implement was originally bought in 1998 from Richard Baye by Rob Moodie, who was the manager until this transaction. The three other Moodie stores in Lewistown, Havre and Chester, MT, will remain under the management of Jim Moodie, Rob's brother.