“We’ve lasted 100 years thanks to selling quality equipment backed by loyal and hardworking employees. But above all we have been blessed to be in a community with hard working and loyal family farmers. Thank you.” – Jim Hale, CEO, Washington Tractor Inc.
LYNDEN, Wash. December 31, 2017
Citizens of a small farming community in Whatcom County turned out in force recently to honor one of their neighbors and to celebrate the past 100 years of a local business. Any centennial celebration is special, and this one was no different.
Lynden's mayor, Scott Korthuis, initiated the festivities with a proclamation officially designating June 3, 2017, as Washington Tractor Day, recognizing CEO Jim Hale and his wife Annette for their commitment, civic contributions, and service. The couple, sitting in the cab of a green vintage flatbed Chevrolet, shook hands with the Mayor, as the trailer in back filled with two more generations of their family, applauded the ceremony. They then proceeded to lead a “four-block-long” parade of antique John Deere tractors through town. The festivities didn't end there, the community enjoyed balloons, a band, food, and good times for everyone in this 125-year-old Northwest Washington town.
For most of the town's 125-year history, North Washington Implement was the major supplier of farm machinery and equipment. In 2010, it became one of three family-owned John Deere dealerships to merge, giving birth to Washington Tractor. The new company was formed with a commitment to honor the traditions of service and community involvement that characterized its forerunners.
Two later mergers, in 2012 and 2014, brought the number of owner families to five, and increased the number of dealer locations to 12 throughout the state. Washington Tractor now carries the full line of John Deere agricultural equipment as well as residential and commercial equipment including compact tractors, riding mowers, and utility vehicles (Gators). In addition to John Deere Equipment, Washington Tractor services and sells many allied brands such as Honda and STIHL providing a total equipment solution to its communities and customers.
The company's focus has always been service, teamwork and integrity, and that focus has been unwavering. Even though the company has grown substantially since its founding, its owners remain true to the values of the individual founders.
In the video, it's easy to see the mutual respect that exists between the company's ownership, employees, and customers, “great service” and “outstanding” are terms used frequently by those who share their experiences with Washington Tractor. As Mayor Korthuis expressed, the company's 100-year participation and involvement has played a key role in building “our community spirit.”
Washington Tractor's owners echo the sentiments of Jim Hale, who notes, “We’ve lasted 100 years thanks to selling quality equipment backed by loyal and hardworking employees. But above all, we have been blessed to be in a community with hard working and loyal family farmers. Thank you.”
Watch the video here:
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