Merger long time coming | TheFencePost.com

Merger long time coming

Amy G. Hadachek

Two longtime family-owned Nebraska and Kansas John Deere farm implement dealerships launched a major merger Jan. 1. The merger between Oregon Trail Equipment and LandMark Implement Inc., brings together a total 17 farm implement locations across the two states under the LandMark name.

"We're extremely proud of the new affiliation with the Oregon Trail employees and customers," says Andy Grollmes, chief executive officer of LandMark Implement, Inc. "With the addition of seven new LandMark locations, we will be able to offer an even more extensive parts and service network, a larger new and used equipment inventory and specialized product support."

Oregon Trail's seven locations, in Marysville, Kan., and Beatrice, Fairfield, Hastings, Hebron, Superior and Red Cloud, Neb., are now LandMark Implement dealerships, as well as the original LandMark's Nebraska locations in Holdrege, Arapahoe, Elwood, Kearney, Minden, Shelton, Lexington and Gothenberg and two Kansas dealerships in Phillipsburg and Smith Center.

"This is a merger. It's not a takeover. We've been discussing this for over five years, and in the past few years, we pursued it more aggressively," said Mike Kongs, co-owner of Oregon Trail. "It gives us an opportunity to increase our footprint in the world and also makes us a stable local employer. We're looking forward to continuing community involvement in all our locations."

Rick Bennett, who's been Kongs' Oregon Trail business partner since 2003, said he is retiring and his two sons are buying his interest in the business. Bennett assured customers that while the company's name has changed, most of the people whom customers deal with daily, from the parts department to the sales team, won't change. Kongs will still be involved with the organization.

Though the name above the door will officially say LandMark, many other things will remain the same, Bennett said.

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"Our employees' pledge to you is that the service and attention you've grown to expect, will never waver. We strive to treat customers…like family," he said. ❖