Naperville, Illinois, March 22, 2023 – Ag Growth International Inc. (“AGI”) is marking a “milestone moment” at its Omaha, Neb., manufacturing facility on Friday, March 24, as it celebrates the delivery of its 2,000th AGI NECO mixed flow grain dryer since its 1000-dryer milestone in 2014. Purchased by AGI in 2017, the facility – a steady contributor to the Greater Omaha business economy since 1959 – has earned global recognition as AGI's sole manufacturer of its flagship NECO mixed flow dryers and other grain drying solutions distributed to dealers, farmers and commercial grain operators.
“The success in the engineering, production, marketing and distribution of AGI’s NECO dryer is due to the dedication of our employee team in meeting customer needs,” said Matt Schneider, AGI Senior Director, U.S. Farm. "That includes delivering on time, every time; hearing customer feedback; and making continuous product improvements.”
The AGI NECO mixed flow grain dryer is considered an industry leader in sophisticated drying technology. The dryer is designed to quietly and efficiently heat kernels evenly to avoid damage and can be used to effectively dry all type of grain, seeds, and nuts. The systems’ screen-free operation and computerized moisture control deliver consistently higher quality grain and heavier test weights per bushel with optimized value for customers.
Founded in 1959 by Bill Patterson as the Nebraska Engineering Company, the first NECO mixed flow dryer rolled off Omaha, Neb., production lines in 1990 and the first dryer was sold to Tom Condon, a farmer in Clara City, Minn.
Since AGI’s purchase in 2017, the NECO legacy of quality craftsmanship, engineering and innovative design has expanded into new product lines and technology enhancements focused on advancing in-unit grain circulation, conditioning and drying. Today, with over 120,000 square feet of manufacturing space, AGI’s Omaha facility and 85-employee team combine hands-on experience with state-of-the art-technology to build grain dryers for use by farms and commercial grain operations in North America, Europe and Mexico.
“I remember when the #1 NECO grain dryer rolled off the line,” said Ken Kohrt, AGI’s master scheduler and one of the facility’s longest-running 37-year employees. “At first American farmers did not understand the mixed flow dryer. But they learned through experience. They saw how much more efficient the dryer was. It used less propane. It had a dryer capacity that could keep up with harvest. There were no screens to unclog, and it was a much gentler drying method which improved value and quality.”
Kohrt says many great moments flag his career at the plant. “Basically, I was born here. I worked at the plant when I was in high school. I knew Bill Patterson when I was a kid. He had horses and a ranch... In the summer of 1986 my mom, who was the controller and office manager, asked me to help.” And that was it. Kohrt never left with a career ranging from computing and drafting to engineering, management and scheduling.
According to Schneider, it is that kind of work ethic that guides the Omaha team. “From engineering and manufacturing to sales and delivery, I am immensely proud of our people. This milestone achievement is all about their hard work, commitment, experience and ability to really dig deep and listen to dealers and farmers,” said Schneider.
On March 24, AGI will officially honor the 2,000th AGI NECO dryer milestone at a special luncheon with employees and members of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce and business and civic community. AGI leaders – Matt Schneider; Abdallah Alkhaleel, Plant Manager; Harsha Bhojraj, Vice President of Manufacturing; and Subroto Pyne, Vice President, Global Product Management – will welcome guests, recognize team achievements; honor the longstanding, positive economic impact on the city; and announce AGI’s #3,000 Dryer Challenge.
“We are honored to celebrate this milestone with our employee family along with members of Omaha’s business and civic community,” said Schneider. “We thank the city under the leadership of Mayor Jean Stothert and the City Council for more than six decades of their support for agricultural equipment manufacturing."
To learn more about AGI and its grain drying, portable and permanent grain handling, storage, and conditioning solutions (or to find a local dealer), visit aggrowth.com.
AGI is a provider of solutions for global food infrastructure including seed, fertilizer, grain, feed, and food processing systems. AGI has manufacturing facilities in Canada, the United States, Brazil, India, France, and Italy and distributes its product globally.
For More Information Contact:
Agnes Schafer, Director Public Relations
+1-816-810-0377 / Agi.Schafer@aggrowth.com