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Our Town Williamsburg - Making Their Mark on American Farming
WILIAMSBURG - Two of Williamsburg's own helped change America's agricultural industry for generations to come. This small Iowa community has made a very big impact on America's agriculture.
Thanks to the innovative ideas of Jon Kinzenbaw and the business mind of Ron Holden, these two men have not only been leaders in their community but have redefined what it means to plow a field and grow an ear of corn. Meet Ron Holden and Jon Kinzebaw.
"Yeah, I think it was a matter of chance and it has been good for the community," said Ronald Holden, Holdens Foundation Seeds.
"Neither of us are competitors to the other; I think we probably enhance each other's business," said Jon Kinzenbaw, Kinze Manufacturing.
Both are innovators in their industry, each taking a different path to success. For Jon Kinzenbaw it started out of a three stall garage.
"My goal when I went into business was to simply fix things, but I quickly was striving to fix it better than before it broke," said Kinzenbaw.
Soon Jon was making custom farm machinery for local farmers. His unique ideas caught on quickly, and in 1974 Kinze Manufacturing moved to Williamsburg.
"We were the first to build a two-wheel grain cart. So now as you go out and look at the competition, all these grain carts out there with the large tires are all a result of that first grain cart build in 71," said Kinzenbaw.
Just down the road from Kinze Manufactuirng, Ron Holden was taking over the family business. His father started Holden's Foundation Seed in 1937. The company produces the building blocks for corn hybrids.
"Practically everybody except Pioneer bought genetics from our company," said Holden.
The market share's of these companies surpassed expectations.
"At one time I remember wishing I could get five, just five percent of the market. And then one day I woke up to find we had 10 percent and then 20 and 30."
For the past 25 years Jon has added on to his Williamsburg production facility, enclosing nearly 20 acres. From the design stage to the field, employees of Kinze see the product from beginning to end. Ron sold his company to Monsanto 10 years ago. He wanted to see the company grow and continue to benefit the American farmer. Both men say it was the community that contributed to their success, and that's why they continue to stay.