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Serving: MN

Family operation solid in manufacturing

Kevin Schulz Eric and Karen Jenkins representing Iron & Steel at Husker Harvest Days
FAMILY STRONG: Eric Jenkins opted to forgo college, instead returning to Long Prairie, Minn., to begin welding snow buckets. That was the birth of Jenkins Iron & Steel. He and his mother, Karen, shared the company’s offerings at Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, Neb.
Though its history is short, Jenkins Iron & Steel is built on offering rigorously tested loader attachments.

A dream of any family business — whether farm or agribusiness — is that the operation continues and preferably that the family will remain a constant into the future.

The Jenkins family from Long Prairie, Minn., is building a brand for themselves with Jenkins Iron & Steel, and according to their website, “the Jenkins family founded Jenkins Iron & Steel to produce the highest-quality, most durable attachments on the market.”

Karen Jenkins, the matriarch of the operation, says the company prides itself on the facts that it’s family-founded and is an employment opportunity for the central Minnesota area.

Started from bottom up

Jenkins Iron & Steel isn’t your typical family operation. Rather than having decades or even centuries-old lineage as some farms and businesses have, Jenkins Iron & Steel started in 2009 with youngest son Eric hand-welding snow buckets and manually cutting out parts. Shortly into his college career, he realized that higher education wasn’t for him, and instead decided to work with his hands.

“Then my second son [Patrick] was in college for engineering, so he could come back and use all his engineering skills to run all the robotics,” Karen says. Marty (Karen’s husband) and Karen’s oldest son, Kurt, also came back from college and is running the sales department for the company.

Karen and Eric were showing the Jenkinses wares at the recent Husker Harvest Days farm show near Grand Island, Neb.

Jenkins attachments are for skid loaders and front-end loader tractors, and their product line of 50 attachments ranges from a 4-in-1 bucket to a dozer blade to an earth auger, but Karen says the company’s biggest sellers are the grapple hook and brush mowers.

No labor shortage here

In addition to employing the Jenkins family, the company also employs about 70 others from the area, and Karen says finding employees has not been the issue that others may be facing. In addition to weekdays, “we operate on Saturdays, and workers can come in if they want to,” she says, “and a lot of times the parking lot is full. … People enjoy coming to work, and we try to treat them right.”

In addition to the pride of being a family-run business, the Jenkins family is proud to say that their products are 100% American-made, and manufactured in-house, outside of Long Prairie, a town of about 3,500 people. As the family says on its website, “We stand behind absolutely everything we build, and you can rest assured that if you do have an issue with anything on your attachment you can call our office and you will speak to a Jenkins who knows the attachments, puts their name on the attachments and takes care of the customers who buy their attachments. That is our promise to our customers. Our attachments are rigorously tested and abused prior to production, so you know you are getting the best and most durable attachments possible!”

Visit jenkinsironandsteel.com for more information on Jenkins Iron & Steel.

TAGS: Business
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