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Ag equipment dealer defies drought, expands businessAg equipment dealer defies drought, expands business

Faces of Drought: Brice Terry expands his family ag equipment dealership.

Mindy Ward

August 14, 2018

3 Min Read
DRY START: Dried grass surrounds Brice Terry at his newest ag equipment location. He did not let a drought stop the expansion of Terry Implement Co. to Chillicothe, Mo., this year. Still he expects sales to be slow.

Brown blades of grass crunch beneath Brice Terry’s shoes as he walks toward a new baler. A slight grin comes across his face. “Is this the best year to expand?” he asks, “Probably not. Hard to sell equipment in a drought.”

Still, Terry pressed on. “When we schedule to open, we follow through,” he says. “We may not sell a lot of lawn mowers, but we are here to offer sales and service of a full line of Kubota machinery to our customers.”

This summer Terry expanded the family business into one of the driest areas of the state — Chillicothe. This region of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Index.

While the timing might not be perfect, Terry says the family will weather the highs and lows alongside farmers.

For the future
Terry Implement Co. started in 1959 by the late Junior and Nancy Terry in nearby Gallatin, Mo. The business began with its flagship, Allis Chalmers. Over the years, equipment offerings shifted to keep up with the ever-changing industry. Today, they sell a variety of makes and models of ag equipment, which include Agco and Kubota.

MACHINERY ROW: Terry Implement offers a full line of Kubota equipment from balers to backhoes.

“To stay relevant in this era and compete against large equipment dealers, you have to diversify to stay in business for the long term,” Terry says. So, when the chance to open an additional Kubota dealership 31 miles to the west presented itself, he took it.

“This location is an opportunity to expand for my family’s future,” he explains. Terry has four children. He hopes one or more will want to continue and grow the family business in northern Missouri.

Terry grew up mulling round the shop where his dad worked. “I loved being around the equipment and watching my dad,” he says. “I learned a lot, especially about the importance of building relationships with customers.”

Service focused
Farmers are more likely to come into a dealership to purchase a piece of equipment rather than online because they know and trust the owner, Terry says. “We make it a point to not just sell equipment but to make sure the buyer knows how it works before leaving the lot.”

However, servicing equipment changed over the early years. “When my dad was working, farmers would fix their own equipment,” he says. “Now many can’t work on their own tractors or lawnmowers. We now have apps that tell us when to service them; people actually come in to have their oil changed.”

Each interaction allows the Terry family to know their customers better. “We want to be here for them,” he adds, “even in the dry years.”

So, Terry does not view opening an ag equipment dealership during a drought year as a problem. He says the family is investing in Chillicothe for the future. “We feel what farmers feel during this drought,” he adds, “and we will make it through as well.”

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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