August 14, 2018
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.”
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.”
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