Ralco celebrated its 50th year in business April 21 with employees at its corporate headquarters in Marshall, Minn.
Since 1971, the family-run company has provided natural nutritional supplements for animals and plants.
LEAD MANAGEMENT: The Ralco leadership team stands in front of the original Ralco delivery truck, a 1972 International bought from Olson & Johnson Trucks in Marshall. The team includes Leslie Hart (left), John DeVos, Glenn Bader, Brian Knochenmus, Chad Jensen, Dennis Conlon, Tony Goebel, Diane Wagner and Jon Knochenmus.
“In so many ways, we are just getting started,” said Jon Knochenmus, Ralco president emeritus. “We introduced natural products to the agriculture industry when people were skeptical and didn’t understand, but they know now that we were ahead of the curve.”
Ralco was founded by Bob Galbraith, an entrepreneur who mortgaged everything he owned to start the company out of his garage. Initially, he delivered product with a pickup and gooseneck trailer and many times, his family, including his children, made delivery trips with him. Bob led the company for 19 years and lived to see Ralco become a multinational. The company passed to his son, Randy Galbraith, and then to his son-in-law Jon Knochenmus. Today, Jon’s son Brian Knochenmus serves as Ralco president.
Focus helps company survive change
“Fifty years is a significant milestone in our company’s history. It’s a test of time. We have survived drastic changes in the markets as well as transitions through three generations. We have also survived explosive growth. The lessons of the past have prepared us for the future. We are focused on food production, and helping consumers understand the care and thoughtfulness that goes into the food they eat,” Brian said.
BACK THEN: Ralco’s humble beginnings were in a Marshall garage belonging to the late Bob (shown) and Lou Galbraith. The company has now become a global provider of natural solutions that maximize nutrient conversion in both plants and animals.
While a 50th anniversary recognizes the past, Ralco is focused on the future. The company works in three distinct areas to naturally convert more energy out of nutritional inputs and reduce nutrient waste. Each area drives nutrient conversion for strong immunity and superior performance of plants and animals. Essential oils and plant extracts, energy-maximizing diets and microbial processes are natural approaches that ensure inputs are used to the utmost for greater immunity, gain and profit.
“Perfecting natural approaches is an extension of our mission and a journey that will never end,” Brian added. “My grandpa said he eliminated the word ‘can’t’ from his vocabulary, and we continue that tradition. My grandpa also knew that the success of our company depended on our people. We’ve continued a people-first culture for 50 years, and I firmly believe that’s how we were able to achieve this milestone today.”
Ralco is a third-generation, family-owned multinational company with distribution in more than 40 countries. Learn more at ralcoagriculture.com.