The 2012 Farm Equipment Dealerships of the Year have been selected and Johnson Tractor in Janesville, Wis., has been chosen as this year’s top dealership in the over $50 million in annual revenue category. Top honors in the under $50 million in annual revenue category goes to Kennedy Implement in Philip, S.D.

In total, 98 U.S. and Canadian dealerships were nominated this year by their farm customers, equipment suppliers, Dealership of the Year “Alumni” and their own employees.

Joining the top dealers this year are four additional farm equipment retailers that have been selected as the “Best-in-Class Dealerships” for 2012. Honors in the over $50 million in annual revenue category go to Chabot Implement Co. LTD of Elie, Manitoba, and Agri-Service of Twin Falls, Idaho.

Dealership of the Year Judging Panel

The challenging job of choosing this year’s Farm Equipment Dealerships of the Year went to three highly experienced and involved individuals that comprised the independent judging panel. This year’s group included Dr. W. David Downey, Center for Agricultural Business, Purdue Univ., David Kahler, former CEO of the Ohio-Michigan Dealers Assn., and Charles R. Glass, Glass Management Group, and past chairman of the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn.’s Dealer Relations Committee.

Dr. W. David Downey
Executive Director, Center for Agricultural Business (CAB), Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind.

Downey is responsible for the development of education programs at the CAB, which is largely regarded as the U.S.’ leading center for agribusiness education. A distinguished agricultural marketing professor and a proficient author, Downey also consults extensively throughout North America on a variety of agribusiness issues.

David L. Kahler
Retired CEO of Ohio-Michigan Equipment Dealers Assn., Dublin, Ohio

Kahler spent his entire 38-year career assisting equipment dealer-principals with their business affairs, the last 20 as CEO of the association serving Ohio and Michigan. An active industry participant who earned the respect of both dealers and manufacturers, Kahler retired from full-time employment in 2010.

Charles R. Glass
President, Glass Management Group, chairman emeritus, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Assn.’s (FEMA) Dealer Relations Committee, Arlington, Texas.

Glass has been actively involved in the sales and marketing of farm equipment to dealers throughout his 40-year career. A former director of FEMA, he is also a frequent presenter and author, including several white papers on the future of farm equipment distribution.

Moker & Thompson Implements LTD of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and Linden Agri Centre of Linden, Alberta, received the same honors in the under $50 million in annual revenue category.

Together, these six dealers amassed $326,705,855 in total revenue, which amounted to $871,215 per employee. They also combined for an average parts and service absorption rate of 73.3%.

Individual & Industry

What sets the top farm equipment dealerships apart from other outstanding dealerships are performance factors that are often difficult to quantify, like employee training and morale, succession planning and customer care.

But it’s the numbers that provide the quantifiable aspect of the Dealership of the Year program.

In Johnson Tractor’s case, revenue per employee was nearly $1,257,20 million in 2011. Kennedy Implement posted $1,247,532 of revenue per employee.

Two other numbers also stand out for Farm Equipment’s 2012 Dealerships of the Year. These included return on assets/parts and service (aftermarket) absorption.

The SouthWestern Assn. (SWA) defines return on assets as “Net income before taxes/average assets.” The North American benchmark for ROA in 2009 was 6%.

Johnson Tractor reported the highest ROA of all nominees at 27% and Kennedy Implement posted a 22% ROA for the year.

Aftermarket Absorption is defined as “Parts & Service gross margins/total expenses.” The North American benchmark for absorption for farm equipment dealers is 80%-plus and the North American average in 2009 was 64.6%.

Johnson Tractor’s absorption rate came in at 77% for 2011 and Kennedy Implement demonstrated a 88% absorption rate for the year.

An Annual Tradition

In 2005, Farm Equipment editors established the Dealership of the Year program “to elevate farm equipment dealerships that are leading the industry in best practices, operations management and customer care.”

This year’s award recipients will join 43 past winners in the “Dealership of the Year Alumni Group,” which are shown below.

* The source of the industry averages is the “2009 Cost of Doing Business Study,” which presents composite income statements and balance sheets in addition to averages for key financial performance ratios.

Data for the study is compiled and analyzed by the SWA Financial Consulting, P.C. annually. Copies of the study are available from the SouthWestern Assn. Go to to learn more.

Dealership of the Year Alumni Group Class of 2012

Dealerships of the Year

  • Johnson Tractor, Janesville, Wis.
  • Kennedy Implement, Philip, S.D.

Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Chabot Implement Co. LTD, Elie, Manitoba
  • Agri-Service, Twin Falls, Idaho
  • Moker & Thompson Implements LTD, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
  • Linden-Agri Centre, Linden, Alberta

2011 Dealerships of the Year

  • JayDee AgTech, Swift Current, Saskatchewan
  • Janson Equipment, Reese, Mich.

2011 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Johnson Tractor, Janesville, Wis.
  • BTI (Bucklin Tractor & Implement Co.), Greensburg, Kan.
  • Chabot, Elie, Manitoba
  • Heritage Agriculture of Arkansas, Carlisle, Ark.

2010 Dealerships of the Year

  • RDO Equipment, Northern Agriculture, Fargo, N.D.
  • Codington-Clark Equipment, Watertown, S.D.

2010 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • BTI (Bucklin Tractor & Implement Co.), Greensburg, Kan.
  • Elder Implement Co., Muscatine, Iowa
  • Janson Equipment Co., Reese, Mich.
  • Selmac Sales Ltd., Stoney Plain, Alberta

2009 Dealerships of the Year

  • Young’s Equipment, Regina, Saskatchewan
  • Bonneville and Madison County Implement, Idaho Falls, Idaho

2009 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Kay Jan, Fort Morgan, Colo.
  • RDO Equipment Co., Fargo, N.D.
  • Codington-Clark Equipment, Watertown, S.D.
  • Miller Sellner, Windom, Minn.

2008 Dealerships of the Year

  • Miller Farm Equipment, Moosomin, Saskatchewan
  • Vincennes Tractor, Vincennes, Ind.

2008 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Hendershot Equipment, Stephenville, Texas
  • Kay Jan, Fort Morgan, Colo.
  • Kunau Implement, Preston, Iowa
  • Young’s Equipment, Regina, Saskatchewan

2007 Dealerships of the Year

  • Birkey’s Farm Store, Rantoul, Ill.
  • Scott Supply Co., Mitchell, S.D.
  • Record Harvest, Nevada, Mo.

2007 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Coastal Tractor, Salinas, Calif.
  • Fairbanks International, Hastings, Neb.
  • Hendershot Equipment, Stephenville, Texas
  • Kunau Implement, DeWitt, Iowa

2006 Dealerships of the Year

  • Champlain Valley Equipment, Middlebury, Vt.
  • Titan Machinery, Fargo, N.D.

2006 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Dave’s Tractor, Red Bluff, Calif.
  • Greenfield Equipment Co., Madison, Ga.
  • Hlavinka Equipment Co., East Bernard, Texas
  • S&H Farm Supply, Rogersville, Mo.

2005 Dealerships of the Year

  • Fred Haar Co., Freeman, S.D.
  • Jamestown Implement Co., Jamestown, N.D.

2005 Best-in-Class Dealerships

  • Atkinson Implements, Hartney, Manitoba
  • RDO Equipment, Yuma, Ariz.
  • S&H Farm Supply, Lockwood, Mo.
  • Swartzrock Implement Co., Charles City, Iowa

Make plans to participate in Farm Equipment’s 2013 Dealership of the Year program. To nominate a dealer whom you believe is worthy, or for more details, contact Dave Kanicki, executive editor, at or call 800-645-8455, ext. 414.