History of Innovation
Wil-Rich evolved from a small two-man shop making truck hoists to one of the industry leaders in farm tillage equipment. Ed Schleuter, a blacksmith from Lehr, ND, designed and built a truck hoist that could withstand the rigors of modern farming in the 1960s. A group of businessmen from Wahpeton, ND, purchased this small upstart and named it Wil-Rich – from the names of Wilkin and Richland counties, where operations were based.
Since then, Wil-Rich has expanded and refined its product line throughout the years to currently offer a full line of primary and secondary tillage equipment such as cultivators, chisels, rippers, and combination tillage units.
In 2021, the Wil-Rich line of equipment and sister brands Wishek and Concord were purchased by Väderstad AB of Sweden. Väderstad’s colorful history dates back to the early 60s, and has ever since been characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit, the creation of ingenious farm machinery, and a strong drive to rationalize farming methods.
The company, now known as Väderstad Inc., will continue to innovate and provide the high-quality products and levels of service and support that the Wil-Rich name has been known for in the quest to be the world’s leading partner for an outstanding emergence.
“It is very inspiring that the cousins in the third generation are so involved in the company. My father said to me when I became a shareholder, ‘We have started to roll the snowball; now it is up to you to keep it rolling.’ The ‘snowball’ is now larger than when I started, but still we have only scratched the surface of our potential, and there is still much to be done,” says Crister Stark, Chairman of the Board.
To ensure long term ownership, the nine cousins Stark and Gilstring, are shareholders together with Crister, Christina, Andreas and Bo Stark. This means that Väderstad Group now has 13 shareholders.
Väderstad’s ambition is to keep the ownership in the family with the goal set on continuous profitable growth. Our business idea will remain the same: To supply modern agriculture with highly efficient machinery and methods.