Building Relationships For Life:
Earl McFarlane started the Wisconsin Tractor Company in 1917. Bob, Jim and Chuck McFarlane worked their entire lives at the family business which flourished into a multifaceted operation – McFarlanes’. Today, it is managed by Earl’s grandsons, John, Stan, Tom and Dick McFarlane.
The company recently received accolades from the Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce for 2013 Large Business of the Year. They have celebrated milestones such as the 50-year anniversary of their retail store. The store on Water Street was devastated by a three-alarm fire on May 20, 2013. The McFarlanes’ team was resilient and focused on maintaining service to customers and the community. According to John McFarlane, “Nothing is forever so we must be stewards of the time we are given.” While a new chapter has begun, the McFarlanes’ team remains committed to service, innovation and building lasting relationships.
For nearly 100 years, McFarlanes’ has evolved to meet the needs of the local agriculture community. The company includes: a tire supply center, retail hardware and farm store, service/repair shop, farm equipment manufacturing/structural steel division and a farm implement dealership. Generations of farmers have visited McFarlanes’ to buy everything from hardware to tractors; the agriculture community continues to choose McFarlanes’ because of their commitment to service and honest business transactions.
The McFarlanes’ story is one of innovation. Earl McFarlane created a tractor named the Wisconsin Tractor and later the McFarlane spike-tooth harrow. The family tradition of innovation continues today with the McFarlane brand. The company is world-renowned for their innovation in tillage equipment. “Our products have to be of the highest-quality because our name is on it,” said Chris Carnevale, Retail General Manager. In order to develop new technology, building strong relationships within the agriculture community is crucial. The operator‘s feedback on equipment prototypes helps the McFarlanes’ Product Specialists develop leading technology to create the perfect seedbed.
The McFarlane family invests their time and resources in local agriculture education efforts. “Today’s students are our future – the next generation is the key to future innovation,” said John. They believe in supporting education initiatives and teaching kids about the opportunities available in agriculture. As the industry expands, it will continue to become increasingly specialized. Many young people with non-farming backgrounds now consider agriculture as a future career option. According to John, “It’s not an easy business to be in – but it is our business.”
McFarlanes’ has deep roots in the agriculture industry – and in Sauk Prairie. When selecting a financial institution, the family believed strongly in staying local. They wanted to work with a responsive team – a bank with local access. “We chose Bank of Prairie du Sac because decisions are made locally – right here in Sauk Prairie,” said John. The 25-year partnership has been developed on common values and a commitment to service.
Bank of Prairie du Sac and McFarlanes’ have built a relationship for life.