The 2016 recipient of Precision Farming Dealer’s fourth annual Most Valuable Dealership is Hoober Inc. based in Intercourse, Pa.
In total, 54 U.S. and Canadian dealerships including large and small farm equipment dealership groups with precision departments, independent precision operations and co-ops were nominated by their farm customers, precision equipment suppliers and their own employees.
We asked an independent panel of judges to evaluate precision farming sales growth and diversity, along with how each nominee is generating revenue from hardware, software and precision service.
We performed video interviews with key members of Hoober's precision farming team to get a more intimate understanding of how the dealership has evolved its approach for sales and delivery of service.
The judges also analyzed less quantifiable elements that define the best precision farming dealership, such as employee training, performance standards, innovation, sustainability and community involvement.
In a segment of the agricultural industry known for turnover and burnout, Hoober’s precision department has been a model of stability and dedication. It’s these attributes that distinguished it from the other nominees this year.
Since formally committing to its precision business in 2005, the 9-store Case IH dealership group has lost only 1 member of its current 10 person precision farming department during the last decade. This despite the addition of 4 stores during the last 3 years and a recent shift to having each location manage its own precision business rather than operating as a single division.
This consistency and adaptability is rooted in Hoober’s core business values — integrity, teamwork and service — the last of which is the cornerstone of the dealership’s precision growth. Understanding that service and support of technology can be the deciding factor whether customers come back or take their business elsewhere, Hoober has built a reputation for putting customers ahead of number crunching.
“Take care of the customer and the numbers will take care of themselves,” is a daily mantra that has helped Hoober grow overall annual hardware revenue to nearly $4 million, and increase precision service revenue by 2-4% each year to account for nearly 20% of overall precision profits.
As noted by the judges, Hoober’s precision staff blends an established but evolving combination of expertise, innovation and confidence that provides reliable support for the diversity of products they deliver.
Most Valuable Dealership Judging Panel
Dr. Harold F. Reetz, Jr.
Owner, Reetz Agronomics LLC,
Reetz has nearly 40 years of experience as an agronomic consultant in the areas of high-yield cropping systems, precision farming technology and on-farm research. From 1995-2009, he was the lead organizer for the InfoAg Conference and served as co-coordinator of the International Conference on Precision Agriculture in 2008 and 2010. He currently serves as executive director of the International Society of Precision Agriculture.
President/Educational Consultant, BrASE LLC,
Brase spent 15 years as professor of Agricultural Geospatial Technologies at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He is considered one of the leading academic instructors of precision farming techniques and tools for graduates entering into careers as precision specialists. In 2014, he launched BrASE LLC, an educational consulting company designed to assist agriculturists develop their geospatial technology skills.
Consultant, Precision Strategy LLC,
For more than 20 years, Krill has worked in precision agriculture as a collegiate instructor, sales manager and research and development team member for farm equipment manufacturers and an agronomic consultant. He currently works as an independent strategist providing expertise in practical application of best management practices utilizing technology within the agronomic production arena.