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Caleb Wehrman, left, general manager; Max Stephans, ag sales manager; Kenny Bergmann, corporate sales manager; and Eric Schnelle, president
Caleb Wehrman, left, general manager; Max Stephans, ag sales manager; Kenny Bergmann, corporate sales manager; and Eric Schnelle, president

2016 Business Class: S&H Farm Supply Inc. (Top Honors)

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At S&H Farm Supply Inc., employees are well-versed in farming and lawn and garden equipment, a necessity for a company that utilizes the marketing mantra of “home of dependable products, people and service.” President Eric Schnelle says that policy gives the company an edge over big-box stores, where employees may have limited training.

Financial performance
Key to business success at S&H Farm’s four stores is offering multiples brands with various price points and features serviced by knowledgeable employees.

“Versus a big-box store on the lawn and garden side, we’re a full package. We know all about the product. We can give you advice on what you need,” Schnelle says. “In this day and age, a lot of people don’t do that because all those features require investment and cost. For a big-box store, they don’t want to stock $5 million of parts. They don’t want to invest in service trucks and service training and technicians. Most of those places, they’re there to have a fast turn and a quick sale. They sell it to you and basically at that point you’re done and they move on to the next sale.”

At S&H Farm, he says customers often make purchases for life.

“If you need service and support two years down the road or five or 10 or 15, we’re here to support that brand,” he says.

Innovation
Schnelle says S&H Farm’s web presence has become increasingly important.

A newly released app allows customers to send photos of the parts they need ahead of visiting the store, and the company offers shipping on small attachments.

“The big bulk of our internet shopping is done locally,” he says. “It’s a busy world. We’re trying to figure out easier ways to communicate and connect with our customers.

“I don’t know of any other machinery dealerships or lawn and garden dealerships that have their own app in the area.”

Community involvement
S&H Farm is largely involved with causes in the agriculture world, particularly the National FFA Organization.

“My father and I were both very active in FFA. We think it’s a great organization for teaching leadership and getting them involved in the community,” Schnelle says.

Next year, each of the company’s stores will offer two scholarships apiece to high school seniors through the FFA Foundation, up from one per store now.

“It’s just a great outreach for our community,” he says.

Other charitable causes for S&H Farm are the annual Cattle Baron’s Ball and the alumni banquet at Missouri State University’s William H. Darr School of Agriculture.

“We’re really connected with a lot of the organizations and charities that our customers are involved in,” Schnelle says.

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