Holt Agribusiness New Partner in
Hopkins County Business Scene
by: Bobby McDonald
Members of the Holt Agribusiness Team and local officials met on Wednesday for an
official groundbreaking at the new site on Industrial Drive.
With over a hundred and thirty years of experience in agribusiness in Texas and California, Holt Agribusiness has made the decision to move to Hopkins County and begin an operation to service their line of Holt and Cat Products from a location on West Industrial Drive. The company, headquartered out of South Texas, purchased the local Bailey Tractor Company in December 2010, and have begun construction of a new business complex at 1109 West Industrial Drive, where on Wednesday company executives and local business officials conducted a large groundbreaking ceremony and BBQ lunch, for over 150 customers, fellow businessmen, and elected officials. Paul Westbrook, General Sales Manager for Holt Agribusiness, welcomed those in attendance and introduced the principals in the Holt-Cat Company.
Paul Westrbrook, General Sales Manager for Holt Agribusiness,
welcomed those in attendance and introduced the principals of the company.
Allyn Archer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Holt-Cat, spoke to the group and told them of the founding principals of the company that began in the 1880's in California and moved to South Texas, following the development of a "horse-drawn" Linked-Belt Combine Harvester by company founder Benjamin Holt. Later, Holt produced some of the earliest steam traction engines and also charted a new direction - an unheard of level of customer service for Holt Manufacturing Company, an emphasis that is still at the company today, which utilizes values based on ethics in the marketplace and value-based leadership inovations.
Allyn Archer, President and CEO of Holt-Cat, tells a bit of the company's
history, as they enter the Hopkins County Business Scene.
Holt Agribusiness is a division of Holt-Cat and sells and services Challenger, Massey Ferguson, and Fendt Ag tractors, Lexion Combines and CLASS Jaguar Forage Harvesters, in addition to sprayers and agricultural implements in 153 Texas counties and now in the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. "We are extremely excited about being a part of the business climate here in Northeast Texas and meeting each and every one of you," expressed Archer. "We want to be a vital part of the community, actively involved with our partners and customers, and a cornerstone in this community!"
Archer advised the group that the Bailey Family, Jimmy and his sons, Kent and Keith, are all remaining with the business and will be available to help their longtime customers and help the company integrate into the local business scene.
Longtime local farm equipment dealers, the Jimmy Bailey Family, were on hand to greet their customers and
to announce that they will continue to be with the company.
The crowd gave a resounding "whoop" when it was announced that many of the company engines were built here in America, in Seguin, Texas!
Continuing with the company history, Archer told the group that Benjamin Holt found that heavy equipment bogged down in the loose soils of the San Joaquin River Delta and put his inventinve mind to work, using self-laying tracks instead of wheels on developing farm equipment. On November 24, 1904, the first successful track-type tractor, the "Caterpillar" crawled across a California wheat field, making history every foot of the way! It's commercial success was assured, once Holt found a way to power it with a gasoline engine, in 1908.
The company's innovative ideas and development continued to grow and Holt moved the tractor manufacturing operations to Peoria, Illinois, where Caterpillar Inc. is still headquartered. The impact of the Caterpillar tractor went far beyond agriculture, during WW I. It aided American forces to fight the mud on the Western front, towing equipment for the Allied Military Forces and was the inspiration for the development of the British tank, which profoundly won the war for the Allied forces.
Benjamin Holt's son, William K. "Bill" Holt, established the first Caterpillar dealership in Mexico, in the mid-1920's, initiating what would be a long-standing business relationship between the Holt Companies and Mexico, which continues today. Bill Holt began the operation of Holt Companies in the 60 southern counties of Texas and the company flourished in the farming and agricultural industries in that part of Texas.
Today, the Holt land-clearing equipment and products are sold all over the world. Bill Holt brought two of his nephews into the company, B.D. Holt and Holt Atherton. In 1961, B.D. Holt purchased Bill Holt's assets in the 20 southern counties of Texas and established B.D. Holt Company as a Caterpillar dealership with headquarters in Corpus Christi. His years of leadership resulted in the successful diversification and further growth of the company, including the vision to invest in the petroleum industry services.
B.D. Holt's son, Peter M. Holt, joined the B.D. Holt Company in 1973 and later become the Chief Executive Officer of the Holt Companies and expanded the company even more, including the purchase of the Dallas-based Darr Equipment Company, making the new Holt CAT company one of the largest Caterpillar dealers in the world.
"Our company continues to expand and grow in the industrial and agricultural marketplace," advised Allyn Archer. "And, where so excited to continue that growth here in Sulphur Springs and Northeast Texas, with this new facility. Our company is customer based and we want to be a part of the lives and operations of our customers, as we go about being a partner in making their business successful!"
Big Smith BBQ catered Wednesday's luncheon, with a number of door-prizes being given away, and an enjoyable time of visiting and learning about the Holt-Cat Company, as they make their way into the local climate. Plans call for the newly constucted facility to be opened in June 2012, at the West Industrical Drive location, but the company now has a presense in the community on Mockingbird Lane, in Sulphur Springs!
Welcome to Sulphur Springs,