Berry Tractor Turns 50CED Magazine July 2007
Article Date: 07-02-2007
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Berry Tractor & Equipment Co., the core company of The Berry Companies, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. From its modest beginnings as a single company with three locations, The Berry Companies has expanded to become a seven-company organization with 24 locations in five states.
In 1957, Fred Berry Jr. and his brother Paul purchased the company, formerly known as the Sam H. Denney Road Machinery Co., and renamed it Berry Tractor & Equipment Co. Based in Wichita, Kan., Berry Tractor was an International Harvester dealer with branches in Garden City and Russell.
The company continued to grow through the 60s and 70s, and in 1975, the company purchased an International Harvester dealership in Topeka. Two years later, the company purchased the Springfield dealership.
From the beginning, the company has had a policy of charitable giving and community service. Over the years, Fred Berry has served as chairman of the United Way, as well as on the board of many non-profit organizations, including Heartspring, the Wesley Medical Endowment Foundation, and the Center for Entrepreneurship, Wichita State University.
With a desire to support those causes on a consistent basis, the Berry Foundation was created in the 1970s, and distributed more than $100,000 in 2006 to United Way locations in seven cities and to many other valuable community agencies.
The Berry Companies celebrated 50 years of AED membership in 1995. Fred started attending AED meetings and seminars in 1957 and has missed only one AED annual meeting in the last 50 years. Fred was AED's President in 1971, and in 2005, his son Walter was named AED's Chairman. The two are one of just three father-son teams to lead AED in its history. Walter is currently serving as the Chairman of the AED Government Affairs Committee.
Berry Tractor is a family- and employee-owned company emphasizing long-term relationships with customers, employees and suppliers. Fred continues as chairman, while Walter Berry serves as president. Dan Scheer is president of Berry Tractor, now a Division of The Berry Companies.
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