Ag. Machinery Co. to Expand MN Facility, Create 75 Jobs
AGCO, which makes and distributes agricultural machinery, said Wednesday that it plans to invest an estimated $42 million to expand its manufacturing center in the small southern Minnesota city of Jackson—a move that will create 75 new jobs.
The investment, which Duluth, Georgia-based AGCO will make over the next three years, will increase production capacity by about 25 percent for both tractors and sprayers produced at the Jackson facility.
AGCO, which reported $10 billion in 2012 sales and is Jackson’s largest employer, makes a full line of tractors, combines, hay tools, sprayers, forage equipment, tillage implements, grain storage and protein production systems, and related replacement parts.
The expansion will occur in seven phases and will affect all areas of the company’s campus, which currently spans 671,981 square feet. The first phase, scheduled to be completed this fall, includes a 30,000-square-foot expansion of the plant’s component manufacturing area, which AGCO said will increase its capacity by about 20 percent and create better flow of materials to assembly stations.
Subsequent phases will consist of expanding the tractor assembly line for increased production capacity, adding a paint system to the application assembly line, and deploying new testing capabilities for finished products. The expansion is expected to be complete in 2016. A spokesperson for AGCO told Twin Cities Business that “some aspects of the expansion are still in the planning stages,” so a more exact completion date and the total square feet that will be added onto the existing facility across all phases have yet to be finalized.
AGCO said that the 75 new jobs that will be created after the expansion is completed will bring the facility’s total headcount to more than 1,200. The majority of the jobs will be in manufacturing and production, and a small percentage will be administrative and support positions, according to the AGCO spokesperson.
Jackson has been home to farm equipment manufacturing since 1963, when Ag-Chem Equipment Company was founded there as a distributor of spraying equipment. AGCO acquired Ag-Chem in 2001.
“This expansion builds on the excitement that began in 2011 when AGCO chose Jackson as the location where high-horsepower wheeled tractors for North America would be built,” Eric Fisher, AGCO’s director of operations in Jackson, said in a statement. “Continuing to invest here reinforces AGCO’s commitment to bringing our North American customers high-quality tractors and application equipment built how the customer wants them and delivered on time.”
AGCO products are sold through five core machinery brands—Challenger, Fendt, GSI, Massey Ferguson, and Valtra—and they are distributed globally through 3,150 independent dealers and distributers in more than 140 countries. Several models of tractors and application equipment (which is used to apply fertilizer, insecticides, etc.) under the Challenger and Massey Ferguson brands are now produced at the Jackson facility. The current expansion will allow the plant to increase production volume of those models and begin producing several others.
In June 2012, AGCO completed a 75,000-square-foot expansion of its Jackson facility, which allowed it to begin production of some models under the Massey Ferguson brand and produce new models under the Challenger brand. That expansion included AGCO’s first North American welcome center—a 17,000-square-foot facility that offers a collection of historical artifacts and interactive displays showing agricultural equipment technology under development at AGCO. The company claims that expansion resulted in 200 new jobs and annually contributes more than $17.3 million in gross regional product to the Jackson economy.