80 Years Strong
In 1939, Frank Sinatra cut his first disc, “The Wizard of Oz” premiered in Hollywood, the comic strip “Superman” debuted, and Roy J. Gaddis founded Highway Equipment Company (now doing business as New Leader Manufacturing). Since our beginning in 1939, we’ve manufactured the industry’s leading crop nutrient applicators and deicing spreaders. We were there when the United States fertilizer industry grew into a retail operation, and when deicing equipment evolved from men with shovels to hoppers with conveyor belts. We were there when the industry started to demand more precision from broadcast spinner spreaders, and when the 4R approach to nutrient stewardship took root. But most importantly, we’ve been there through multiple world wars, through recessions, legislative changes, and political turmoil, always making sure our lights stay on and wages remain fair and reliable.
We know we haven’t achieved the success we enjoy today by accident. We know it wasn’t the result of the work of one person. Our success is the result of a team effort; a team effort that’s spanned five different owners and hundreds of employees over 80 years. That’s no small feat. There’s a reason the number one NFL team in 1939 is different than the number one team today. There’s a reason why many of the companies on the first Fortune 500 list are no longer in existence; it’s incredibly difficult to stay at the top of your field for eight decades. To continuously design innovative products, to maintain the highest level of quality, to recruit hard-working and loyal employees, and to have owners who are motivated by more than the bottom line.
We are truly one of a kind here at NLM. On our 80th birthday, we’re going to celebrate our successes, our loyal customers and partners. But most of all, we’re going to celebrate each other and every person who’s helped our company along the way.
Here’s to another successful 80 years.
Here’s to New Leader Manufacturing.