How 5 Simple Tenets Fuel Success at New Leader Manufacturing

At New Leader Manufacturing, we have built decades of success by following our guiding principles. We have remained at the forefront of the precision spreading industry, not only because of our cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions, but also because of our 5 Tenets of Success.

Our 5 Tenets of Success

These 5 Tenets serve as the foundation of our company’s culture, shaping our top-rated workplace and driving us toward excellence.

Act like an owner.

At NLM, we are all leaders — whether by title or by contribution. We encourage every member of our team to stay invested in our goals, which we reward through our quarterly profit-sharing plan. Together we embrace both our successes and failures. If we fail, we learn from it and move forward.

Be interested. Stay interested.

We are determined to break down traditional barriers that separate departments within our industry. By promoting cross-functional job shadowing, we strive to learn about each other’s roles, needs, and successes. As a company, we rise or fall together.

Create change. Start with yourself.

Every member of our team is an individual. Within ourselves, and within the walls of NLM, we forge ahead with proactive communication and action rather than waiting for change to come to us.

 Seek new perspectives.

Ideas can come from unlikely places. We welcome all perspectives and encourage collaboration that brings the best to our culture, business, and brands.

 Fail fast. Learn fast.

Innovation doesn’t come without some pain, and we aren’t afraid to fail. We learn from our failures and charge forward with an accelerated learning curve to deliver better ideas and implement better practices.

Ready to join one of the Des Moines Register’s top-rated workplaces with a reliable team and excellent retirement benefits? Learn more about joining the team at New Leader Manufacturing. Explore job openings or contact us at

Importance of Efficient, Environmentally Friendly Agriculture

New Leader Manufacturing’s Commitment to Innovation

In an age where sustainability is increasingly crucial, the agriculture industry continues to face the same challenge: how to meet the ever-growing demand for food and crop production while minimizing negative ecological impacts.

Agricultural innovations that are both efficient and environmentally friendly are quickly becoming the driving force behind modern farming.

Rooted in Innovation

At New Leader Manufacturing (NLM), the industry-leading designer and manufacturer of New Leader® nutrient applicators, we are committed to innovating new products that continue to move the industry forward. Over the course of the past 84 years, we’ve evolved the industry from hand-operated spinner spreaders to revolutionary precision spreading technology — changing the game for our ag retailer partners and growers worldwide.

New Leader’s precision spinner spreaders are designed to apply fertilizer, compost, lime, and more with unparalleled accuracy. Equipped with advanced technology, such as GPS guidance systems, swath width control, and variable rate, multi-product application capabilities, our products enable ag retailers and growers around the world to increase their efficiency and accuracy in every field.

This commitment to innovation is engrained in our culture at every step of the manufacturing process. From how we source our materials to how we design and manufacture our products, local and sustainable practices remain a top priority. Through a complete commitment to excellence, NLM has developed partnerships with the world’s leading application equipment manufacturers, which has made us the leading brand of crop nutrient applicators.

Precision Manufacturing and Agriculture

New Leader broadcast spreaders are built by people committed to integrity, honesty, and increased well-being for all. Our dedication to 4R nutrient stewardship is seen in the ongoing pledge we make to continuous improvement.

Precision application produces the best results in the field by placing only the necessary measurements of materials exactly where they are needed, resulting in more responsible nutrient utilization. But precision application starts with precision manufacturing — which is why New Leader designs innovative equipment with optimal spread patterns for a wide range of nutrients and seeds.

From our incorporation in 1939 to our continued innovation and product development evolving from the L4000G4, to the G4 Edge, and to the NL5000G5, NLM is continuing to focus its future on efficient, sustainable, and precise product development.

Innovation in agriculture is essential for the future of farming and our planet, and New Leader Manufacturing is proud to play a crucial role in promoting sustainable agriculture that benefits all of us.

Establishing New Roots: New Leader Brazil

In 2018, New Leader Manufacturing took its operations internationally by expanding to South America. New Leader Brazil—or New Leader Comércio de Equipamentos Agrícolas e Serviços Limitada—is a 56,000-square-foot manufacturing facility and parts warehouse.

An extension of New Leader’s stateside operations, New Leader Brazil manufactures not only the same patented designs as the U.S, but also produces units particular to Brazil. The added location helps NLM better meet the needs of farmers and increases global access to the quality level of service that NLM is known for.

Brazil: The Land of Agricultural Opportunity

As a leading producer and exporter of many crops—especially soybeans—Brazil provides considerable agricultural opportunities outside of the U.S. For instance, Brazil’s warm, winterless climate allows for crop schedules to vary at all times of the year, meaning farming equipment needs exist year-round and are in higher demand.

Those are a few reasons of many, why NLM chose Brazil as their first international location. In addition to being a major emerging market in the Production Agriculture Industry, Brazil has a reputation Worldwide for production and expertise in farming.

Increased Need for Precision Spreaders in South America

Despite being a leading player in agriculture today, Brazilian soils have had to come a long way. Many parts of Brazil naturally have very acidic soil due to rainwater.

The application of fertilizers, agricultural limestone, and other sustainable solutions has helped renew the soils in Brazil—but as with all chemicals, dosing and applications must be accurate and precise.

In fact, the first product manufactured by New Leader Brazil was a pull-type spinner spreader especially designed for the Brazilian market. This high-performance fertilizer and limestone spreader gives operators the ability to apply fertilizer precisely and efficiently.

Opportunity Goes Both Ways

While the Brazilian market provides business opportunities for NLM, the expansion benefits employees of both locations as well. NLM has a very extensive training process for all employees. Team members from both Iowa and Brazil are frequently flown back and forth to collaborate with one another and experience new environments and perspectives.

When departing the Cedar Rapids location, Brazilian team members are sent off in style with an NLM-type celebration—which typically includes delicious catered food, fun and friendly conversations, and an abundance of contagious smiles around the room.

What’s Next?

Brazil is the latest of many exciting endeavors on the horizon for NLM.

The New Leader Difference

From Cedar Rapids, IA, to Indaiatuba, Brazil, everything at New Leader Manufacturing is rooted in respect. Respect for our team members, respect for our partners, and respect for the end users relying on our equipment to get things done right.

Because of this, we have worked hard to build a culture of pride, trust, and fulfillment—a recipe for success that feeds everyone and creates an environment where respect is second nature.

First, New Leader Manufacturing is more than a job.
Our employees aren’t just here to punch a time clock. They are building a career, achieving personal and professional goals, and making a real difference in the world one innovation at a time.

At the core of NLM’s operations are our Tenets of Success:

• Act Like an Owner
• Be Interested. Stay Interested.
• Create Change. Start with Yourself.
• Seek New Perspectives.
• Fail Fast. Learn Fast.

Each tenet serves as a reminder to take a stake in the work we do, ask questions, and never settle for the status quo—because, without challenge, there would never be change. And without change, there can’t be innovation.

We believe in people and never waste time magnifying mistakes or keeping scores. Instead, we celebrate the failures that move us forward, correct the ones that don’t, and forge ahead as a team.

Most importantly: when we say we care about our employees, we mean it.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: you’re never “just another number.” Everyone knows one another by name—from the top down and everywhere in between. And the care we have for our team members starts from day one.

Safety is always our top priority.

A lot of neat things happen on our manufacturing floor, but sometimes complex and dangerous equipment is required to make it happen. Above all else, we want our employees to be safe, which is why everyone begins their career at NLM with extensive onboarding and safety training. Our commitment to safety continues to be upheld, including through our safety incentives program. When safety goals are reached, NLM provides free lunches companywide. Employees also have the potential to earn bonus PTO hours for meeting other safety targets.

Work-Life Balance

We also want our team to be happy, not just at work but at home, too. After all, happy employees tend to be productive, and who doesn’t love a good win-win? In addition to paid time off, NLM employees are encouraged to balance all aspects of life and what’s important to them through the use of summer hours, flex-time, and volunteer time off.

Health and Wellness

The connection between happiness and physical health is irrefutable, so we also offer gym memberships through our wellness program. Part of NLM’s program includes Virgin Pulse, which is a free app that helps track your steps, record your health goals, and keep you motivated. Employees can earn points that are redeemable for Virgin Pulse purchases, extra PTO, and even health insurance discounts. We also offer lunch and learns and quarterly health and wellness challenges to build morale and encourage engagement between our teams. As a bonus, those activities also earn you points towards rewards.

Anyone can say they respect their employees, but we put our money where our mouth is.

In a culture like ours, we have nothing to gain from empty promises. Respect goes both ways, which is why we say what we do and do what we say—especially as it relates to compensation.

Not only do we beat our competitor’s average salaries by 20%, but we also take pride in something called total compensation, which goes beyond wages. NLM offers excellent healthcare benefits, company-matched HSA and 401k, profit-sharing, and tuition reimbursement. We believe in people, especially our people, and we want you to learn, grow, and excel in your career. We’re happy to help you get there—that’s the New Leader difference.

If you’re looking to build a rewarding career in manufacturing, be a part of something bigger, and make a real difference in the world, then we encourage you to check out our job openings or reach out to for additional information.

You just might be the missing piece to our puzzle.