KSR, Holland & Sons to merge
Two family owned John Deere dealerships with deep roots in the northern half of the state plan to merge.
The merger was officially announced this week by Kelly-Sauder-Rupiper Equipment LLC and Holland & Sons, Inc. The new organization, to be known as Prairie State Tractor LLC in late January, will employ over 200. Dealership locations include Dixon, Freeport, Geneseo, Lacon, Mendota, Pontiac, Princeton and Streator with the Mendota location serving as corporate headquarters.
“It really is an awesome moment in time for both organizations,” KSR’s Paul Kelly told The Central Illinois Farm Network this week. “They’re a really awesome group of individuals and family run. They really care about the customers and their employees.”
Company roots of taking care of customers to be the ultimate service provider will continue, according to Kelly. The new territory for Prairie State Tractor LLC will stretch from Central Illinois all the way to the Iowa border, up to the Quad Cities and to the Wisconsin border as well.
“We have four million tillable acres we get to cover now and we go right up to John Deere headquarters,” added Kelly.
In fact, the area where John Deere started out is within the company’s new service territory. Customers are expected to see the greatest benefit from the merger as there will be a renewed focus.
The different organizations involved in the merger go back many years. In Pontiac, many remember Delbert Gardner who was followed by John and Tim Kelly and later the Sauders and Rupipers joined forces. Now, the Holland family joins the group. They have been established in the northern part of the state for a long time.
“Expanding our reach in today’s agricultural world is essential,” says Todd Holland, Board Chairman and Inventory Manager for Prairie State Tractor. “By combining our resources, we can offer a more expansive equipment selection and product offerings.
Customers will find the same people they have always been dealing with and the same smiling faces to greet them at the various dealership locations. Kelly said employees at Pontiac collectively have 305 years of experience in customer and product knowledge. KSR has 960 years while the new Prairie State Tractor will have 2,326 years of experience.
“This new partnership greatly expands our ability to better serve you as a customer,” explained Chris Rupiper, Chief Executive Officer for Prairie State Tractor. “You’ll continue to see the same faces you’ve worked with for years but will now benefit from access to more focused specialists.”
New company leadership will consist of many familiar faces. In addition to Chris Rupiper and Todd Holland, the leadership team will include Tony Morrow (Chief Financial Officer), Zack Sauder (Eastern Region Sales Manager), Ty Holland (Western Region Sales Manager), Matt Aeschleman (Used Equipment Manager), Paul Kelly (Human Resources Manager), Matt Holland (Marketing Manager), Klint Rice (Small Tractor/Turf Manager), Brett Dewey (Aftermarket Manager), and Jonathan Koch (Integrated Solutions Manager).
Holland & Sons, Inc. was established at Mendota in 1972 by Gary Holland. The company acquired four additional dealership locations throughout northern Illinois since then. The former partnership of Kelly-Sauder-Rupiper Equipment LLC began in 2003 with the merger of Gardner Sales & Service in Pontiac, Sauder Implement of Streator and Rupiper Equipment in Lacon.