When Randy Roelofsen was 29, he and his friend Loren Engel started our company to help bring value to Kansas farmers. Shortly after that, Randy’s nephew Todd Roelofsen came on board. Although the Roelofsens would rather work in the background than step into the limelight, it’s impossible to tell the story of Abilene Machine without telling their story too.
“I’m a farm boy. I grew up on a farm. I spent my whole life dealing with farmers and I love talking with farmers every day as part of my job,” Randy said.
Randy’s background, which included life on the family farm and early jobs at salvage yards, gave him a unique perspective on agriculture and the machinery that drives it.
Todd’s curious mind and passion for the engineering behind ag parts has driven him to find new ways to expand our company.
“When I started, I was the only parts guy. We kept getting calls for the same used parts and, as we ran out, we started manufacturing them new,” Todd said. “Being able to service the farmer and supply his needs was our main goal.”
Forty years later, our company — Abilene Machine — continues to provide value to farmers across the country and world.
Growth hasn’t been without its challenges, like a large fire that claimed a huge inventory of used parts and our sales and accounting offices in 2004. Randy and Todd rallied the employees, who sprang into action. Not only did we rebuild, we expanded our facility and capabilities.
“It’s an amazing business,” Todd said. “We have a lot of great people working here.”
Todd notes that as a family-owned company, there’s a level of trust and loyalty you don’t find elsewhere. But here, family is about more than blood. It’s about the sweat equity of all of our employees.
“We think family all the way up and down the ranks. I preach that to my people,” Randy said. “I’m proud of the outstanding team that works tirelessly to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction every day.”
As we look to the future, we’re committed to continuing our legacy of serving our farmers.