Northland Farm Systems relocates
By Janet Kubat Willette
Date Modified: 04/04/2013 7:33 PM
OWATONNA, Minn. — Northland Farm Systems has a new place to grow.
The equipment dealership relocated from the west side of Owatonna to the east side of town earlier this year. They moved into the new place on Jan. 23.
"We worked at moving parts for quite a while," said John Losee, who owns the business with Kelly Katzung.
Many of the parts are stacked neatly in about 3,500 parts bins behind the parts counter. Each bin was cleaned and vacuumed before being filled, Katzung said.
Katzung and Losee looked at the former Ag Power Enterprises building and property several times over the summer before deciding to make the purchase. The deal was signed in December.
Ag Power relocated to a new building along the new four-lane section of Highway 14 west of Owatonna last June.
Visibility was one of the reasons Northland decided to move from their former location along what was Highway 14 west. When the four-lane opened, their address changed to Hoffman Drive. Now, their address is Austin Road, but the property is at the corner of Highway 14 and Austin Road.
The move offered several other improvements. They have an additional 4,000 square feet of shop space, seven more acres, a roomy retail service counter, real offices, a bigger and improved conference room and a nicer break room.
Their former location began as a Northland Badger shipping warehouse in 1959. There were several additions. It became a dealership in 1978.
In July 2001, Katzung and Losee purchased the business from Kenneth Prestegard.
They've grown the business and today sell more than 200 different shortlines, with Gehl, Mustang, H & S, Kuhn Knight and Penta among their most popular. They have about 20 employees.
They are in the process of selling their former location and still have a few things that will need to wait for the thaw to be moved.
Before they moved into their new building, they did a little sprucing up. They took down a temporary office in the lobby, painted the walls a neutral grayish blue and repaired and sealed the floor. They insulated the shop roof.
The shop is especially nice, giving them the opportunity to work on bigger equipment inside the building, Losee said.
They are also able to display more equipment and people at farm shows have remarked about their new location and how it looks nice. Others have commented that they didn't know they carried so many lines, Katzung said.