Ballweg Implement celebrates 40 years

Wisconsin State Farmer
Tom Ballweg talks to the crowd of nearly 400 people who attended the Aug. 26 celebration recognizing 40 years of business for Ballweg Implement.

WAUPUN - Nearly 400 people attended a celebration of 40 years of business for Ballweg Implement Company of Waupun on Aug. 26. 

Tom and Joan Ballweg opened Ballweg Implement, a John Deere agricultural dealership, in Markesan on Dec. 1, 1976 with seven employees. Today, Ballweg Implement employs 45 people and operates a John Deere agriculture and consumer products store in Waupun, and a consumer products store in Beaver Dam. 

"In 1976, my wife Joan and I were 25 years old, had sold all of our possessions, borrowed some money from my parents and had been married for just over two years when we bought Ahrens Equipment in Markesan," said Tom Ballweg. "I had no idea what I was getting my wife and I into at that time, but I'm proud to say that I wouldn't have done it differently. I'm blessed to have had the chance to celebrate 40 years with customers and employees that have been by our side for so long."

In a documentary, long-time Ballweg customers shared the biggest changes they've seen in agriculture, the advice they would give to new farmers, and how the challenges of yesterday are different that today's. 

Eric Halfman, a representative from John Deere, presented Tom and Joan with a gift and commended them for Ballweg Implement's success in providing quality service and care to the community for four decades. 

"John Deere is happy to have Tom and Joan leading this dealership, representing John Deere's products, and providing high quality service to the area for over 40 years," Halfman said.

Ballweg history

Since opening in December 1976, remodeling projects to accommodate the growing business were frequent with an addition of a large shop dedicated to combines added in 1986. 

In April 1998, the opportunity to expand presented itself when Harold Maly, owner of Maly Implement in Waupun, retired. After moving the entire store inventory in one weekend, the Waupun store became Ballweg Implement's new home and the Markesan location was closed. 

In May 2008, Tom and Joan added a second location in Beaver Dam called Ballweg Turf and Leisure. 

Seeing the need to grow and improve, in October 2011, the Waupun location broke ground on a 9,000 square foot expansion that was dedicated to the service department, along with expanded parts storage. The expansion created a larger showroom with space to expand John Deere identity and giftware,indoor equipment displays and the creation of a combine shop.

In 2017, the implement business carries John Deere agricultural, residential, and consumer products, as well as other brands and products for the farm and home.