Gary Vermeer, an iconic name in the global farm machinery industry, has passed away at the age of 90. Vermeer was best known for the contribution he made to the round hay baler which has carried his name since it revolutionized agriculture in the early ‘70s.
A memorial website has been created to honor Gary – visit it to see photos and leave condolences.
Vermeer’s round baler turned the labor-intensive process of hay baling into a one-man operation. Mr Vermeer and a cousin started the Vermeer Manufacturing Company in 1948, after inventing a wagon hoist some five years earlier.
From that small operation, the company has grown over the past 60 years to an international organisation that manufactures agricultural, construction, environmental, and industrial equipment.
Today, Vermeer Corporation has industrial dealerships in over 60 countries. Its corporate offices and manufacturing facility in Pella, Iowa, cover 1.5 million square feet with more than 33 acres under roofing.
That includes seven manufacturing plants, a parts distribution center, and the Global Pavilion, which includes an arena, training center, and the Vermeer Museum.
Two of Gary Vermeer’s children, Robert Vermeer and Mary Vermeer Andringa, now serve as co-chief executive officers of Vermeer Corporation. Three of his grandchildren also are active in the corporation.
Born September 29, 1918, in Pella, to Jacob and Anna Vermeer, Gary Vermeer was raised in a farming community with strong Dutch roots. After his marriage in 1941 to Matilda Van Gorp, the couple started their lives together with 120 acres of land.
Gary Vermeer is survived by his wife, Matilda, and three children and their spouses, Stanley and Alma Vermeer, Robert and Lois Vermeer, and Mary and Dale Andringa, eight grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.