Owner: Steve Merritt

Location: Searcy, Ark.

History: “My dad opened a Case dealership in Searcy, Ark., in 1973. I opened my own business, Venture Equipment, because we wanted to add an additional tractor line,” owner Steve Merritt said. “New Holland approached us because they needed a dealership here to make their tractors a viable option for local customers. We also wanted short lines (implement lines) because we wanted to be the best hay equipment dealership in the area. In March 2007, I built this facility partially because my dad’s Case dealership was across the way and because the land had easy access off Interstate 67/167 in Searcy. I purchased 7 ½ acres and built a 16,000 square-foot building. Then my dad passed and the Case dealership closed in 2008. We renovate and add on annually by adding employees, technicians and shop space. We started with four employees and are now up to 25.”

Products and services: “We carry New Holland horsepower and Kioti tractors from 18  to 335, but most of the tractors we sell are 150 and lower. We also have a construction equipment line with New Holland and Gehl products. We have an extensive line of Husqvarna equipment such as zero turn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and blowers in addition to a variety of New Holland and Kioti side by sides and Cushman utility haulers. Finally, we carry a full line of New Holland haying equipment such as round and square balers, disc mowers, rakes and tedders as well as Anderson silage wrappers. We have six technicians, three of whom are New Holland Certified Master Technicians. These people work on every brand we sell and are the workforce behind our guarantees.”

Philosophy and future: “The heart of our business philosophy is that saving our customers money brings them back. One of our biggest goals is to encourage people to bring in their equipment from November through February for repairs and preventative maintenance rather than waiting until the spring, summer and fall busy seasons. Doing so costs less, is timelier and doubles the guarantee typically from six months to a year and we are willing to work with these proactive customers in terms of paying for these earlier services. As far as the future, we are planning on opening two more locations, one in Batesville and one in Beebe, during the next six months with a primary purpose being renting construction equipment because often times renting is far more cost-efficient than buying. Adding these branches is part of our overall plan to rebrand ourselves so people understand we are more than a tractor store; we are a diversified business.”


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