Owner: Don Storts

Location: Springdale, Ark.

History: Don Storts has always been a bit of an entrepreneur.

In 1959, he joined his grandfather and cousins in a poultry operation and a small dairy with 10 jersey cows that were milked by hand. By the time he was 14, Don had purchased a truck and employed two men to load square bales.

“Long before I began my own farm in 1965, I learned farming was expensive and that I needed an off-the-farm job, as well in order to make enough money to support a family,” Don said. “I worked for UPS.”

In 1996, be began a ministry in India. As he neared retirement, Don feared boredom.

For the last 18 years, he has owned PRO-Link in Springdale, Ark., and has sold about 500,000 bale spears, working directly with farmers, farm stores, tractor dealers, farm repair shops and manufacturers.

“Starting a small business was simply not on my radar,” Don said. “Regardless, the low-tech bale spear offered the best opportunity for income and eliminating boredom since I have always believed in taking something simple and doing it well. Though I believed manufacturing this was very doable, learning everything needed required a steep learning curve and over 80 hours per week.”

Products and Services: “I have two lines of spears: hay spears and the HAYSTIX line. We warranty our hay spears for 12 months against bending and breakage because the quality stands up to the warranty. Five years ago, we introduced our FARMFRAMES line of attachments for the farm and also provide spears for open pit mines to sort rocks. We are currently introducing a cotton spear for the U.S. market. Finally, we custom make similar products for specific customer needs such as a recent order for large square bale movers.”

Philosophy and future: “If a business is stagnant, it will fold. As hay baling evolves, we will be there to meet farmers’ needs at a price that will save them money. We provide real value in an industry with skyrocketing overhead and still make a profit. We are successful because we don’t break God’s or men’s laws. I fully understand this business is God’s, not mine, and that it will last long beyond my time.”


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