LISBON, Ohio — After 58 years as a family-owned agricultural equipment dealer, Gause Equipment is joining the line of Evolution Ag dealerships.
The good news is that the Columbiana County dealership will continue to operate out of its current location on state Route 172 near Lisbon, and it will continue to carry Case IH equipment.
Evolution Ag is headquartered in Delaware, Ohio.
Gause Equipment started as Gause and Richey Farm Supply in 1956 by partners Charles J. Gause and Francis Richey. After Richey’s death, it became Gause Equipment, and later Gause’s daughter and son-in-law, Pat and Frank Zehentbauer, purchased the company.
Gause Equipment was the first Cub Cadet dealer, and was ranked in the top 100 dealers nationally for 25 years.
Evolution Ag represents the Case IH lines of agricultural equipment including tractors, combines, planters and tillage equipment, as well as the self-propelled Patriot sprayer line.
The company will continue to sell and service Cub Cadet, Unverferth, Kuhn, Woods, Knight, Grasshopper and Remlinger at the Lisbon location.
Too many demands
Pat Zehentbauer, who handles the accounting and sales department, said continued demands from equipment manufacturers prompted the family’s decision to sell. Among other things, manufacturers pressured the dealership to build a new facility, which Zehentbauer said was just too costly at this point in the family-owned business.
“It just gets too expensive to run a business like this,” said Zehentbauer.
However, one of the reasons Gause Equipment is selling to Evolution Ag is that the new owner has agreed to keep existing staff.
“No employees will be losing their job. That was one of the main reasons we went with Evolution Ag,” Zehentbauer said. “It was important they keep our employees and take care of our customers.”
Evolution Ag and Gause Equipment have had a history of working together, so the change will be a natural fit for both dealerships.
“I have known Frank and Pat Zehentbauer for many years and our dealerships have helped each other numerous times,” said Jim Henkel, chairman of Evolution Ag. “I am excited that Evolution Ag will be picking up the baton and carrying on the Case IH agricultural equipment line in the Lisbon and Columbiana County area. “They have taken great pride in serving four generations of farmers and we plan on continuing that tradition.”
Michael Zehentbauer, the third generation to work in the dealership, will remain as the manager and there are plans to add technicians and a repair truck on the road.
“Farmers are asking for additional service and support for the technology that is on the farm today. We look forward to making available our precision farming and sprayer specialists as well as the entire Evolution Ag team to the agricultural community in Lisbon, Columbiana and the surrounding counties,” said Tom Hill, president of Evolution Ag.
Evolution Ag was formed in 2012 as the result of a merger between Agri-Trac Equipment in Utica, Hill Implement in Circleville and J.R. Equipment in Upper Sandusky and Delaware, Ohio.
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