MARSHALL, Ill. — From the company’s start 50 years ago to today, family has been at the center of Yargus Manufacturing, a business attribute that Larry Yargus hopes to see continue for decades.

Now at age 68, Yargus is “taking a step back” as the fertilizer equipment and material handling manufacturer’s leader and becoming a consultant in the coming year, allowing the third generation and the Clark County manufacturer’s new owner their time and space.

In 2016, Yargus and his family sold the company to Ag Growth International, a Canada-based international ag company in grain, fertilizer, food, feed and seed.

“It was one of the toughest decisions to make, especially with family involved in the company,” Yargus said. “But it’s been a good transition. All of the family is still with the company.”

That would be his three daughters — Anne Sheehy, Kate Shaffer and Meg Yargus — and a son-in-law, Steve Shaffer.

The company’s roots start in 1968 when Yargus’ father, Lloyd Allen Yargus, founded Layco as a conveyor repair and reconditioning shop that also built truck bumpers for area farmers and fertilizer dealers. The product line expanded and automation added over the years to include fertilizer blending and conveying systems.

Roughly 20 years ago, Yargus bought the business from his father and renamed it Yargus Manufacturing. Today, it employs 150 people on the six-acre facility.

To help celebrate the business’ 50th anniversary, a 100-page book will be released by the end of this year.

Yargus is looking forward to watching the company continue its growth.

“Several years ago, we made a substantial investment in our automation. We need to continue to grow, keep our products simple and stay flexible. We’re on the right track,” he said.

Another milestone Yargus hit this year came in late November. While attending the Agricultural Retailers Association annual conference, he was awarded with its highest individual honor, the Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Well, it’s pretty humbling when you think about all of the members in the ARA,” Yargus said. “I didn’t receive this honor alone. You have to have the great support of a good team at Yargus and your family in order to do the committees and the meetings.”

He could not emphasis enough the importance of his company’s involvement in ARA, especially when it comes to matters with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and state and federal government legislation.

“The voices have to be heard. The way to do that is get involved,” Yargus said.

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Karen Binder can be reached at 618-534-0614 or Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Binder.


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