The Grasshopper Co., an industry-leading manufacturer of commercial zero-turn mowers, and its parent company, Moridge Manufacturing, will celebrate 50 years of exhibiting innovative and productive equipment for the agricultural and turf care industries at the 50th anniversary of the National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) in Louisville, Ky., February 11-14.
Moridge is one of 13 remaining charter members of NFMS since the show’s official inception in 1966; there are now more than 850 exhibitors at NFMS. Moridge still occupies its original 1966 booth space in the West Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center, although the booth size has increased to accommodate expanding product lines to its current space at Booth 5058.
“Celebrating 50 years of the National Farm Machinery Show is a tremendous accomplishment, not only for Moridge, but for the show as well,” says company president Stan Guyer. “It demonstrates a dedication to innovation, to products and processes that help the industry improve the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.”
Numerous products from companies around the world have debuted at NFMS in the past 50 years, and among those are the Moridge portable recirculating grain dryer developed by company founder Elbert Guyer in 1955, and the Grasshopper, the first zero-turn-radius mower on display at NFMS.
Guyer says no “off-the-shelf” components were available for developing the first Grasshopper mower. Company engineers had to design and fabricate components from the ground up, and integration of emerging technologies has been instrumental to the precision manufacturing required to improve product performance, quality and durability. That spirit of innovation and dedication to technological advancement continues today, as Grasshopper was selected 2014 Company of the Year by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Chapter 52, in Wichita, Kan., from among local aerospace, agriculture, commodities and power equipment manufacturers.
“The National Farm Machinery Show has always been focused on showcasing the best in agriculture, offering firsthand looks at what’s new and highlighting the economic stakes and challenges within the industry,” said Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe. “And our world-class exhibitors are paramount to providing attendees with the very best products and services they need.”
Other innovative products exhibited by Moridge at NFMS include grain augers, soybean roasters, springtooth harrows, automatic tube feeders and poultry barn heaters. Industry-firsts from Grasshopper at NFMS include:
- dual swing-out levers, the industry standard for zero-turn mowers today
- Quik-D-Tatch vac system that can be installed and removed in minutes without tools
- the first liquid-cooled diesel zero-turn mower that efficiently harnessed diesel power
- PowerFold electric deck lift for FrontMount Grasshopper mowers
- T-Drive and AntiVibe Power Platform for virtually vibration-free operation
The Grasshopper Co. is a privately held corporation dedicated solely to the design and production of commercial and large-acreage mowing and grounds maintenance equipment. Grasshopper introduced the first zero-turn radius mower with dual swing-out levers in 1969, and other industry firsts include the first diesel-powered zero-turn radius mower in 1983 and the first electric-actuated fold-up mower deck in 2004. Based in Moundridge, Kan., the company distributes its products worldwide and is committed to lean and clean manufacturing practices reducing impact to the environment. grasshoppermower.com