Gary J. Vermeer
Founder, Chairman Emeritus / Vermeer Manufacturing / 1918 - 2009 / Inducted 1996
In 1947, Gary J. Vermeer developed a mechanical wagon hoist to improve productivity on his own Iowa farm. However, incredible demand for his new technology led Vermeer to a career in designing and manufacturing a variety of labor-saving devices for the farm market. Later, Vermeer focused his efforts on improving industrial equipment. The result was the invention of the stump cutter, the industry's first tree spade and brush clippers. In 1951, Vermeer began marketing PTO driven trenchers, followed by mechanical riding trenchers in the '60s and '70s and today's hydrostatic utility and track trenchers.
In 1971, Gary invented the first round baler for the farm market. Throughout his career, Gary Vermeer demonstrated a dedication to quality and innovation that has positively impacted the world's infrastructure and environment. Under Gary Vermeer's leadership, Vermeer Manufacturing developed new products to solve changing customer needs, and grew from a company employing three people in 1948 to a major international corporation with more than 2,000 employees.