GVM Inc. was founded by the owner of a fertilizer dealership in Pennsylvania. From the very beginning, Jack Anderson, owner of Andgrow, a fertilizer dealership, understood the needs and challenges of a retail fertilizer operation better than most. In 1977, he established GVM Inc. and began selling their signature product — foam markers.

"The foam marking business in 1977 was a lot bigger than it is today," said Mark Anderson, Jack's son and current president of GVM Inc. "As booms became larger, foam markers became important to a retail operation."

The founder's retail experience mostly involved selling and applying suspension fertilizers. So, many of the first products, like the GVM nozzle alert system, were developed and based around those needs.

In the early 80s, the company added blenders, spreaders, loaders, pumps, tanks and accessories to its product line. But the biggest advancement in its early days was the development and manufacture of pick-up sprayers with hydraulic booms and over-sized row crop tires.

"Pick-up sprayers became a large part of our business in the mid-80s with the manufacture of the Hydra Spray Pick-up Sprayer and the Double Duty Pull Spreader," Anderson said. "Those introductions symbolized the beginning of our entry into bigger equipment as post application became more important."

As the number of application acres grew, so did GVM and its number of products. In 1993, the company signed a license agreement with TranSpread, who had a complete line of spinner spreaders that accurately spread dry fertilizer more than 90 feet wide. By 1997, the company began manufacturing its own line of self-propelled sprayer, which originally was named the Row Cat. It was the first row-crop sprayer/spreader combo unit that could switch from liquid to dry fertilizer in less than an hour. Today, it's known as the Prowler.

By 2005, the company expanded its sprayer line to include the Predator High Clearance Sprayer, which is the first mechanically driven high-clearance applicator in GVM's product offering.

"As technology advanced and our customers became larger, the need for bigger and more efficient equipment became a primary focus for developing future products," Anderson said.

As a result, GVM focused on making its sprayers and spreaders as fuel efficient as possible. "A mechanical drive machine can save half the amount of fuel compared to a hydrostatic machine," Anderson said. "By increasing the road speed on the mechanical drive, you also can add in the time savings of more than 30 to 40 acres a day, and it all adds up to savings over a short period of time."

In addition to developing and manufacturing its own equipment, GVM has had a long history of partnering with other companies to offer retailers access to other fertilizer-related equipment. In 1988-89, GVM partnered with Melroe Spra-Coupe, the first designers of the Spra Coupe, which is currently owned byAGCO Corp. This partnership allowed GVM to begin distributing those self-propelled sprayers, which continues today. GVM also distributes these brands: AGCO Willmar, Layco, KSI Conveyors, Dalton Ag, B & B trailers and wagons, New Leader, Ray-Man, Swinger and Norwesco Poly Tanks.

As the company continues to grow, GVM has added a new division of telematic, Web-based software. Its AgJunction product allows retailers to see where any of their sprayers, spreaders or tenders are located and their progress in completing jobs.

The company has also added a precision ag component, AgriHD, which is powered by Mapshots. It offers retailers an all-in-one telematics and mapping system.

Today, the company employs 115 people and has four operations with numerous distributor locations.

"Because of the company's background, we understand the needs and challenges of a retailer," Anderson said. "At GVM, we all understand that if we focus on helping our customers earn profits, we improve our chances of building long-term working relationships with them. We pride ourselves on working hard to retain these relationships. We feel an obligation to continue to look for new ways to keep our customers profitable, with our quickly changing industry and new technology."