Equipment Technologies, home of the Apache sprayer and the largest independently owned manufacturer of agriculture self-propelled sprayers in North America, expanded its operation by opening the ET Ag Center adding 56 new jobs by 2015.

"Equipment Technologies has seen a growing trend of growers searching for knowledge and thought leadership when it comes to precision farming and application in general," said Equipment Technologies CEO Matt Hays. "The ET Ag Center is built to share our application knowledge and train the next generation of precision growers."

In the fall of 2011, Equipment Technologies split into two divisions: one to focus on its award-winning Apache line of self-propelled sprayers, and the other to focus on parts distribution, service and training. The ET Ag Center is the logistics, service and knowledge backbone of SpraySmarter.com, ET's e-commerce, online sprayer parts sales website. SpraySmarter.com also has a parts sales counter inside the ET Ag Center for local customers to pick up and purchase sprayer parts.

The ET Ag Center is also responsible for wholesaling both Apache sprayer parts and other best-in-class precision and application sprayer products to retailers throughout the United States, Canada, Ukraine, and Australia.

The ET Ag Center will lead the way in training and instruction, with a focus on sharing precision agriculture education to the grower. Included in the ET Ag Center are multiple precision agriculture classrooms for spraying clinics, commercial applicator license renewal classes and simulated precision training utilizing field computers from the top two manufacturers in precision agriculture, Raven and Trimble. Having all of these offerings under one roof will uniquely benefit growers from around the world as they seek to expand their application-focused education and hands-on training.

"From a training standpoint, we have grown leaps and bounds with the creation of the ET Ag Center," said ET's director of parts and service Kevin Covey. "We are increasing the number of training and service events with the added classrooms and resources to better educate the grower. From a parts standpoint, we can better serve the local applicator with the addition of an in-house SpraySmarter.com sales counter. Online orders can also be ship within 24 hours with a brand new logistical infrastructure, thanks in part to the additional space."

Throughout the planning of the ET Ag Center, the emphasis was on research and development of the Apache, ET's award-winning self-propelled sprayer. Included in the construction are a test track and proving grounds located behind the ET Ag Center with the sole focus of product development for the Apache sprayer. The track encompasses a 45-foot high hill with varying grades ranging from 10% to 40% and multiple terraces, representing different topographical land conditions Apache customers maneuver over.

"This testing track and proving grounds are significant for our continued success," said ET's director of engineering Chad Ringer. "ET truly prides itself on listening to our customers. We can now experiment and implement the ideas of our customers, fine tune a quality product, and let our customers enjoy the additional benefits."

Aligning with ET's dedication to continuous improvement and constant innovation for the Apache is sales and service training support. These training efforts will cater to our over 200 Apache customers residing in Indiana and nearly 3,000 more around the world.

Equipment Technologies, employing 97 Indiana residents with 52 living in Morgan County, was able to proceed with this necessary expansion from state, county and city government support. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation provided $550,000 in performance-based tax credits and $25,000 in training grants based on Equipment Technologies' job creation strategy. The Mooresville Town Council provided infrastructure assistance abatement to property tax per the request of the Morgan County Economic Development Corporation.

"It's great to know local government saw the need for our growth and responded the way they did," said ET's materials manager Jeff Goodman. "Throughout construction of the ET Ag Center, Equipment Technologies solely focused on using as many local vendors, contractors and subcontractors as possible. Equipment Technologies is grateful to have the support from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Morgan County Economic Development Corporation and the Mooresville Town Council for this expansion of our research and training facilities."