On July 12, 2018, the founder of Sukup Manufacturing, Eugene Sukup, died. He was 89.
The family said in a statement, “Eugene will be remembered by his family and many friends, colleagues, and members of the agriculture community as a leader, innovator, and exceptionally caring and generous person.”
In the 1960s Eugene raised hogs in north-central Iowa. When he built his first on-farm bin in 1962, he recognized a need for drying grain in the bin.
"I put up a bin and put fans on it, but after we put the first year of corn in, it started sprouting out the top,” he said in a 2008 interview with Farm Journal. "I got a stoker auger from a local welding shop. I added an electric drill and took a chain and hung it from the top of the bin.”
Sukup founded his company making accessories for grain bins starting in 1963. The company started its own bin building business in the 1990s. Eugene joked that they may have hid their name for too long.
"We were in business for 40 years and were keeping our name in the bucket,” he said in a 2008 interview with Farm Journal. "With our bin business, we're lucky our name stands out: ‘Look up, it's Sukup!'”
Sukup Manufacturing has grown to become the largest family-owned grain system manufacturer. It’s headquartered in Sheffield, Iowa. Three generations have come to work for the family business. In 1995, Eugene became chairman of the board and turned over the position of company president to his son Charles. Son Steve is the company’s chief financial officer.