In 1968, Lloyd Allen Yargus started Layco Manufacturing in a rented shop. The conveyor repair and reconditioning business also built truck bumpers for farmers and fertilizer dealers. In 1992, Lloyd’s son Larry led the company to transition into Yargus Manufacturing.
This year marks its 50th anniversary. The firm has been part of Ag Growth International since November 2016 and is now known as Yargus-AGI.
Based in Marshall, Ill., the company’s facility spans 150,000 square feet for sales, engineering and manufacturing. In December 2015, the company grew by investing $3.5 million in a new building, purchasing a $1.5 million laser and expanding its software department.
Expanded Products. “We started with conveyors but expanded with blenders and now produce all types of equipment for bulk fertilizer and industrial material handling,” explains Larry, former owner who now heads the R&D department.
As the fertilizer business handled larger quantities, the business’ products also expanded in capacities and function. See the sidebar for a timeline on notable innovations.
Although Yargus-AGI is an equipment manufacturer, perhaps the biggest stand-alone product that Larry’s proud of would be software implemented with Yargus equipment.
“We build our own electrical panels for all of our blend systems,” he says. “And we have a 24/7 service center for the declining weight software, so we can support customers anywhere in the world.”
Four members in the third generation of the Yargus family are also involved in the business today. Anne Yargus Sheehy is a division sales manager and uses her experience in the international market. Kate Yargus Shaffer guides Yargus-AGI as corporate counsel. Meg Yargus Steward is a national account director and oversees sales for the western U.S. And son-in-law Steve Shaffer is general manager.