The History of HJV
In 1949, Harry Jacob Vander Zaag, the namesake of HJV, left his father’s potato farm in Holland to seek farming opportunity in Canada. After 3 years of working on farms in Canada. Harry and his brother began farming in the Alliston area, planting their first 7 acres of potatoes by hand. He later married and raised four sons with his wife Bernice. After many years of successful potato farming as HJ Vander Zaag Farms Ltd, Harry sold the business to two of his sons, Homer and David, in 1990.
When the chance came to purchase an existing potato equipment dealership from local farmer and businessman Clarence Leach of Alliston in 1991, Homer and David couldn’t resist. They saw the need to have a local business supplying equipment and parts for the farming industry. Adding HJV Equipment to HJ Vander Zaag Farms Ltd.
As business developed, so did the need to add equipment lines. Their first move was to acquire the dealership for Gallenberg self propelled sprayers and fertilizer spreaders in 1997. In 1999, a second store in Innerkip, Ontario was added after the acquisition of Spra-Coupe dealer, Rite Time Marketing. The Ag Chem facility in Hensall, Ontario was purchased in 2001 and the Innerkip operations were moved there.
Expansions continued. In 2002, HJV Equipment expanded its reach beyond Ontario by opening its third location, in New Brunswick. Only one year later, they signed a contract with Ag Chem to provide parts and service throughout Ontario and the Maritimes.
In 2005 there were more big changes. Not only did they acquire the rights to distribution of Grimme/Spudnik, but also opened a fourth location in Charlottetown, PEI. Two years later, with the success achieved through the Ag Chem line, they were able to secure the full Ag Chem contract for sales, parts and service in Eastern Canada.
Opportunity for further growth and more challenges kept coming, and the move over the US border took place. In 2008, they opened a US company and their first store outside of Canada—HJV Equipment LLC in Chesaning, Michigan.
Dave Vander Zaag, President.