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Photos – Birkey’s Customer Appreciation Day00:00 AM March 02, 2017
The Birkey’s Farm Store in Prophetstown held its annual customer appreciation day on Wednesday. Store manger Denny Johnson was pleased with the turnout for the pancake and sausage meal that ran from 7:00a.m. until 1:00p.m. “It gives our customers a chance to sit and visit with each other,” said Johnson who is a big fan of the format. “It’s our once a year chance to really clean the shop too.”
About two dozen tables were set up in the area generally used for the mechanics to repair and maintain the various types of equipment that the store sells. Several vendors were also on hand to give farmers a chance to view their products which included lubricants, lighting, and other accessories for equipment. Several lawn mowers and field tractors were on display for customers to inspect as well.
The PLT FFA Chapter was part of the event as they helped serve the food and greet visitors. This is the fourth year the chapter has helped out and will receive a donation from the store for their efforts. The group was also complimented by several people on an article which appeared in a recent issue of “Northern Illinois AG Mag”, a magazine published by Shaw Media, the owner of the Daily Gazette. The article was re-published in the magazine after it ran on the front page of the paper in February featuring the growth of the ag department at Prophetstown High School. Johnson said the students do a “Great job,” and he was glad they were part of the day.
In terms of the farm equipment business Johnson said last year’s sales were down about 25%, but that the trend seems to be leveling off adding that January and February have “Been nice,” in terms of business. This time of year Johnson says equipment purchases tend to involve planters and tilling equipment. Case IH has recently developed upgrades to their planters allowing farmers to plant at a faster speed. New style field cultivators are also part of updates to equipment. “Our sales are directly related to the commodity prices,” said Johnson, and he is hoping to see a rebound in those prices over the past two years.
Customer Appreciation Days are celebrated at all Birkey’s Farm Stores across the area and are generally held in conjunction with the annual “Parts Days” promotion. The Prophetstown store was one of just seven Case IH Dealerships in North America to win a Pinnacle Award last summer.
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