As their successes in the sprint car series and the tractor pull series suggest, the Whitworth family knows that great equipment delivers great results. And at Worthington Ag Service, Junior Whitworth’s equipment dealership in Worthington, Missouri, he showcases nothing but the finest spreaders for farming, poultry, and construction applications—spreaders made by BBI, of course.
BBI Spreader News recently sat down with Junior Whitworth, and he was kind enough to lend us his time to tell us how he grew a small feed-and-seed operation into a thriving all-purpose equipment dealer over the last three decades.
BBI Spreader News: “Good morning, Junior. Tell us how you got into the farming equipment business.”
Junior Whitworth: “Well, I started the business a little over 33 years ago. Back then I was just selling ag inputs – fertilizer, farm chemicals, feed and seed, etc. We didn’t have enough money at first to have real good equipment like we have now. So, in addition to the inputs business, I would buy used spray trucks, and we’d spend all night working these trucks, fixing them up and selling and reselling them.
Over time, we kept putting that money back into the business, and we were able to build up to buying and selling lots of new and used equipment, moving first into truck mounts and spreader beds and then later into things like spreaders.
I’ve been really pleased to see us grow. Worthington Ag Service now employs about 12 people full time, and in the spring we ramp up with more help in advance of the planting season. I’m proud to say that most of our people have been here for many years—we see very little turnover at Worthington Ag, and I think our customers appreciate that.
And now, over the last few years, we’ve been tickled to death that we have the BBI partnership. We used to refer to other dealers that had inventory, so it’s been great to have our own source to sell spreaders direct to our customers. It’s been a real good thing for us, boosting our business as a whole. With the face of farming changing as much as it has, we’re selling much more equipment than on the agronomy side of the business, and I think that trend will continue for the next few years.”
BBI Spreader News: “What are your biggest sellers at Worthington Ag?”
Junior Whitworth: “Now that we’ve grown considerably, we sell a broad range of BBI spreaders. The MagnaSpread(hydraulic and electric granular fertilizer and lime spreader) truck-mount and pull-type series is the star of our lineup. The MagnaSpread is a VRT-compatible (variable rate technology) spreader that links up with John Deere, Case and many other control systems in today’s tractors. The Endurance truck-mount and pull-type (hydraulic electronic litter and lime spreader), has also been a great seller for us. The Liberty (BBI’s line of mechanical, medium-capacity spreaders for fertilizer and lime) and Trooper (BBI’s ground wheel-drive spreader for fertilizer) have been doing particularly well in our region these days. With changes in farming practices and split nitrogen applications the Grasshopper row crop spreader has also done very well.
As a matter of fact, our first BBI customer was my son, Scott Whitworth. I sold him an organics spreader—an Endurance—that he uses to spread manure on the family farm. We have thousands of pigs and cows, so the spreader has been a huge help to us on that end of the family business.”
BBI Spreader News: “Why have the Whitworth family and Worthington Ag put their trust in BBI’s products?”
Junior Whitworth: “Well, I had heard of BBI for several years prior to getting starting our relationship with them, and I had always heard they made a good product. But since starting our relationship, I could see they made a good product. We rarely get warranty calls or claims. If we do have a problem, we have people on staff that take care of them; but to be honest, it just doesn’t happen that often!
I’ve noticed that some people will buy a spreader based on the price alone, but what they get is inferior in quality. I had a guy recently replace his spreader with a BBI and said that it was so much better in every way possible – night and day, really. What you get for your money with BBI, well, there’s really no comparison. And once you go with a BBI, well, for me, there’s no turning back.
Our partnership with BBI has worked out much better than we even anticipated at first. They just take care of people, whether it’s their customer or their dealer.”