Saratoga Partnership has its origins in 1958, the year Lawrence and Elsbeth Richter, along with their three sons, bought the home farm.
Before the family moved in January,1959, Lawrence drove the WD-45 tractor towing two small wagons loaded with everything imaginable from Germantown, IA to the farm.
This trip was accomplished in November, 1958, covering a distance of 220 miles.
The first day had good weather and Dad made it to Britt, IA in late evening. He recalled waking up at 2:00 am to the howl of strong winds. At dusk, he arrived in Osage and completed the last 30 miles in darkness and cold.
I have always marveled at that trip. The WD-45 had a top speed of about 10mph! He towed two wooden box wagons with no reflectors, let alone flashing lights.
I also wonder what his thoughts were along the trip. He was moving his family across the state, away from friends and family to an unknown area where he would be truly on his own.
He realized times would be difficult - and it would be very difficult - but he had a dream to own his own farm.
Today, we have the WD-45 and both wagons to remind us of the power of his dream.
Over the years, we've learned the best way to make your farmland more profitable is to keep up with the latest in agricultural techniques and farming methods.
And the farming business has undergone enormous changes since Dad started our home farm in the last century ... including the use of the internet and other methods of communication to let people know who we are and what we do for you as a landowner.
Which brings us to the Pink Flamingo ...
There are a lot of people trying to get your attention these days. So, over the last few years, we've been wracking our brains trying to think of a way to help our communications stand out from the crowd.
We knew we needed to update our farm logo ... the image that helps people think of us when they think of a leased farmland cropping operation.
With the the help of Monsanto, we were able to work with Monsanto branding specialist, Donna Heckler.
We didn't realize there was anyone called a "Branding Specialist". But Donna's even written a book about branding products!
Donna met with us (Randy, Jackson, Tim) and two trusted advisors, for a day to discover who we are and how we could differentiate ourselves from our competition. That process was a lot harder than we ever imagined!
It took about three hours to discover that who we are and how we are different didn't really have to do with farming. It's really about how we approach our relationships with landowners, vendors and suppliers.
You see, our core value isn't business oriented. It's very personal in nature.
And, from talking to us about how we do things, Donna found the one core idea that best defines Saratoga Partnership. In fact, she could describe it with one word ...
You see, we enjoy our relationships with the people we do business with. And they enjoy their interactions with us.
In fact, many of our relationships started as business transactions - like renting land, buying equipment or supplies, and selling produce. And those relationships evolved over the years into close and enjoyable personal friendships.
If "fun" is our core value, how do we design a logo that represents an idea like "fun"?
We worked with a graphic designer to come up with various ideas for fun. Everything from sunsets to tractors to corn were considered.
Finally, a flamingo was introduced as representing fun. Corn plants were added to symbolize what we grow.
We think the final version helps Saratoga Partnership stand out in a crowded field of competitors. And it tells you our core value is to have FUN in our business relationships with you, our landowners and corporate customers.
You'll be seeing our pink flamingo on everything we use to communicate with you ... our business cards ... our new web site ... even on the machinery!
So be on the lookout for a pink flamingo in a freshly planted field of corn near you!
Tim, Jackson, and The Partners at
Saratoga Partnership, Lime Springs, Iowa