Conrad American first started in the late 60’s in Houghton, Iowa by Leonard Conrad a local farmer. Mr. Conrad was a breeder and marketer of highbred seed corn which he produced. To keep his employees busy during the summer, he became a large distributor of grain storage products. During the 1970’s, there was high demand for grain storage, due to increased yields and more acres planted. Also, increased emphasis on marketing grain by farmers helped create a strong demand for grain storage.
Mr. Conrad had been a major distributor for several brands of grain storage units. After several years of distributing grain storage units, he decided to combine the best features of each brand into a unit that he himself would produce. Money was raised through a public stock offering to expand the grain storage manufacturing business. During the early 1970’s additional refinements were made on the units, as well as adding related products. In the late 1970’s, Mr. Conrad sold the business to a holding company based in Texas. Shareholders were paid out and under the umbrella of the holding company. Eaton grain bins were added as well as other products. Eaton was established by Albert Nathaniel Eaton in Omaha, NE in 1903. Eaton’s first product was a stock tank patented in 1909. He expanded into grain bins, welded tanks, packaging and washing equipment. In 1981, the production of Eaton grain bins was moved to the Houghton, Iowa location.
The early 80’s, there were many grain storage manufacturers — perhaps 25-30. Because of the tough ag economic times, many manufacturers were eliminated. There remains a handful of manufacturers today of which Conrad American/Eaton is proud to be one of those survivors and has in fact thrived. In 1986, the holding company decided the operations would be best in the hands of private individuals. Three individuals purchased the Conrad American/Eaton operations from the holding company. One of the original three owners is the owner today. Owner, Marvin Bricker, started as a financial consultant at Conrad American/Eaton in 1972. He then became corporate officer and has been owner since 1986. Continued efforts have been made to enhance the products, as well as add new complimentary products to the grain storage, grain handling and drying products lines.
Today, more than ever our commitment to producing a quality product at a fair price with service second to none is our commitment to each and every customer.