Founded in 1958, Ag-Pro began as Boston Tractor Company in the agricultural hub of Boston, Georgia, and is now one of the largest John Deere dealership organizations in North America. Ag-Pro operates 87 locations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, Ohio, and Kentucky. Ag-Pro takes pride in developing long-lasting relationships with its customers and offering first-in-class customer service.
Adams, Rountree, and Co. was the leading General Store in Boston, Georgia, carrying a wide variety of goods from farm supplies to groceries and furniture. The store was the principal place of business and a social gathering place for the Boston community for a number of decades. In the mid-1900s, the name changed to Boston Implement Co. and the focus of the business changed to an agricultural equipment and supply store with John Deere as the premier product line.
Rice Center Supply, which would later become the flagship store for Ag-Pro Arkansas, was the name of the original John Deere store opened in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
James Groover Sr. and Samuel “Dick” Groover formed the Groover Brothers Partnership after returning from the war in 1945. The brothers began acquiring land, farming, and opened Boston Seed Company across the street from Boston Implement Co.
Grady Sherrod, a local business owner, personally financed the $6,000 purchase of Boston Implement Company for James Groover, Sr. and Dick Groover. After acquiring the business, the Groover Brothers renamed Boston Implement Company to Boston Tractor Company.
With two John Deere dealers in Thomas County, and at the request of Deere & Company, James and Dick built a new facility and relocated Boston Tractor Company to Brooks County. This relocation placed Boston Tractor Company close to a large base of agricultural customers.
Frank Lyon, a wealthy Arkansas businessman, purchased John Deere dealerships in and around Stuttgart, Arkansas, from J.W. Benefield. He engaged a marketing consulting firm to generate ideas for a new name for his Arkansas dealerships. The end result was to brand the locations as Agricultural Productivity Companies, or Ag-Pro for short.
After his father’s passing in 1994, James Groover, Jr. acquired his father’s shares of Boston Tractor and began to play a larger role in the business. James Groover, Jr. began working with his Uncle Dick to hire aggressive salesmen, one of whom was the former Thomas Stone. Newly developed products coupled with new energy in the dealership drove sales growth and increased market share for Boston Tractor Company.
After Dick Groover’s retirement, James Groover, Jr. and Thomas Stone purchased Dick’s shares of the company. Together, James and Thomas worked to establish a path of growth and acquisitions. Explosive sales growth began.
As a result of the Dealer of Tomorrow Strategy, James and Thomas partnered with a high-performing salesman at Boston Tractor Company, Timothy Hiers (Timmy), to purchase Nichols Tractor in Bainbridge, Georgia. Timmy moved to Bainbridge to manage Nichols Tractor and kick-start sales.
With new ownership in place, sales flourished. What was originally a conservatively, well-run business selling $13.8 million in 1998, made its mark as sales grew to $51.5 million by the end of 2001.
The purchase of Live Oak Tractor in 2004 provided Boston Tractor a mixture of small ag and turf sales to balance the sales mix for the company. In only one year, Live Oak Tractor’s sales more than doubled under the Boston Tractor umbrella.
Boston Tractor purchased Mershon Tractor, an underperforming location, in 2008. After a store overhaul, the location grew sales from $8 million annually to $29 million annually by the end of the first 18 months.
Growth continued for Boston Tractor Company with the purchase of Agricultural Productivity Companies’ seven locations in Central Arkansas. With this growth came the opportunity for Matthew Carlton and Gordon Mooney to acquire ownership in the company. Matthew relocated to lead the Arkansas locations. Over the course of only four years, annual sales in Arkansas grew from $79 million to $170 million.
The exponential growth of the company made it necessary to brand the organization under one name. Rights to the name “Ag-Pro” were purchased with the acquisition of the Arkansas dealerships. Since the name marketed well across all geographies, the ownership team branded their Georgia and Florida locations as Ag-Pro and designed a new logo that would fit well with future growth across anywhere in the United States.
To capture a larger market share in the turf market, Ag-Pro opened a Valdosta, Georgia, location in March 2013. In this same year, Ag-Pro acquired GreenSouth Equipment. The acquisition of GreenSouth’s 13 locations secured a large territory in South Georgia and North Florida establishing Ag-Pro as a prominent, leading dealer across Georgia and Florida.
Explosive sales growth and new facilities in Arkansas caught the interest of a neighboring dealer, Greenway Equipment. After multiple attempts to purchase Ag-Pro Arkansas, the two companies agreed to a deal. In August 2014, Ag-Pro sold their seven Arkansas dealerships to Greenway Equipment and began to focus on numerous other expansion opportunities.
Acquiring GreenSouth’s dealerships paved the way for Ag-Pro to establish a footprint in Metro Atlanta. In 2014, Ag-Pro purchased Fayette Tractor in Fayetteville, Lawn Equipment Solutions in Grayson, Rockdale Tractor in Conyers, Coweta Tractor in Newnan, Mid-Georgia Tractor in Macon, and the John Deere rights from Southside Equipment in Milledgeville. With the relocation of the Fayetteville location to McDonough, Georgia, and the relocation of the Newnan location, Ag-Pro optimized the distance between their Metro Atlanta locations.
After much negotiation, Ag-Pro acquired South Texas Implement Company’s eleven dealerships. The acquisition of these dealerships provided an opportunity for significant sales growth and an opportunity for Kirt Morris and Kyle Cooper to partner in the Texas acquisition.
In the summer of 2015, Ag-Pro Companies opened their Corporate Headquarters in Boston, Georgia.
Specializing in lawn mowers & compact utility tractors to serve homeowners and weekend farmers as well as the small ag markets, the startup location in Seneca, South Carolina, grew the organization to 36 locations.
2017 was a major year of growth for Ag-Pro. In this year, Ag-Pro added 19 locations through six acquisitions and the opening of three new locations.
Snead Ag Acquisition7 Locations across North Alabama and North Georgia
Piedmont Outdoors AcquisitionOne location in Piedmont, Alabama
Collins Auto & EquipmentOne location in Guntersville, Alabama
Gainesville, GeorgiaNew location
Anderson, South CarolinaNew location
Cole’s Equipment AcquisitionOne location in Dalton, Georgia
Fredericksburg Equipment AcquisitionOne location in Fredericksburg, Texas
Neuhaus & Company AcquisitionFive locations across the Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas
Snead Ag in Alabama
Neuhaus & Co. in Weslaco, Texas
In 2018, Ag-Pro continues with its rapid pace of expansions by acquiring a location in Kerrville, Texas, and opening a John Deere Sales and Rental Location in Quitman, Georgia, as well as several other major acquisitions.
Quitman RentalJan. 2018 – 1 Location in Quitman, GA
Secor Equipment AcquisitionJan. 2018 – 1 Location in Kerrville, TX
Crystal River, FLMay 2018 – New Location
Wilson Equipment AcquisitionSept. 2018 – 1 Location in Spartanburg, SC
New Braunfels, TXSept. 2018 – New Location
R&R Tractor AcquisitionNov. 2018 – 1 Location in Boerne, TX
JD Equipment AcquisitionDec. 2018 – Locations in OH and KY
At the end of 2018, Ag-Pro began its fast expansion into the midwest by first acquiring JD Equipment, which had 10 stores in southern Ohio and Kentucky. By the end of January 2019, Ag-Pro had acquired two more dealerships in Ohio and opened a few new locations in Texas, Georgia and Florida. As of July, Ag-Pro operates 87 locations across eight states.
Bandera, TXJan. 2019 – New Location
Shearer Equipment AcquisitionJan. 2019 – 7 Locations in Ohio
Kuester Implement AcquisitionJan. 2019 – 3 Locations in Ohio
Rome, GAFeb. 2019 – New Location
Brunswick, GAMarch 2019 – New Location
Lake City, FLApril 2019 – New Location
Homestead Lawn AcquisitionJune 2019 – 1 Location in Cleveland, TN
Five Points Implement AcquisitionJune 2019 – 1 Location in Hillsboro, OH