Eugene Sukup, founder of Sukup Manufacturing Co., an international leader in grain bins, grain dryers and steel buildings, died on July 12. Sukup served as president for 32 years before turning the position over to his son.
Eugene Sukup, founder of Sukup Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest family-owned manufacturer of grain bins, dryers and other grain handling equipment, died on July 12 following a brief hospital stay. He was 89. “Eugene will be remembered by his family and many friends, colleagues and members of the agriculture community as a leader, innovator and exceptionally caring and generous person,” the Iowa-based company said in a news release.
Eugene Sukup founded the company with his wife Mary in 1963 in a welding shop in Sheffield. After buying his first grain bin in 1962, “Eugene observed that pockets of grain in the bin overheated and spoiled, and he knew he could create a solution to this problem,” his obituary said.”After his initial attempt with a manual stirring auger failed, he came up with the idea of adding a horizontal auger through the handle of the drill to automate the process.He patented the idea, and the Stirway stirring machine and Sukup Manufacturing Co. were born.”
Today, Sukup Manufacturing, the nation’s largest family-owned grain bin and equipment manufacturing company.,holds more than 80 patents and sells its products in more than 85 countries.The company is now a three-generation that employs nearly 700 workers. Eugene Sukup served as president for 32 years before turning the position over to his son, Charles Sukup, in 1995. He was inducted into the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006 and received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Outstanding Innovation Award in 2007.