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Preston Equipment still in the family


Fri, Dec 14th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

Preston Equipment employees (L to R): Scott Trouten, Andrew Borgan, Kyle Smith, Richard Haskovec, Mike McCaulley, Craig Tammel, Jenny Dornink, Sierra Haugerud, Corey Whalen, Melvin Meiners, Ryan Srsen, Lynn Eich, Jeff Johnson, Dean Underbakke, and Steve Ille. Not Pictured: James Rediske. Photo by Jade Sexton

Preston Equipment has had its spot right outside of town for 39 years, and has been selling John Deere products to the Fillmore County area that entire time. Since then, the company has undergone changes and growth, and has overcome difficulties in order to still be standing where it is.

Harvey Ille owned and operated Preston Equipment with his family until he passed away last winter. His son Steve has now taken over, and the company is still going strong.

“Many people thought we were going to shut down,” shared Ille. “Even our employees.”

In fact, the John Deere corporate office gave them an ultimatum. They were to join with SEMA Equipment, Inc. or close down.

Ille gathered a team of employees and they traveled to the Twin Cities to give the corporate office a three-hour long presentation about their business plan, as well as plans for the future. As long as Steve Ille stayed on and ran the business, they were allowed to remain independent.

“We wanted to stay with John Deere,” said Ille. “We’ve done really well here.”

Speaking of all the people that work for the company, and how they are friends and relatives of all the customers, Ille said, “To close the business was not an option.”

The economy has struggled everywhere, but agriculture in southeast Minnesota has remained steady.

“When the farmers make money, we make money,” said Ille. “That’s how we’ve built our business.”

Preston Equipment employs about 16-20 people right now, and they are looking at hiring anywhere from five to nine more. Ille said part of their future plans are to expand on their building for a new shop area.

John Deere is not the only brand sold at Preston Equipment. They also sell Ski-Doo, Can Am, and Sioux Steel chainsaws and other products. They sell a lot of snowmobiles in the fall for people getting ready for the winter season. And they also have a gift shop with unique items such as toy tractors and John Deere clothing.

Providing a great service for the local residents has always been high priority for the family at Preston Equipment. “Fillmore County is an important area for us,” said Ille. “We sell things all over, but if you take care of local people, you’ll be fine.

Ille has taught school in Lanesboro, Fillmore Central, and Rochester, but also worked with hi .....
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House fire suspected to be arson

Fri, Nov 16th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

By Jade Sexton The Preston Fire Department and Ambulance crew were called to the scene of a house fire between Preston and Lanesboro on Highway 16 on the morning of Tuesday, November 13. The Lanesboro Fire Department also assisted them. By the ..... 
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The Preston Historical Society

Fri, Nov 9th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

The Preston Historical Society has been given the senior pictures from Preston High School from the years 1911 - 1959. They have been placed on display in the O’Hara School located on the Fillmore County Fairgrounds. However, the following years a ..... 
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PBS to air ‘Dust Bowl’ documentary

Fri, Nov 9th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

Preston, Minn - When you hear “dust bowl,” iconic images likely pop into your head: black clouds over the prairie, dead cattle scattered across the range and tractors buried in the field. Those images are easy to remember, but the circumsta ..... 
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Bring it on! Fillmore Central Style

By Gabby Kinneberg

Fri, Nov 2nd, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

By Gabby Gatzke Growing up, our parents often offer us a variety of opportunity to try different activities in school and in our communities. For Garrett Wangen, a 12 year-old at Fillmore Central High School, an opportunity arose and he took adva ..... 
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Preston Overlook good for another 75 years

Fri, Nov 2nd, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

The historic Preston Overlook has undergone a thorough makeover. Over the last three months, 75 years of time and weather has been erased. The Preston Overlook was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. It is a 1.8 acre property ..... 
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Caboose has rolled into Preston

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

By Barb Jeffers A 1951 Milwaukee caboose has arrived at its destination at the Trailhead in Preston, Minn. after much planning and anticipation by the Preston Historical Society. The Historical Society found the caboose in Mauston, WI., and purcha ..... 
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F&M Bank of Preston has a new look

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

By Barb Jeffers F & M Bank of Preston, Minn., has received a facelift which both the bank customers and staff appreciate. According to Dan Christianson, CEO of F & M Bank of Preston, the remodel was necessary, as many items needed to be updated. ..... 
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Preston High School Class of 1967

Fri, Oct 26th, 2012
Posted in Preston Features

Preston High School Class of 1967 - 45th class reunion was held August 25, 2012. Row 1 (seated) left to right – Lorraine (Bigalk) Peckham, Jackie (Lindorff) Hoegh, Linda (Wendt) Wilson, Ilene (Engle) Lammers. Row 2 left to right – Ernie Klockeman ..... 
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