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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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Fillmore County Pork Producers
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Robert Maust joins Preston Council

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

The Preston City Council during their December 4 meeting filled the open seat left by the resignation of Kay Spangler effective December 1. Spangler’s resignation was accepted as she and her husband were moving to Chatfield. Early in November the ..... 
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Salvation Army seeks local bell ringers and contributions

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in Preston Business Announcements

Salvation Army kettle season is right around the corner in Preston. You’ll find the kettle and bell ringers in Preston on Wednesday, December 19 at the F&M Bank corner from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in front of P ..... 
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Preston utility rates remain competitive despite increase

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

Preston, Minn – The commission of the Preston Public Utilities (PPU) approved a five percent increase in electric, water and sewer charges for all residential, commercial and industrial customers. The increase will take effect January 1, 2013. T ..... 
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Richard Edwin "Dick" Hovelson

Mon, Dec 3rd, 2012
Posted in Preston Obituaries

RICHARD EDWIN" DICK" HOVELSON, 76, of Preston, died Wednesday, November, 28, 2012 at his home. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 11 AM at Thauwald Funeral Home Preston with Pastor David Jore officiating. Burial will be a ..... 
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Fillmore Central sells facility bonds for HVAC project

Fri, Nov 30th, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

By Jade Sexton Patty Heminover of Springsted financial advisors gave the Fillmore Central School Board some great news at their regular meeting on November 27. She informed the board that the alternative facilities bonds were sold at a competitive ..... 
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Give to the Max Day challenge results

Fri, Nov 30th, 2012
Posted in Preston Arts & Culture

Give to the Max Day was November 15, a day that anyone could make online donations to local non-profit organizations. The Spring Valley Area Community Foundation challenged the Preston Area Community Foundation to see who could get the most donation ..... 
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Engagement -Lokker ~ Ortner

Fri, Nov 30th, 2012
Posted in Preston Social Scenes

Lokker ~ Ortner Rebecca Lokker of Preston and Timothy Ortner, originally of Harmony, and currently from Orange City, Iowa; announced their engagement and upcoming wedding. Parents of the bride-to-be are Roger and Brenda Lokker of Preston, and pa ..... 
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FC Club isn’t “camera shy”

Fri, Nov 23rd, 2012
Posted in Preston Education

Students at Fillmore Central High School have an opportunity that most kids in the area do not, and that is the opportunity to learn more about photography, share their pictures with others, and explore their interest by joining the Photography Club ..... 
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