A Signature Legacy
Larry Brogan, owner of L.J. Hay Inc. in Kensington, Ohio, began his makin’ hay legacy over 50 years ago. See how he’s using a Vermeer 504R Signature baler to keep his customers supplied with quality hay bales around the country.
How do you build a legacy? By identifying strengths, correcting weaknesses and adding value — a combination that brings success for generations to come. With the help of the Vermeer 504R Signature baler, Larry Brogan, owner of L.J. Hay Inc. in Kensington, Ohio, is working to do just that.
Brogan began his quest to provide quality, custom hay orders to customers all around the United States more than 50 years ago.
“I’ve been here way over half a century and I think that’s an achievement in itself,” said Brogan, who started buying farms at an age when most were looking to pay for a drive-in movie. “I bought my first farm when I was a freshman in high school, and then (the land) where I live now, I bought it when I was a senior in high school. Young fellas don’t do that anymore.”
According to longtime employee Dale Fox, L.J. Hay Inc. produces baleage with around one-third of its cuttings and dry hay with the rest. They currently run upwards of three cuttings per year on Brogan’s 450-acre operation.
“We deliver anywhere and everywhere — we have been all over with our hay,” Fox said. “Wherever the phone rings from, I guess you could say.”
With so much hay and baleage to produce for their customers, Brogan and Fox know the importance of durable machinery and clean looking bales.
“It seemed like every pretty bale I saw, regardless of who owned it or baled it — it was almost always baled with a Vermeer baler,” Brogan said. “So one year when it came time to buy a new baler, I thought I might like to try a Vermeer.” And try he did — for several years, Brogan and Fox utilized a Vermeer 504M baler until Jon Jones, their longtime dealer at D&J Sales and Service Inc., mentioned a few of the upgraded features found on the new 504R Signature baler.
“(D&J) brought the 504R Signature to the farm for us to test and I told them, ‘We can’t let this baler go back. We’re going to have to keep this baler,’” Fox said. “It has a wider pickup on it, which was a lot better. The pickup was a little bit lower so it picked up the hay a lot better than our previous model. It has heavier-duty chains and sprockets — all that stuff makes a big difference when you’re making baleage.”
The 504R Signature baler was designed for producers who harvest primarily dry hay but also want the ability to bale silage — which is exactly what L.J. Hay needed. “A lot of times when you’re raking hay, it tends to throw the windrow a little bit wider than four feet,” Fox continued.
“The wider pickup makes a big difference. Now we’re making a bale that has nice edges on it, so when you run it through the wrapper you can wrap it faster and you’re not slowing down and wasting time.” With the combination of the 504R Signature baler, VermeerTM Net and plastic wrap, Brogan feels confident in his product.
“People call me and stop by, because they want to see what I’m doing and they want to do it that way. They can see it’s working pretty well for me,” Brogan continued. “When we take those bales ultimately to the customer, we sell semi load after semi load of these 4×5 round bales. I always sell out. I never have a round bale left.”
To learn more about the 504R Signature click HERE.