From the factory floor to the title of CEO, Leon Yantis has been involved in all facets of manufacturing, sales and production at Ritchie. Currently enjoying retirement, Yantis remains a valuable source of knowledge and history about Ritchie and the Wilson family in Conrad, Iowa. When asked about any marketing challenges he faced over the years, Yantis recalled that some farmers and ranchers, who were not already familiar with Ritchie, were skeptical about how fast Ritchie waterers could refill.
“Some farmers really thought that their cattle could ‘out-drink’ the waterer, meaning that the trough could not fill up rapidly enough. Another main concern was that the trough was just too small. These guys were conditioned to think that they needed a 100+ gallon tank to water their cattle. Between the Ritchie engineers and sales team, we came up with a way to demonstrate how simple and efficient our valve is and how fast it refills.
At our display booth we set up a WaterMaster 1200 – one of the big 12-foot-long units – with a 40 PSI pump and water tank underneath it. The WaterMaster would fill up and then shut off. I would wait until a farmer walked up to the booth and then I would take out the drain plug. I would then go on to talk about the waterers and our valves. Farmers were amazed because the water in the trough never ran out. Ritchie valves refill at a faster rate than any other waterer on the market. This was an excellent way to show that they only needed 30 gallons of water, not 100 gallons visible at any given time. We sold a lot of waterers with that demonstration.”