The DICKEY-john moisture instrument is certainly well known by everyone in the grain inspection business since its GAC 2100 was selected by GIPSA as the official moisture instrument in 1998. DICKY-john’s involvement with AAGIWA has been just as long.
Headquartered in Auburn, Illinois, the heart of America’s Corn Belt, the initial thoughts to form the company began in the mid 50s when Bob Dickey, a farmer in Chatham, Illinois, concluded that he had no guarantee the planting taking place behind his tractor was actually occurring correctly. By the mid 60s Bob together with his close friend and brother-in-law, Jack Littlejohn developed the basic plans for building a planter monitor. The full history including why “DICKEY” is always capitalized and “john” is lower case can be found on DICKEY-john’s website by clicking here.
Roger Vanderkolk, Analytical Product Manager, stresses that DICKEY-john believes its longevity and willingness to work with its clients is what has made DICKEY-john so successful. DICKY-john has 12 sales and service representatives strategically placed across the United States so help is only a phone call to a nearby person. Customers can be reassured that help from a live person with any issue, large or small is available anytime. Roger says the goal is to provide “support” and “service” to customers, and support is probably the more important of these two factors. That direct relationship is utilized by DICKEY-john as it strives to improve its existing instruments and expand their capabilities to meet the new needs of its customers.
Support is also backed up by DICKY-john’s two grain laboratories that work with customers around the world to develop calibrations on products not covered by GIPSA. Roger says, not a week goes by that DICKY-john doesn’t receive a call from someone around the world asking for a new calibration. DICKY-john realizes that a calibration for a commodity in one part of the world will not work for the same product in another part of the world where different varieties are grown. Customers know that DICKEY-john will work with them to get them the calibration they need for their product.
DICKEY-john is proud of its standing in the grain analytical industry, which comes from the experience its employees have amassed working with the grain industry. They are also proud of their desire to improve their products. While the GAC 2100 was the industry standard for years, DICKY-john was always working to see what the next generation of instruments could do. This effort paid off when GIPSA’ acceptance of the new GAC 2500-UGMA as one of the new standards.
Roger says that while DICKEY-john is proud of its longevity, it may be more proud of the fact that they have been able to transfer its passion for customer support to the next generation of employees that will maintain DICKY-john’s status well into the future. Pride also comes from their desire to honor the values of Bob Dickey’s desire to meet the needs of customers with products built in America’s heartland.
Working directly with the official grain inspection agencies and AAGIWA Roger says he is always taken back by the critical role that the inspection system plays in marketing America’s grain domestically, and around the world, and is honored to be a small part in that process.