In the beginning of 1990-s an American businessman Howard Dahl, owner of Concord, supplied drills to Kuzbass region. It was then decided to assemble such equipment locally and a new company CJSC Agro (later Agro LLC) was established for that purpose. First director was German Yuriev and a creditor – Howard Dahl.
Alexander Altergott, current Agro’s CEO mentions in his book “Bread of Kuznetsk land”: “At the beginning no one believed in the venture, yet the first fall proved everyone wrong as the drill’s efficiency exceeded all expectations. During one seeding period (in other words two weeks) the first Concord helped to save 50 MT of seeds increasing the yields by 4-5 hundredweights per hectare. As a result Iskitimsk farm got an extra 1 thousand tons of seeds worth two times more that the Concord book value along with other savings incurred with using less diesel and working capital”
In 1994-2000 Howard Dahl annually visited Kuzbass helping to improve the manufacturing of the new machines, many local people visited Howard’s plants in the States for training. Later on the assembly evolved into independent business and the American drill became a predecessor of many modifications and new minimal tillage models such as “Tom”, “Kuzbass-Taidon”, “Kuzbass”, Kuzbass-T”
Howard Dahl is one of the fathers for new efficient tillage traditions that help save soil resources now being widespread practice in Kuzbass region. Currently he is an owner of Amity Technologies
(manufacturer of sugar beets harvesting equipment) and is still passionately interested in the development of his Kuzbass project. According to Mr. Altergott Howard is an unusual person. Having Liberal Arts education and being religious he loves Dostoevsky and learns Russian to read the books in original language.
Howard says that even during hard economic chaos in Russia he was committed to Kuzbass project because he followed the golden rule “Treat others as you would like them to treat you”. He said that “even if we didn’t make profit we would do our best to improve the lives of people we worked with. … If I could turn back the time I would have done a few things differently. I think I would get more involved in AGRO. As you can see our only involvement during the last few years was supplying spare parts. But I couldn’t be more proud of the fact that as a result of my participation a new company AGRO was born.
It is worth mentioning that AGRO just recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary and now employs over 80 people and 125 working at the daughter company “Agromash”. There are over 400 drills
manufactured by Agro working in Kuzbass these days covering 70% of grain crops farmland. There are over two thousand Kuzbass machines working all over Russia and Kazakhstan covering almost three
million hectares of land…