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Hills Business Continues After 80 Years

HILLS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- It can take a lot of change over the years to maintain a thriving business.  For many, that means new faces in new places.

In the Johnson County town of Hills, that's not the case for Stutsman, Inc., which has called the town home.

Earlier Tuesday, it was packed with community members who came out to celebrate years of the company's decades of service and the many more years to come.

It's been eight decades and counting.

"My grandfather in 1934 dropped out of high school during the depression to help save the family farm," said Mark Stutsman, Chief Operations Officer of Stutsman Incorporated.

Since then Stutsman Incorporated has blossomed into a big part of the hills community.

"Hills is a small town and we like it that way, it's about 600 people and we have about 220 employees that report to this facility every day," Mark said.

In a state where farming is a dominant field of work, the family owned business sells feeds, fertilizers and other equipment to farmers throughout the south eastern area.

"It's humbling. As I look around at out luncheon today many families we've done business with for four generations," Mark said.

Doug Lackender is from one of those families.

"My grandfather was the first feed customer of Eldon C. Stutsman's back in the 30s.

Years later the business relationship continues, because we're friends. Because they offer good service. They've always been there for was just natural to do business with them," and the Stutsmans hope to keep maintain that loyalty.

"Eldon's philosophy was emphasize service, and sales will come naturally. And that's guided us for 80 years and I hope that guides is for the next 80 years," Mark said.

Eldon Stutsman had six children. His three sons are still involved in the business as well as two grandchildren.
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