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Welcome - Kifco's History

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Welcome to Kifco's Blog!  Our hopes with this blog is to keep our dealers and customers up to date with our latest product information, help supply you with troubleshooting tools for your equipment and share stories from the field.   We'll start our blog with a little history on how Kifco started and continues to be a successful American Manufacturing company today. 

Kifco, Inc. was originally incorporated in the early 1960’s and was located in Kilbourne, a small central Illinois town.  The company was founded by Fred Kruse as a fertilizer supplier and after several successful years in that business, Deane Behrends, a local high school teacher joined the company and later became co-owner.  Their desire to expand into different products became their first priority after a severe drought drastically hurt the local economy in the mid 60’s. 

Both through their own engineering expertise and with the help of Bart Nelson from Peoria, IL, Fred and Deane developed a cable-winch drawn irrigation unit which later became Kifco’s first traveling irrigation system.   With the support of local farmers, it was at that point that Kifco, as it is known today, began. 

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Over the next 40 years, Kifco evolved as the markets changed and eventually developed its own line of hard hose traveling irrigation systems, the Water-Reel®.  With a starting focus on irrigation for agriculture which is still a strong market today, the market for the Water-Reel quickly evolved over the years.  Today, Water-Reels are used around the world to irrigate residential landscapes, water sports fields and irrigate gardens, nurseries, golf courses & parks.  Other strong markets for our portable irrigation systems include watering horse arenas for dust control and irrigating pastures & paddocks and hobby farmers.

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Kifco also offers their line of Ag-Rain® Water-Reels®  used to irrigate larger turf areas such as hay fields, alfalfa and other commodity crop.  They are perfect for fields with irregular shape and other areas where a center pivot system would not be feasible.  Engine drive models are used for waste water redistribution by waste water treatment plants and compost facilities to redistribute waste water and in agriculture to apply slurry to growing crops.  Kifco also offers a full line of pump packages specifically designed to match the Water-Reel system requirements.  

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Fred and Deane sold Kifco in the late 90’s and the company was purchased by the Clevenger family in 2008.   It was the desire of both management and the Clevengers to once again operate Kifco as a family owned business.  That is exactly what they have done as they continue to dominate the hard hose traveler market through innovation and quality products & service.  

Celebrating its 50th year in business, Kifco continues to manufacture and assemble Water-Reels of the highest quality at their headquarters in Havana, Illinois, just a few miles from Kilbourne where it all began.  

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