110-Year-Old Agriculture Business In Md. Closes

URBANA, Md. (AP) — After 110 years in business at the same location, Knott & Geisbert Inc. Mowers & Farm Equipment is closing up shop. A two-day liquidation auction is planned March 4 and 5 to dispose of inventory with an estimated value of more than $1 million. The company’s 3.5-acre site on Urbana Pike is for sale as well, for $3.25 million.

Third-generation business owner and operator Roger Hood “Hoodie” Geisbert III said he was concluding business for several reasons.

“I guess I’m getting older,” Geisbert said. “I’m 75 and my wife passed away, who was a main part of the business.”

In addition, Geisbert said the community’s agricultural base is declining because of houses being built and land being bought up.

“So it’s time to go,” he said.

Knott & Geisbert Inc. was established in 1900 by Frank A. Knott.

Originally created for carriage construction, Knott soon expanded his services to farm equipment. In the following years, Knott’s son, Joseph, joined his father in the family business.

In 1932, Knott’s son-in-law, R.H. Geisbert Jr., became a partner in the family business and the name was officially changed to Knott & Geisbert. The business expanded, and in 1946, Knott & Geisbert added John Deere equipment to its product line and became an authorized GMC truck dealership in 1949.

In 1964, Knott & Geisbert became Knott & Geisbert Inc., and in 1974, the business was officially handed down to its current owners, Hoodie Geisbert III and Joseph Knott II.

Urbana attracts an influx of people, but it also means farms are being sold and taken out of production, Geisbert said.

Frederick County agriculture development specialist Colby Ferguson said losing the company will affect those with older farm equipment.

“I have a colleague who used antique tractors and older equipment for farming,” Ferguson said. “This place was his No. 1 source for parts, and that’s one of the biggest impacts closing the business will have.”

Ferguson said as older equipment becomes more outdated, the need for a company that focuses on antique machinery diminishes.

In addition, Ferguson said today’s farm equipment is becoming bigger and the day of “getting this piece and that piece to fix a machine is becoming extinct.”

Except for a stint in the military Geisbert spent his entire life with the company, starting at age 6, . He is proud of its history.

“We took on Allis-Chalmers farm equipment in 1932, then Minneapolis-Moline in 1935, then John Deere in 1946, GMC trucks in 1949 and in 1973, we added White Farm Equipment,” Geisbert said.

The high point of Geisbert’s career was being recognized in 1978 as the largest corn planter dealer in North America, he said.

“The agriculture community has declined since that time, and of course, that cuts back on your business and your customers,” Geisbert said.

The company stopped selling corn planters and trucks in 2008 because of the drop-off in business.

Knott & Geisbert Inc. has tried to be community oriented and promote agriculture among young people and the FFA, Geisbert said.

“We were a mainstay in the community for many years,” he said.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. bernard mc kernan says:

    Bye bye. Nobody farms anymore, there are subdivisions of homes & strip shopping malls everywhere to take your money you fools.

  2. Arnetta Dedmon says:

    I don’t care if no one farms anymore! WHERE DO YOU GET THE FOOD THAT YOU EAT…FROM THE STORES THAT GET IT FROM THE TRUCKS THAT GET IT FROM WHERE…FARMS!! I Love older equipment and you are:”NEVER TOO OLD TO DREAM”!!

  3. bernard mc kernan says:

    Next time you want local corn tomatoes, Oh remember the good local tomatoes & cantaloupe? Ha, call Con-Agra, the biggest con’s in the business who have driven out the local farmers & set the prices to suit there own profit margins. Oh, & did I mention the cancer causing carcinogens?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Baltimore

Track Weather On The Go With Our App!
Your Podcast Network Play.it

Listen Live