Reprinted from The Medina Gazette, Oct. 27, 2009
Andy Maibach and Joe Ramsier combined resources and opened a small shop in Sterling, Ohio. One of the owners Rex Young describes the pair as "just local guys that got together and started a business."
Farmer Joe Ramsier was a friend of the Miabach family and local church minister. His church congregation had many farmers and Ramsier understood their needs. "Joe and Andy saw a need for equipment in our community and Andy was a minister at the Apostolic Christian Church in Rittman. There are a lot of farmer and farmer background at the church and in our community and they all needed equipment which is how we got our start" explains Young, who is a nephew of Andy Maibach.
Fifty years ago farming was a much smaller family run operation with smaller equipment than the large commercial agriculture dairy farms today. Dairy farms were common and typically each had 30-40 cows. Together, Maibach and Ramsier catered to the needs of those dairy farmers.
Their small shop started as a feed store that carried freezers and appliances. Soon the store serviced and sold hardware, milking equipment, bulk tanks and of course – farm machinery. Maibach and Ramsier's small business venture was successful because Sterling Farm Equipment was the only supplier in the area that carried a full line to serve the community.
The two founders were joined by Don Walder, a farmer who purchased the dairy business from Sterling Farm. Walder eventually moved on to establish W.G. Dairy Supply, Inc. in Creston. After Walder's departure, Maibach and Ramsier were joined by Dale Wirth, another family friend who sold his interest in the business to Ralph Weber and Ken Rupp (Rex Young's father-in-law and uncle respectively).
In the 1960's business was big enough to warrant a 7200 square foot addition to house an expanded show room, parts, and offices. A 5800 square foot shop was also built to help a growing service business.
In 1990 Sterling Farm purchased five acres from a Case IH dealership in Wooster, Ohio and expanded the farm equipment business to include a new showroom, warehouse parts and service center.
The newest location in Medina was purchased in 1998. The three locations carry a large selection of new and used tractors, implements, skid steers, planters, balers, lawn and garden equipment. They feature a full line of equipment which includes Case IH, Kubota, Cub Cadet, Cub Cadet Yanmar, New Holland Hay Equipment, Pequea, Tonutti, and Gehl.