Ron and Dianne Gillison, with Ron’s father Rodney and with fresh university degrees (Ron from Michigan State in Agriculture, Dianne from Northwestern Michigan College in Business Administration), opened the doors to Gillison’s Variety Fabrication in Benzonia, Michigan in 1977.
A Sturdy Idea
Not long after, engineers from Michigan State asked Ron to build them a newly designed hedger that would offer safer pruning of fruit trees. Ron adapted a flywheel design he’d seen used on Singer sewing machines for the drive system on the hedger, and thus was born the first GVF custom farm machine. Ron, a lifelong farmer himself, realized that wherever there was a gap in farm equipment capability, he could engineer a solution to fill that gap, and with his sharp eye for rugged quality, improve the lives of other farmers like himself.
That realization led to the ever-expanding line of top quality, rugged machinery Gillison’s designs and builds for farmers in over 70 countries worldwide. The popularity of our products with discerning farmers across America and around the globe has led us to expand to three locations in Michigan and to add thousands of square feet of new manufacturing space to keep up with the demand.
Recognition from the Agriculture Industry
Ron and Dianne were honored with the Michigan State Horticultural Society’s Industrial Service Award in 2001 for Gillison’s tireless innovation and support of the agricultural industry year in and year out.
Four Decades Later, Still a Family Business
Ron and Dianne’s eldest son Matt joined the company in 2003 with a degree from Ferris State University in Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology. Four years later their youngest son, Craig, joined the company full time to focus on domestic and international sales.
Dedicated to Success and Stronger than Ever!
Today Gillison’s employs more than forty technicians, designers, salespeople, business staff, machine operators, and other agricultural visionaries all on the same mission to make Gillison customers the best equipped farmers in the world.