Leo Sokol invented and began manufacturing irrigation pumps in 1933 in Duncan. Leo invented the first hydraulic single-cylinder Duncan manure loader. He was a natural inventor who created many other products for the agriculture industry. Sokol moved the company to Columbus in 1945 and gave it the name "Irrigation Pump Co." The company still operates under the same name today. Sokol was involved in many businesses over the years and while involved in the sand and gravel business he dug the gravel pits that became Duncan Lakes.
George Risk, William Simpson, Carroll Novicki
George Risk was the classic "inventor" who began the company that would become Dale Electronics, and eventually Vishay-Dale Electronics became a multi-plant company employing some 2,600 people.
Simpson was Risk's "second-in-command" and became CEO of Dale Electronics in 1962 and produced significant growth in the company through a focus on manufacturing practices. Simpson remained CEO of the company until his death in 1975.
Novicki followed Simpson as CEO of Dale Electronics, bringing business expertise with him from his education at Stanford Business School. This expertise brought major innovations in management practices and business techniques, resulting in dramatic growth in the company's product lines and markets.
Leonard Fleisher graduated from the University of Nebraska as a registered pharmacist. It didn't take long, however, for Fleisher to enter the agriculture industry. His business began in 1944 making attachments and suspensions for tractor seats. Fleisher Manufacturing introduced dozens of products under the "Buffalo" trade name to help farmers become more efficient. The most significant impact on the international ag industry was the pioneering efforts of the company in low-tillage practices that have become standard practice across the nation. Fleisher was instrumental in the beginning of Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.