WE INVENT. YOU THRIVE. SINCE 1938!

1938

Brothers Richard (Dick) and Jack DeWitt, whose parents emigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S., started the company that would become Big Dutchman. The business started as a hatchery and expanded to include the production of broilers and turkeys. As growers looking for more efficient ways to raise their flocks, they designed the Big Dutchman feeder. Pictured above: Jack and Dick DeWitt and the building where the business started in Zeeland, Michigan

1948 | MODEL A ROUND FEEDER

1948

Model A (round body) chain feeder launched and sold under the “Big Dutchman” product name. At this time the company was called “Automatic Poultry Feeder Co.” It was sold in the beginning of 1949 to Mr. Carson Lamberson, of Abbottstown, Pennsylvania. With its revolutionary chain feed carrying concept, it became the first automated poultry feeder produced on a commercial scale.

Picture above: Wayne Schipper of Hamilton, Michigan

1951 / 54

1951

New manufacturing plant, Washington Ave., Zeeland, Michigan.

Picture above: Big Dutchman location on Washington Ave.

1954

Name of company changed to Big Dutchman, Inc.

 

 

1958

1958

Josef Meerpohl, a poultry farmer from Calveslage in Lower Saxony, Germany, joins the company as the head of sales for that country.

1959

Company’s first overseas operation is opened in the Netherlands, also under the responsibility of Josef Meerpohl.

 

1968 / 81

1968

New complex inaugurated on Franklin St., Zeeland, Michigan. Founders sell the company to US Industries.

1978

Josef Meerpohl acquires Big Dutchman’s German operations. US Industries moves Big Dutchman to Atlanta, Georgia.

Pictured above: Big Dutchman Germany

1981

US Industries sells Big Dutchman to Hanson Trust. New owner moves Big Dutchman from Atlanta to New Holland, Pennsylvania

1985 / 92

1985

The Meerpohl family acquires Big Dutchman from Hanson Trust, with rights on the brand for all of the world except the Americas. Under the new ownership, the Big Dutchman brand rapidly grows as a truly global organization.

1989

Big Dutchman USA is moved from Pennsylvania to Holland, Michigan on 40th St.

Picture above: 40th St. location, Holland, Michigan

1992

The holding company BDAG is created in Germany. Josef Meerpohl holds the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board, while his oldest son, Bernd Meerpohl, takes over the management of Big Dutchman as the Chairman of the Board of Management.

1999

The Meerpohl family acquires the totality of Big Dutchman.

2006 / 2014

2006-14

In 2006 Big Dutchman USA moves from 40th St. to the current location.

Big Dutchman celebrates its 75 year anniversary in 2013.

Big Dutchman USA expands its office and showroom space in October of 2014.