Brothers Frank and John Riesterer and their fishing companion, Henry Schnell, opened a filling station in Chilton, Wisconsin, in 1931, expanding to milk handling, a car dealership, and in 1939, entering the farm business.
Fast forward to today, and Corporate Sales Manager Steve Boehm says the fact that Riesterer & Schnell is, “the premier John Deere dealer for northeastern, eastern and central Wisconsin, with 14 locations, is incredible.”
When Riesterer & Schnell started out as a small family-and-friend business, it had strong roots in the community. Boehm says, no different than it was in 1931, the business remains not only about customer service, but in always striving to be the best.
“I feel this is instilled in all the employees when they are hired, and this history of Riesterer & Schnell is something we are all proud of,” Boehm remarks.
“Anyone can start a business,” he adds, “but to grow and thrive through good times and bad requires a lot more than just showing up for work every day. I feel we all try to live the ‘coming through for you’ motto each day.”
Boehm says he grew up in Winneconne, a small town in northeastern Wisconsin. Winneconne had several dairies located just outside of town, and as a teenager, he says he would help at a local farm with chores and fieldwork.
“Even though I did not grow up on a farm, I have always had a passion for the farming business. After high school, I had an interest in mechanics, which lead me to a local Ford dealership that sold vehicles and Ford tractors.”
“This was my introduction into dealerships,” Boehm continues, “and after a couple of years, because of family and other events, I ended up at a Ford and New Holland dealership in Waupaca. I started with the company in lawn and garden parts, and after a short time, was in agriculture sales. I found out that I had a strong passion for selling and a love for agriculture, so it ended up being an excellent fit.”
After 15 years with that dealership, Boehm transitioned from parts to sales and then store manager. He was then offered a position at Riesterer & Schnell, which Boehm says has been “a great fit and an unreal ride to see how agriculture and doing business in agriculture has changed over the past 26 years!”
“Agriculture is a 24/7/365 industry,” Boehm adds. “To stay up and running in the field, our customers depend on us to work as hard as they do. We value the trust our customers place in us, and our team members work to take care of their needs at the most critical time of their operation.”