About Us

Hay Grinder Man > About Us

Hay Grinderman, LLC History
by: Patti Eck, Co-Founder of Hay Grinderman and faithful wife to Clint Eck

Shortly after Clint and I married in 1977, we purchased our first hay wagon and began hauling small bales. It was really hard work and it was not easy finding help. So in 1979, we purchased our first hay grinder, the F-900 Farmhand. Our first customer was a feedlot in Stafford County, Kansas. Sometimes Clint had to haul his tractor and then come back to get the hay grinder. We told our customers that it would be worth the trip if they were able to get two to three neighbors to grind. Word of mouth was always our best advertising. Clint then decided he could mount a power unit behind a truck and pull the hay grinder behind it as one unit. We did this until 1993, when we purchased our first Jones Hydro-Fork grinder. Because our customers preferred the output of the Jones grinder better than the Haybuster, we purchased additional Jones grinders as our customer base increased. Since that time, we have owned nine grinders.

Clint always believed that one had to be diversified in order to farm. Hay grinding was our main job during the winter months. We had 300 customers within a 150 mile radius and were blessed to continue grinding for 37 years. Being able to provide customers with quality service within a timely manner is what made us successful as a company. Clint made sure his customers were the first priority. He showed this trait in special ways: by being on-time and by being particular about his equipment. We ground for small and big feed yards, as well as, farms of all sizes. We had excellent hired men: Jeff Heatherman, Will Hartley, and Jeremiah Gonzales (Gonzo). They were all actively involved in operations, farming, grinding, and cattle. Each of them were much appreciated.

In February of 2014, we lost Clint to melanoma cancer. Our three sons and I miss his laughter and presence in our lives. He was a great husband and father to our family. Because our middle son, Darrin, is busy continuing the family business of farming, cattle, and chemical sales, we decided to sell Hay Grinderman. We were so blessed that Jeremiah and Hanna purchased our business which included three grinders, three trucks, and they also employed our three hired men. We feel like they are the perfect fit to keep this company successful. We could not have anyone better than them.

The Next Chapter of Hay Grinderman, LLC
By Jeremiah & Hanna Pence, Owners of Hay Grinderman, LLC

In the summer of 2015, we were presented with the opportunity of purchasing Hay Grinderman from the Eck family. We had witnessed the benefits of using ground hay with our family’s cattle operation. Previously, our family had been customers of Hay Grinderman and we respected the professionalism of the Eck Family. Their work ethic and integrity was unquestioned. When we learned of the opportunity to continue the Eck’s legacy with Hay Grinderman, we were excited, grateful, and humbled. Jeremiah had been custom harvesting for years. The stress and time away from the family was taking a toll. We had been actively searching for a more family-friendly source of income, while continuing in agriculture.

By September 2015, the purchase of Hay Grinderman was complete and the transition had begun. The existing employees chose to continue their commitment to Hay Grinderman. They were and continue to be a valued asset to Hay Grinderman. In addition, Russ Eck and Kecia Holder joined our team. Russ (Clint’s brother) joined us for our first two and a half years of ownership and helped with the transition, scheduling, and maintenance needs. Kecia Holder is our office manager. Since that time, Andy Warner has been added to our team. Andy has been a great fit at Hay Grinderman. All of our employees have shown their willingness to work hard, provide good service, and do their best in all things.

Our employees continue to help meet the needs of our customers. Our customers in return, have been very loyal. The business has continued to steadily grow despite low commodity prices and ever changing weather patterns. We are very grateful to work for the customers we serve. We work for some of the finest cattlemen and women in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas and we look forward to faithfully “Helping Cattlemen with the Daily Grind” for years to come.

The legacy of the Eck family continues. . . “to take care of our customers with excellent service and to be a company of integrity.”

IMG_8410

Jeff Heatherman

Operations Manager

Jeff has been a loyal member of Hay Grinderman since 2005. During his tenure with Hay Grinderman, he has also been deployed twice to Afganiststan with the Army Reserves. Jeff stepped up greatly when Clint was ill with cancer and he has continued to show his willingness to do what is needed to keep Hay Grinderman on track. Jeff and his beautiful wife Amy, call Cheney, KS home. We appreciate and honor Jeff’s commitment to our country and to Hay Grinderman.

 

IMG_8414

Jeremiah Gonzalez (Gonzo)

Operator

Gonzo has been a committed member of Hay Grinderman since 2011. Gonzo, with his precious wife Kristin and their adorable two girls call Kingman, KS home. A cattleman himself, Gonzo knows the value of ground hay and uses it on his operation. If you know Gonzo well at all, you will know he has an infectious smile. During the past couple of years, Gonzo has demonstrated that he is willing to step in and go the extra mile to provide services to our customers. Gonzo is a valued member of our team.

Operator Steve

Steve Owen

Operator

Steve joined the Hay Grinderman team in 2019. Having been born and raised near Argonia, KS, Steve has life long experience in the agricultural industry. As an Operator for Hay Grinderman he is a valuable part of our team.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8423

Kecia Holder

Office Manager

Kecia has been a member of our team since September of 2015. If anyone has a “can-do” attitude, it’s Kecia. She’s not afraid to learn and try new things. After raising and home educating her two daughters, Kecia was ready to put her organizational skills and business degree to work. She has done just that at Hay Grinderman. Kecia takes care of our invoicing, payroll, insurance, and much more. At home in Enid, OK, with her husband Dwight, you might find her training for half marathons. She is well on her way to reaching a goal of running a half marathon in each state in the US. Kecia has proven again and again her worth to the crew of Hay Grinderman and to our customers.

e330d79bec584028eed5f32fa6f91350

Jeremiah Pence

Owner

Jeremiah has been the owner, along with his wife Hanna, of Hay Grinderman, LLC since September of 2015. Jeremiah does not know life apart from agriculture. He was a 5th generation farmer in Northwest Kansas before transitioning to Oklahoma in 2005. He started out with what he refers to as “sweat equity.” He soon purchased a combine which launched him into the custom harvest business. While we have reduced our custom workload, Jeremiah continues to custom plant, farms a growing number of acres, and works at our cow/calf operation. Jeremiah and Hanna live near Enid, OK with their three children, who are actively involved with the farm. Jeremiah oversees the operations of Hay Grinderman, is often found swapping out grinders from one location to another, and fills in as needed. Jeremiah believes in taking care of our employees who will in turn, care for the customers we serve.