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Home : Volume 22 : Fall 1995 :
Distinguished Service Award for John A. Annin

John A. Annin

John A. Annin
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Since his days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he obtained bachelors degrees in agricultural engineering ('61) and mechanical engineering ('62), John Annin has fashioned a career combining skills from each of these disciplines.

Like many other engineers, he started out at the drafting board. However, by combining his education, experience and commitment to excellence, Annin quickly moved up the ranks of management to become a highly-versatile, senior agriculture industry executive. Today he is president and chief executive officer of Herschel Corporation, which manufactures farm equipment replacement parts for national distribution.

After graduation, Annin was hired as a design engineer for the Thern Machine Company. A year later, he began what would evolve into a 28-year career working for Farmhand, Inc., a short-line farm equipment manufacturer. Starting as a project engineer at the company's corporate headquarters, he was promoted five years later to chief engineer at the company's Grinnell, Iowa, manufacturing facility. Throughout the '70s and '80s he climbed the ranks at Farmhand, holding an array of titles including plant manager, director of operations and executive vice president.

During the '80s the farm equipment industry experience severe restructuring and consolidation. As a survival strategy, Farmhand purchased several companies. Annin was instrumental in analyzing and evaluating these acquisitions, and in integrating the new companies into Farmhand's corporate structure.

Since becoming president and chief executive officer of Herschel Corporation in 1991, Annin has streamlined and restructured the company. This led to a significant increase in sales and earnings.

Throughout his career, Annin has been active on various councils and committees of the Equipment Manufacturers Institute, the Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. In addition, he has volunteered for a number of community and church boards.

Annin's wife, Marilyn, and their three children are all UW-Madison alumni.



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