Custom Metal Cutting in Barton created these tanks and
float trays for Nelson and Pade, an aquaponics
manufacturer which employs a combination of fish farming
and soilless plant culture
The agricultural industry in
Washington County has brought green to more than area fields.
Implement manufacturers take their roots from growing towns and
blacksmith shops. According to online information originally from
the Kewaskum Public Library, the Remmel Manufacturing Co. was built
in the village in 1919 by Nicholas Remmel. In addition to emery
grinders and cement mixers, the company, which closed its doors in
1972, made corn huskers.
Hartford was home to the Kissel Kar Co., but according to
information from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s digital
collection, the Hartford Plow Co., which manufactured and
distributed farm machinery and equipment, was also part of a group
of industries owned by the Kissel family.
While these are examples of Washington County’s farm machinery
manufacturing history, there are other companies, small and large,
that carry on the business today.
In 1859, one West Bend forge grew into a foundry where Louis Lucas
began a revolution with the development the Hexelbank — a
hand-cranked cutting machine that replaced chopping livestock feed
by hand. That type of innovation continued after John Gehl purchased
the foundry- turned-manufacturing shop in 1902 and today, the
Manitou-owned Gehl Co. continues to develop and produce equipment
for agriculture and construction.
Founded in 1951, Weasler Engineering in Barton produces a range of
drive trains for the agricultural market including grain handling
and hay foraging.
Actuant acquired Weasler in 2011 and in 2014, Weasler was considered
one of the top 20 employers in Washington County.
Not all manufacturers are as storied as Gehl or as big as Weasler.
About three years ago Naylor’s Custom Metal Cutting in Barton began
to design and manufacture equipment for Nelson and Pade.
Naylor’s Operations Manager Mason Shier said they met with the
aquaponics manufacturer about four years ago during an equipment
trade and got to talking with the owners.
Aquaponics is the combination of fish farming and soilless plant
culture, according to information on the Nelson and Pade website.
“They had tanks and float trays and had been screwing all this
galvanized steel together. They asked if we could redesign them.
When we said we could, they asked if we could make them,” Shier
In addition to drafting and design, the Barton business fabricates
stainless steel, aluminum and brass; does copper welding, plasma
work, sandblasting and powder coating and Shier said a few weeks ago
the company finalized a prototype for a seedling bed for Nelson and