The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 26, 2011

Trickle-down theory has translated into years of business for Wako Inc.

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— In nearly 50 years, Wako Inc. has grown into a manufacturer and supplier for farmers across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

President Wayne Bland said the company is a full-service farm and ranch store as well as a quality manufacturing facility.

The company began in Wakita, moving to Enid 25 years ago. It celebrates 50 years in November. The name takes the first three letters from its hometown and the O from Oklahoma, Bland said.

“We build harrows and sprayers, lots of different types of big tool bars to apply fertilizer,” he said. “We’ve been developing equipment for the newer technology in agriculture now.

“We have a large range of designs to accommodate the different requirements in the farm industry.”

Throughout its 50 years, Wako has grown into one of the largest manufacturers of fertilizer knives anywhere. Bland said the company focuses on the use of anhydrous ammonia in farming.

“Anhydrous is a fairly small niche in the agricultural industry, and we’ve focused on that for many years,” he said. “Anhydrous is the cheapest form of fertilizer and is the main product needed to raise crops.”

Wako Inc. produces several lines of tool bars, sprayers, harrow and flex harrows and makes thousands of parts and products for end consumers.

“It’s unusual to see a manufacturer sell to the end consumer, but we’ve been doing that since the ’60s,” Bland said. “Whatever the customers want for their requirements we’ll produce. The needs of the industry change, and we try to develop a product for the farmer that makes him more efficient.”

Wako Inc., 5606 N. U.S. 81, has a 12,000-square-foot retail space and shops for its welders, CNC cutting machines, lathe, mill and metal forge.

“A lot of people don’t even know all of this is back here,” Bland said.

Some of the company’s 45 employees produce the thousands of parts for the company’s lines.

Bland said the move from Wakita to Enid helped the company grow.

“We didn’t realize how good a location Enid was,” he said, “until we moved here.”

Wako also produces a 100-page catalog, which is sent to farmers who work 1,000 acres or more. Larger farm size means farmers’ needs have changed.

“It’s gotten a lot bigger,” Bland said of farm sizes. “Less people are farming, and they’re needing bigger equipment. It allows them to farm more acres with less work.”

Agriculture as an industry has an impact on everyone.

“Agriculture is extremely important to our area,” Bland said. “Whatever happens to farming eventually trickles down to everyone else.”

He said most farmers invest millions of dollars in equipment and land.

“Whatever affects them is going to affect everyone in the communities around there,” Bland said. “There’s a lot of commerce in the agriculture industry.”