John Riel, who joined Burrows Tractor Company in Yakima, Washington, 37 years ago as a general helper, bought the company in 2010.
Riel started work there after graduating from high school. He became a mechanic in the service department, was promoted to service manager, and transitioned into sales, eventually becoming sales manager, general manager and then owner.
Burrows specialized at first in Ford tractors, which later became Ford-New Holland, and then New Holland. Other major lines it carries include Bush Hog mowers and Turbo-Mist sprayers. The company customizes tractors, for example making standard tractors lower or narrower for orchard use. About 80 percent of the company’s business is in the tree fruit and hop industries. The company has also worked with other manufacturers, such as Northstar and Edwards Equipment Company, to develop equipment, such as platforms, bin trailers, and brush spiders for orchards, and swing hitches and bottom cutters for hops.