ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Further proof that farming is now a global entity came earlier this month when Ahron Yamini traveled from his native country of Israel to Straub International in Marion in search of farm machinery.
According to Marlin Bartel, who works in sales at Straub, Yamini is the owner of a company called Yamini Ltd. and distributes and services agricultural equipment.
“He was a very personable man,” Bartel said. “He was very specific about what he wanted.”
Yamini traveled to Salina from Kansas City, where he made airline connections.
“Great Plains Manufacturing in Salina is one of his distributors and that’s why he ended up in this area,” Bartel said.
Yamini was in the market for a Great Plains no-till drill, which he purchased, and then was searching for a field cultivator.
“They must have some ideas on tillage and no-till,” Bartel concluded.
Yamini was directed to Straub International’s store in Salina, but they didn’t have the cultivator Yamini wanted.
But the Salina inventory list showed the store in Marion did have what Yamini was looking for.
“He wanted a 25-foot Case IH field cultivator,” Bartel said. “We had what he wanted, but the shanks on ours weren’t exactly what he was looking for.
“I don’t think pricing was a factor,” Bartel added. “He called his contact in Israel and told them what I had and they said ‘no thanks’ because it wasn’t exactly what they wanted.
“Somebody had studied that,” Bartel said. “He didn’t come here and let me sell him on what I had to sell. He knew what he wanted and since it wasn’t exactly what he wanted, he was on his way.”
Bartel said that Yamini is a middle man who comes to the United States in search of specific units of machinery.
Whether his clients were farmers, government officials or dealers was uncertain to Bartel.
“From the type of cultivator he was looking for, I’d say that they were trying to reclaim some ground over there,” Bartel said. “The shank he wanted would tear up the ground quite a bit.
“I asked him a little bit about shipping if we could have gotten a deal made, and he indicated he didn’t care if it was shipped in a crate or already set up,” Bartel said. “I’m not sure how you would ship a 25-foot cultivator without breaking it down somewhat.”
While a Kansas implement store making a deal with someone from a foreign country may sound farfetched, Bartel said it isn’t the first time it’s happened to him.
“I had a man try to do this for someone in South America,” he said. “I think there are getting to be more and more of these middle guys that come here and buy for other people.”
Bartel said people from Mexico have bought from area vendors.
“They usually buy used stuff, and just pile it up on their trucks,” he said. “They don’t even care how they stack it on their trucks.”
Bartel said the dialect of Yamini used was difficult to understand.
“His English was broken, but he did pretty well because he was obviously a very smart man,” he said. “It was hard to keep a full conversation with him, but he spoke will enough to get me to understand what he was interested in.”
Although the deal never got far enough to explore payment options, Bartel figured Yamini would have payed via certified check or something along that line.
While Great Plains Manufacturing is able to deal directly with foreign buyers, Bartel said Case IH doesn’t make such deals.
“I don’t think he could qualify through Case IH as an individual,” Bartel said. “Through the dealer network Case IH has and how it’s protected, I don’t think he could buy direct.
“Obviously if he’s willing to buy something in Kansas and ship it to Israel, price is not a big factor,” Bartel said. “He could go to a Case IH dealer in Houston or somewhere like that and be a lot closer to the port.
“I think it’s a definite possibility he’ll be back,” Bartel said. “He took my card. He said when he finds what he’s looking for and gets that deal done, he could well come back to see us in Marion.”