Brothers Hovey and Scott Tinsman had a vision of a Midwestern, family owned company in 1958 when they formed Twin-State Engineering & Chemical Company. That vision was to design a manufacturing process for clear liquid fertilizer analyses for the agricultural market in eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois.
The beginning of the vision was in Walcott, Iowa, in 1959 where they built a small pilot plant for production.
Liquid fertilizer was new to the Midwest. The distribution system designed was a small network of small, newly established dealers. Each dealer would require a liquid fertilizer mixing system, developed by Scott and Hovey, to service their customers. This network was the beginning of many great relationships in the industry for Scott, Hovey, and Twin State.
The evolution of the industry has seen many changes in processing, distribution, application equipment, and analyses offered to the market, along with the introduction of pesticides. Twin State developed the “pipe reactor” used in the production of clear polyphosphate 10-34-0, N-P-K starter grades (6-24-6-.25Z) and SLX high potash suspension grade analyses. As the company grew from one production facility and one retail facility to three production facilities and fourteen retail facilities, the employee population grew from two to 125 full-time workers. These expansions have allowed the company to reach a much larger market. Today, you will see state of the art production facilities at all three of our manufacturing plants and the newest in application technology at our retail facilities.
A more complex distribution system evolved when we began shipping nitrogen solutions and concentrated solutions of phosphate, potash, and sulfur to our retail facilities and to a continuously growing network of dealers for further mixing to meet the growers’ needs. Our products travel through the Midwest market under the trademark Liqui-Grow.
Key to product development and market share growth was the establishment of an effective research program, with skilled staff, to quantify benefits to growers. The result was our Agronology 10 recommendation program and the extremely important Site Specific program for maximizing yield and on-farm profits by reducing the cost-per-bushel for the grower.
Relationships between people are important in our industry and to our company. Twin State has concentrated on hiring quality staff in all areas of our organization. Training and teamwork, in addition to product quality and timely delivery, have been critical to our growth.
While all of the growth was happening within Twin State, the Tinsman families were also growing. Hovey, Sr. passed away in 2011 and Scott, Sr. continues as the teacher and advisor that he has always been. Three Tinsman family members–Hovey (“Hov”), Scott, Jr., and Bruce Tinsman–have joined the family business and are playing a unique role in the growth and direction of the company. We continue to be a leading producer and distributor of fluid fertilizers, related pesticides, and seed and are proud to be a family owned company that has avoided the mergers and acquisitions so commonplace in agriculture today.