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Dealer gets new manager, expands

Staff writer

Brad Wheeler, who had worked for Foley Caterpillar in Concordia, became manager of PrairieLand Partners’ Marion store last month.

Wheeler’s familiarity with one of the operations merged into PrairieLand played a role in his decision to come here.

“I needed a fresh start,” he said. “I knew the owners of CTI, and I knew John Deere was a stable company, so I took the opportunity.”

He is single and has twin 17-year-old daughters, who will graduate from Belleville High School next spring.

Wheeler said he is in the process of closing on a house in Marion and will be moving later this month.

“The people here at the store are really great people,” he said. “They have been extremely welcoming.”

Wheeler replaced Mitch Guetterman, who still maintains an office in Marion but has been promoted to regional director and oversees seven or eight PrairieLand stores.

PrairieLand Partners is expanding by purchasing O’Malley Equipment Company in Independence and Iola.

O’Malley, established in 1973, is a family-owned partnership that serves 15 counties in southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.

The acquisition is expected to be completed sometime this month, after which PrairieLand Partners’ market area will include 48 counties throughout Kansas and Oklahoma.

PrairieLand Partners was formed in 2008 when three John Deere dealerships serving nine locations merged, including Deer Trail Implement in Marion.

The company merged with CTI John Deere in northern Kansas in January.

After the latest merger, PrairieLand will employ more than 400 people, CEO Darrell Pankratz said.

Last modified June 5, 2019

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