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AG Fall 2020

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Green Rubber - Kennedy Ag: Going the extra mile The Central Coast, like the rest of the country, has had a bit of a wakeup call. Until recently the availability of food, daily necessities, and even our safety was some- thing we took for granted. Recent events have proven just how mistaken we were. There is a company that supports the men, women, private companies, and public agencies we rely on for those precious commodities. It has a long name and a long history serving our community. Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag is a multi-generational, family company with deep roots in the heart of the Salinas Valley – the Salad Bowl of the world. In 1990 John H. Green, Sr. and his namesake John P. Green, founded Green Rubber, a small, family-run conveyor belting shop focused on the agriculture and food processing industries. In 2003 Green Rubber merged with the Kennedy Bros., a spray, fertilizer, and water tank business with retail and repair service locations. The consolidated business- es became Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag (GRKA). Having grown to five loca- tions throughout California and Arizona, their focus has always been providing the best possible customer ser- vice. "Going the extra mile for our customers is what built the business," said John senior. Each location includes walk-in-sales for pumps, generators, spray equipment, hose, fittings, safety gear, and much more. There are also equipment repair, and conveyor belt fabrication services, plus order fulfillment and ship- ping for customers across the country. But going the extra mile also includes sending technicians to do belting repairs at customer facilities, mobile off-site service for their Hotsy line of pressure washers, and developing improved e-commerce options for their customers. The company has contin- ued to grow by providing essentials to meet the diverse needs of both industry and the broader community. That was never more true than in the year 2020 when facing the double threat of a global pandemic, and the wildest of wildfire seasons. As the threat of COVID-19 grew, GRKA answered the call to continue providing essential products to sup- port the supply chain. Many businesses were shuttered during the pandemic, but the local food processing industry had to press on to feed a hungry commu- nity. Food producers were determined to implement safety protocols so they could maintain sanitary conditions and continue operation. Despite con- cerns for their own health, GRKA employees reported for duty to provide gloves, respirators, face shields, disinfectants, sprayers, and other protective gear and sanitation products to that essential industry. At the peak of demand for face masks, when sup- plies were running short, resourceful employees took the initiative and went the "extra mile." To make lim- ited inventory go as far as possible for GRKA custom- ers, they began stitching silk masks at home for both GRKA staff and for donat- ing to grateful medical personnel. Compounding the com- munity's woes in 2020, wildfires ignited through- out California and other western states. Accord- ing to Cal Fire and the US Forest Service, there were close to 8,000 fires in California at one time, burning well over 3 million acres of land; far above the average for the last five years. As evacuees filled the shelters the commu- nity rallied to provide food, clothing, and other relief to the stricken families. Firefighting agencies and private efforts across the state fought to hold back the flames, to save lives, homes, ranches, livestock, and critical infrastruc- ture. A key element in their efforts was suppling products and equipment necessary for firefighters to do their job. Again Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag was there to help. As firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder with private citizens at the GRKA stores, their staff provided water storage tanks, pumps, generators, fire hoses, spray nozzles, couplers, respirators, safety glasses, and face- shields, gloves, safety vests, and other essentials for fighting the blaze. It is critical for property owners in the "urban-wild- land interface" to have sufficient on-site water storage to handle potential fire suppression needs. FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security warn that water supplied by municipal water systems may be unavailable during a fire, or that water pressure may be inadequate. So a large water holding tank or a system of interlinked tanks must be available as an emergency water source. In the 2020 fire season Green Rubber- Kennedy Ag went the "extra mile" again, delivering 10,000-gallon water storage tanks to help small communities in mountainous areas affected by the fire. "We are used to handling emergencies for our agricul- tural, food processing, and industrial customers, who feel that a minute of down- time is a crisis," says Juan Ortiz, a Green Rubber – Ken- nedy Ag store manager. "It's been pretty good training for helping our first responders in an emergency." As good as they may be in times of crisis, GRKA is also good at identifying their customers' needs and taking action to avoid a potential problem. In the course of serving their core conveyor belting customers, Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag could see a kink in the supply chain for related parts and equipment. That led to a series of stra- tegic partnerships and ac- quisitions to bring together critical components for their customers in a timely and efficient way. For example, Green Rubber - Kennedy Ag saw the need to maintain or replace conveyor drive motors more efficiently. That led to their acquisition of Valley Drummotor Great West (VDGW), the western region master distributor for Van Der Graaf drum motors, used to power conveyor belt systems. The VDGW prod- ucts and services directly complemented GRKA's existing conveyor belting division and allowed more vertical integration of the business. Various industries require sophisticated guides, roll- ers, and other mechanisms for specialized handling on the production line. GRKA saw an opportunity to provide those critical parts more efficiently through the acquisition of Urethane Specialists, Inc. (USI), a manufacturer of precision urethane parts for food processing, pharmaceuti- cals, printing, packaging, manufacturing & assembly, shipping & distribution. USI specializes in high-preci- sion, high-reliability, small parts manufacturing. "USI is capable of achieving tolerances with urethane that most manufacturers wouldn't attempt with metals," says John P. Green. USI precision manufactur- ing complements Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag's ex- isting urethane division that focuses on manufacturing highly durable urethane rollers and parts for conveyor systems, heavy equipment, and machine components. . The agriculture and food processing industries depend on the ability to move and distribute water for a variety of purposes including irrigation, spraying, and washing down. Seeing another opportunity to serve their customers better, GRKA also acquired Sup- plyline, a full-line distributor of pumps and motors for agricultural and industrial applications. Supplyline is a direct complement to GRKA's other parts & equipment lines and helped to establish more competi- tive pricing and distribution strategies. Green Rubber – Kennedy Ag distributes products from over 500 top manufacturers to support our critical supply chain. They are your local experts in conveyor belting, drive motors, custom ure- thane parts, water storage tanks, trailers and spray- ers, pressure washers and accessories, pumps, valves and fittings, safety prod- ucts, and much more. For more information visit www. greenrubber.com

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