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20innoVation20DeerewasgoingtodroptheideabutgrantedJimalicenseonhisconcept.AftersecuringthelicensingagreementDawnEquipmentCompanywaslaunchedinlate1991frommodestdeskspaceinthebasementoftheFaivresx19farmofcebuildingonFairviewDriveinDeKalb.Margaretx19sdaddonatedhisoldChevroletstationwagonpreviouslylledwithgolfclubsratherthanfarmequipmentpartstothestartupandDawnhaditsrstx1ctruck.x1dAtthattimeintheearlyninetiestheadventofRoundupherbicideandRoundup-resistantsoybeanseedwasusheringinarevolutioninreduced-tillagefarmingwhichdoesnotrequirefarmerstoturnoverthesoil.Dawnx19sproductsformanaginghigherlevelsofresidueontheeldstperfectlywiththesenewtechniquesandhitthemarketattherighttime.AsJimputsitx1cWeansweredthephonealldayanddrovethetruckallnightx1dpickinguppartsforthenextdayx19sshipmentstodealers.DawnquicklyoutgrewtheFaivresx19farmofcemovingtoafacilityonSycamorex19seastsidewhereJimx19sofcewasinaremodeledwomenx19srestroomandthenin1994toitscurrentlocationintheSycamoreIndustrialPark.AsDawngrewnewproductideascamequicklytothecompany.SteveFaivrelongapioneerintheapplicationoftechnologytoagricultureandJimdesignedandintroducedwhatwaslikelytherstpracticalon-the-gocombine-harvesteryield-measuringdevice.ThiswasanoffshootofStevex19ssatellite-mappingeldwork.In1993Dawnbecameinvolvedintheemergingeldofstriptillagex13whereafarmerconcentrateshiseffortsonthestripofearthwheretheplantislocatedratherthantilling100oftheeldsurface.AtthesametimeDawnproducedtheaward-winningParadigmrow-cropplanter.Jimdescribesthisinnovativeprojectasatechnologicalsuccessbutnancialdisaster.Healsosaysthisprojecttaughtthenewcompanyalotoflessonsonstayingfocused.AsDawndevelopeditbecameclearthatitcouldnotbebothax1csteelx1dcompanyandanelectronicscompany.TheyelectedtosellthecombineyieldmonitorsystemandpatenttotheMicroTrakCompanyinMinnesota.FromthatpointonDawnwasacompanyfocusedonproducinginnovativehigh-qualitytoolsandattachmentsformanagingresidueandapplyingfertilizer.NowtwentyyearslaterDawnoccupiesftythousandsquarefeetintheSycamoreIndustrialPark.Thecompanyholdsnumerouspatentsandemploysaroundthirtypeople.Theircutting-edgemanufacturingprocessusesenvironmentallycleanbaked-onpowdercoatinginplaceofpaintroboticsCNCmachinetoolsandthelatestin3Dcomputersoftwaretodesignengineertestproduceandshipinnovativeproductlines.ThesenowincludeTrashwheelsrowcleanersclosingwheelsfertilizerapplicatorsandhigh-performancestrip-tillageunits.TheyshiptonearlytwothousandagriculturalequipmentdealersworldwideincludingmanyJohnDeeredealers.LocallyDeKalbImplementsellsDawnresidue-managementtoolsandplanterclosingwheelsonmanyoftheDeereplanterstheysupplytonorthernIllinoisfarmers.Dawnx19sresiduemanagementproductsworktogetherwithultra-accuratesatelliteguidanceandautomaticsteeringoftractorstohelptodayx19sfarmersproducemorecropwithlessfuelfertilizerandsoilerosion.TremendousadvancesinthegeneticsofseedcornallowfarmerstoplantinareasoftheU.S.andaroundtheworldwhereitwasnotthoughtpossible.Dawnproductsareoftenespeciallyhelpfultofarmersintheseareaswithdifcultgrowingconditions.AccordingtoJoeBassettJimx19ssonandDawnx19sleadengineerandoperationsmanagerthecompanyhasonlyscratchedthesurfaceofthepossibilitiesbeforethem.Joewasateenagerwhenhisfatherstartedthecompanyandherecallsbeinginthemudunderaplanterdoingthebasicwrenchworktokeepaplanterrunning.HehaswitnessedthegrowthofthecompanyfromDawnx19sintroductionofthetoothed-wheelrowcleanerintheearlyninetiestotherecentintroductionThe6000allowsafarmertobeextremelyx1fexibleusingasingleimplementtodeliveranyformoffertilizerwithminimalsoildisturbanceandatremarkablespeeds.dawnequipment.com