An Enduring Family Business: Power Planter

Drill, plant and backfill with Power Planter Earth augers. They make easy work of planting and digging projects.

Greg Niewold is an Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative member from Loda. He is part of Niewold family farms and owns and operates Power Planter, a third-generation family business, that manufacturers Earth augers for home gardeners, landscapers, golf course greenskeepers and commercial outdoor maintenance personnel.

Power Planter began 30 years ago, as a diamond in the rough, when a local university’s groundskeeper asked Wayne Niewold, Greg’s grandfather, to create a more efficient way to plant trees, shrubs and flowers on campus. With that, the idea of the Power Planter was born, and today Greg leverages the rich history from the past to forge new and innovative uses for the Power Planter as well as expanding the market internationally and online. Power Planters are now sold in Australia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand as well as through distributors in the U.S. Power Planters can also be purchased on Amazon and Ebay.

Today, Power Planters are used by real estate agents to install “for sale” signs in client’s yards and by oceanfront resorts when they need to install beach umbrellas and sand fences. Of course, Power Planters come in very handy for ambitious gardeners and landscapers who are ready to plant 50,000 flower bulbs quickly. Power Planters come in two colors: black and pink.

Most gardeners consider digging a necessary evil and Power Planter is a garden-friendly auger that connects to a cordless drill to dig holes and create conditions for healthier plant growth. Because the auger pulverizes the soil, roots can quickly settle in. Looser soil allows for better absorption and nutrients and reduces the risk of runoff or erosion. Some Power Planter owners use them to install moisture probes in their farm fields. Another unique use of the Power Planter is by farmers to mix talc and graphite into seed boxes during the planting season.

Power Planter has had the same phone number since 1989: 217-379-2614. When you call it, chances are you’ll personally talk to Greg or Grace. Greg enjoys speaking to customers. During the conversations, he gathers information about their use of the Power Planter and their level of satisfaction with the product.

Power Planter comes with an unconditional guarantee on parts, materials and craftsmanship, so Greg has been known to overnight replacement parts to customers, if necessary. Customers are often taken aback that the owner answers the phone, but that’s how they roll at Power Planter. Customer satisfaction is high on their priority list and decision-making and product development center on customer wants and needs. The augers are made 100% in the U.S. They feature high quality, durable craftsmanship. Seven employees make the parts and assemble, weld, paint and ship the product from Loda to locations worldwide.

It is a family affair at Power Planter. Greg’s Aunt Grace is an integral part of the business and she keeps the front office day to day operations running smoothly. Greg often brings his kids into the office, so they can see how the business is run and know more about entrepreneurship.

Greg is a graduate of PBL High School and the University of Illinois. He taught agriculture and industrial technology at a local high school before returning to run the family business. He and his wife, Lisa and three children make their home in Loda.

More information on Power Planter can be found at powerplanter.com.