U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan returned to his roots Wednesday helping CNH Industrial celebrate the 175th anniversary of two of its brands – Case IH Agriculture and CASE Construction Equipment. The event held at the Racine, Wisconsin Tractor Plant was attended by some 800 employees as well as local dignitaries, elected officials, and members of the Case family, descendants of the brands’ founder.
Case was founded in 1842 in nearby Rochester, Wisconsin as the Racine Threshing Machine Works Company. It evolved into one of the world’s leading producers of agricultural and construction equipment. In addition to Speaker Ryan, other speakers included Richard Tobin, Chief Executive Officer of CNH Industrial; and Kaleb Jerome Case, the great grandson of Company founder and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame member Jerome Increase (J.I.) Case.
“2017 is the 175th anniversary of Jerome Increase Case’s journey to Racine County and the beginning of his—and our—legacy. Not every Company gets to celebrate 175 years, and it’s worth taking a moment to recognize that this is a Company with significant history and deep roots. To our people in the audience, and our colleagues all around Racine and beyond, I want to say thank you for doing your part to continue this momentum,” Tobin said during his address.
Speaker Ryan, a native of nearby Janesville, Wisconsin, recalled his own Wisconsin roots during his remarks about the brand’s products.
“I’ve been coming here (to Racine) since 1998, and to travel the countryside, and to travel the world, and to see this equipment all around – it gives us such great pride in what you do,” said Speaker Ryan. “Your reputation as the highest-class producer of the greatest machines that the construction industry and the agriculture industry know – thank you for making us proud and congratulations on this fantastic legacy of 175 years.”
J.I Case’s descendant Kaleb Case brought the event to a roaring close with humorous anecdotes from family history and Case family lore.
“J.I.’s passion was power, speed, and durability,” said Case. “J.I.’s love of machines prompted him towards manufacturing. I have a copy of the letter he wrote to his wife Lydia. He had just delivered the last of well under a dozen machines and lamented that he would be out of business – no one would need any machines any more. He should be here today.”