Steve Widrick, owner of Central Kubota, may still be fairly new to the Ellis County area, but he’s definitely no stranger to the tractor business. “I’m a third-generation tractor dealer,” Steve said. “My grandfather opened the family’s first tractor business in northern New York in 1949.
Steve Widrick, owner of Central Kubota, may still be fairly new to the Ellis County area, but he’s definitely no stranger to the tractor business. “I’m a third-generation tractor dealer,” Steve said. “My grandfather opened the family’s first tractor business in northern New York in 1949. After he retired, my dad and uncle owned and operated it for years before my brother, cousin and I bought it in 1984.” The three of them grew the business to include three separate tractor dealerships, as they worked side-by-side for 24 years.
When the opportunity presented itself in 2008, the trio sold the businesses to an interested buyer. As Steve left the tractor business behind, he fell into dairy farming. “After two years of that, I realized it was hard to make a living for my family on a small dairy farm,” he admitted. When he decided dairy farming wasn’t for him, he then began to seriously look for a tractor dealership in the south. “I’d lived in New York my whole life. My wife, Elnora, grew up in Costa Rica,” he shared. “We both wanted to go south for the warmer weather.”
Steve, Elnora and their children, Justin and Jamie, had been visiting relatives in San Antonio. They passed Central Kubota as they travelled down Interstate 35 on their way to Dallas. “When we passed the dealership, I quickly turned around and came back,” Steve explained. “I sat down and asked the owner if he was interested in selling.” At the time, the business was not for sale, but within a month, Wayne McEwen called Steve, and as they say, “The rest is history.”
The dealership, under Steve’s leadership, celebrated their first anniversary in March. Steve credits several things to Central Kubota’s growing success, beginning with the staff. “The same individuals who worked for Wayne are still here,” he stated. “I think our success is largely due to Central Kubota’s valued employees. They already knew the Kubota product line. They just had to adjust to a different management style.” Success is also found in the Central Kubota product line. “The products not only cater to the full-time farmers, they also meet the needs of those we refer to as the ‘weekenders,’” he explained. “Weekenders are individuals who desire to farm on the weekends. They want to maintain the acreage they own themselves.”
The trend in North America is moving away from those who farm on a fulltime basis, while moving in the direction of the weekenders. “Every customer is important to us — large or small,” Steve said. “We cater to them all.” Steve believes in offering what the customers want when they want it. Central Kubota is well-stocked with compact utility tractors and RTV utility vehicles, as well as several sizes of mowers. “We pretty much have anything a customer wants to buy on the lot,” Steve said. “Our mission statement is to be a premier retailer of tractors while implementing services that offer a lasting value to our customers. Our goal is to exceed customer’s expectations today and into the future.” The future looks bright for Central Kubota. As Steve grows the inventory volume by expanding product offerings, he will continue to guide Justin in his position as lot manager and overseer of quality control. “The first year far exceeded my expectations,” Steve shared. “I’m optimistic about the future and the area itself. My family and I are fortunate to have landed here.”