Farrar Corporation was founded in 1933, by Ernst Clifford (E.C.) Farrar, as a blacksmith and repair shop in the small town of Norwich, Kansas. E. C. Farrar had a talent for fixing things, and he used that skill to serve his rural community. Almost 90 years later, that single shop on main street has evolved into a foundry, a custom pattern shop, a CNC machining facility, along with corporate offices, and a secondary CNC machining facility across the state in Manhattan.
Today, Farrar is a leading supplier of ductile iron castings and quality machined components thanks to our core values of integrity, stewardship, teamwork, continuous improvement, commitment to creative value, and emphasis on long-term customer relationships, all of which have been embedded into the company since day one.
There is a strong sense of pride that radiates through Farrar because it was built on small-town roots, a persistent work ethic, and American ingenuity.
The answer to how we became a leader in the industry starts in the 1950s, which saw the first shift in the company that would lean us heavily into farm repair. E.C. Farrar’s sons, Max and Paul, joined the family-owned business after serving in the Army during World War II and helped develop improvements for combines including the highly successful sickle drive, a contribution that is a prime example of the type of innovation and forward-thinking that have always been ingrained into the DNA of Farrar. This led to a focus on various parts for farm equipment and we became a popular spot for farm repair across the region.
Soon after this shift, it became clear that pouring our own ductile iron was the next logical step. Doing it in-house would be cheaper and give us more control over the parts. So, in 1967 the foundry was opened in Norwich.
The success of this move was so apparent that planning to expand and remodel the foundry began. Joe Farrar, who would become a longtime president of the company later in his career, designed the foundry that resembles the one you see today back in 1974.
In the following years, the farm repair business model began to weaken, and a drastic overhaul of Farrar would start to take place. 1988 became a landmark year for the company as we dropped our own product line to focus only on providing cast and machined parts to O.E.M customers. This transition was overseen by Joe, who took over as president that same year.
By the late 90s, it came time for another round of expansion. When the search for new land adjacent to the Norwich campus hit a dead end, Joe started to entertain the idea of expanding the company to a separate location. Through a long decision process, Manhattan, Kansas became the chosen destination due to the city’s exciting bid, geographical benefits, and cultural fit. Not to mention, the Farrar family has a long history of devotion to the Kansas State Wildcats. New corporate offices and a state-of-the-art CNC machining facility were constructed and opened in Manhattan in 2000.
These changes have shaped us into who we are today, which is a vertically integrated manufacturer that provides the highest quality products, services, and turnkey solutions to our loyal customers.
Though we are proud of our past, we are even more excited about the future under the leadership of our new president Scott Case. The recent investments in a 2,500 KW Inductotherm coreless induction furnace and now a new FBO-IIIS 20 x 24 from Roberts Sinto molding line bring new capabilities to our foundry so we can continue to provide our customers with the very best products and service in the industry.
If our history of innovation, hard work, and a commitment to improvement is any indication; then we’re just getting started.