SEGMENT: FARM EQUIPMENT & POLITICS
Charles Hartke>LPL Interviews A-M>LPL Interviews A-J, Segment 10
- FARM EQUIPMENT
- Innovation of a feeder for all hogs to eat at the same time. Starter feed is like pabulum - honey, whey, corn, soybean meal. It would turn sour quickly. He and partner Frank Drummer, developed easy to clean feeder, the Flip-n-Feed. Farm-Weld, Inc. company to sell them. Sold 100 in three years for $125. Too expensive, so sold rights to partner, who sold 1000 a week and sold to Canadian company.
- Got into politics when read about county board considered zoning. Restricted farm buildings' locations. He attended an informational meeting in protest. Friends chose him to lead, serve on county planning committee. Public hearings, plan to county board. Board rejected planning. Precinct committeeman stopped having meetings, so he ran against him, won at age 26. Politics of the area is conservative Democrats. He was a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. State Representative Chuck Keller retired with one day's notice for re-election. Helped his cousin Richard Bremmer to get on the ballot. (1976) He became Effingham Democratic county chairman, 1976-1984. Cost him $3000 a year expenses. Terry Bruce elected to US Congress, one of the Crazy Eights. Rich Bremer would be appointed a judge. Two seats were vacant then. Describes strategy.