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We have been in the business for quite some time...

1938 The birth of our company dates back to 1938. In that year, the brothers Richard and Jack DeWitt, whose parents emigrated from the Netherlands to the US, invented a sophisticated machine for automatic feeding of their poultry stock. The feeder transported feed via a mechanically driven chain. It was to become the world's first automatic feeding system ! To supply the rapidly growing demand for these feeders, the two brothers set up a division which was devoted exclusively to automatic installations for poultry management. They named the new enterprise "Big Dutchman" - reflecting their pride in their Dutch ancestry.

1958 In the late 1950s, a subsidiary company was established in the Netherlands. The business flourished and in 1958, Big Dutchman decided to engage a sales representative in Germany. They selected a 26-year-old poultry farmer from Calveslage in Lower Saxony. His name was Josef Meerpohl.

1985 Initially Big Dutchman Calveslage operated as a small agency but later became a subsidiary company. Josef Meerpohl became the owner of the company with the brand name Big Dutchman following a management buy-out in the 1980s (this did not include the sales rights for North and South America). In November 1985 the Calveslage premises near Vechta (which is considered the capital of the most densely populated livestock area in Germany) became the headquarters of a business that was, and is, operating world-wide and leads the market in the area of modern-day pig and poultry farming.

1992 Since the take-over, Big Dutchman has developed very well. With the regarding increasing globalisation of the business, constant increases in turnover and a large number of new staff members required a new organisation structure . Consequently, several managing directors shared the responsibility for the different markets and requirements of their respective customers. Moreover, a holding company - the Big Dutchman AG - is at the very top of the successful group of companies - with Josef Meerpohl as the chairman of the supervisory board and his eldest son Bernd as the chairman of the board of management. The establishment of a sales and service headquarter in Kuala Lumpur/ Malaysia - the foundation of Big Dutchman ASIA - was a logical step to penetrating the Asian market and preparing for the Chinese market.

1998 60 years Big Dutchman world-wide / 40 years Big Dutchman in Germany: No other company in this world-wide line of business has been active on the market for so long ! Big Dutchman celebrated their 60th anniversary as well as 40 years of Big Dutchman in Germany and Europe with a reception on the occasion of the major trade show EuroTier in Hanover. In his speech, Lower Saxony agricultural minister Uwe Bartels acknowledged Big Dutchman as being an outstanding company. The board of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) awarded Josef Meerpohl a silver DLG medal for his merits to international cooperation.

1999 Big Dutchman AG has taken over the majority of its sister company Big Dutchman Inc. (Michigan, USA). After the take-over, the number of employees working within the Big Dutchman group totals 800. "With this merger, a long-awaited dream has come true," said Bernd Meerpohl from the Big Dutchman board of directors. "And it's a logical step in that only when the Big Dutchman Group is able to be active world-wide as a single entity will it have the potential for further development in the long term."

2000 With the foundation of Big Dutchman Pig Equipment GmbH (with its headquarters in Vechta), the business unit Pig becomes its own organisational entity. This, however, is only the formal sign for a new and important chapter of the company history. This future-oriented strategic step is accompanied by significant investments in staff, development and sales distribution with the ambitious goal of increasingly accelerated growth.

2001 Big Dutchman continues its way of expansion, this time on the Latin American market. The acquisition of the company Avimec, the important Brazilian producer of pig and poultry equipment located in Caxias do Sul completed the foundation of Big Dutchman Brasil Ltda. The existing fine-meshed network of 40 sales agencies will continue to ensure service to customers in this important market. In addition, Big Dutchman has integrated the assets of Wallace International into the Latin American Division of BD Inc. Wallace has been active in the Latin American market for 48 years, including 22 years in sales and service of poultry equipment, among others as a Big Dutchman agency.


TODAY Basically, with over 900 employees in the Calveslage headquarters and 2500 employees worldwide, Big Dutchman is still one large family. Naturally, we are proud of the fact that our products are among the best in the industry, that we are considered the market leader, and that we plan and create solutions for the future. However, people come first - before any technology. The technicians, the servicemen, the buyers, the sales representatives, the logistics staff, the sales co-ordinators, the pleasant ladies at the reception desk - each one is a part of the whole, a part of Big Dutchman. They are all committed to do their best for our customers' satisfaction - your team for any problem.