• Ariens Company Conservation Projects in Full Bloom

    ​Ariens Company has been working to establish conservation projects on its 250-acre campus for the last several years, and all of the projects are coming into full bloom this summer. The campus includes all of the land around and between the company's two manufacturing facilities in Brillion, Wis., demonstrating how conservation efforts can take place alongside manufacturing and business. 

    Over the course of the past several years, improvement efforts to the company's campus occurred in many stages, beginning with an extensive five-mile walking trail (which is open to the public), followed by the installment of bee colonies​, and ending with restoring much of the land back to its natural prairie state with the planting of hundreds of wildflowers. ​Throughout the process, more than 300 trees have also been planted on the property. 



    This year, Ariens Company took it one step further and planted a sprawling garden with an orchard of fruit trees on the property, with the goal of providing fresh produce to area restaurants and employees located at the company's corporate headquarters. While the garden is in its infancy, it has already produced a wide array of healthy food options for employees. 

    Employee volunteers this year are collecting their third harvest of honey from the nine bee hives located on the property. Ariens Company tends to more than 75,000 bees, which are expected to produce about 40 to 45 gallons of honey this season. The honey is then bottled and made available for sale to employees and through select local businesses.  As the company's bee colonies grew larger and stronger, the need for more wildflowers and prairie was needed for pollination. This inspired the company to plant more than 11 acres of Wisconsin prairie on its grounds, as previousl​​y mentioned. The prairie flowers are currently at their peak with a wide variety of species lining the walking paths.  


    The campus also is home to a small pond, and employees at Ariens Company have recently put effort into restoring the health of the body of water by installing aquatic plants. The plants work to help maintain clean water and oxygen levels in the ecosystem. 

    For Ariens Company, this is just the beginning of its plans for conserving its campus' land. All of these projects are a great example of how manufacturing and conservation can exist – literally – side by side.​ 




    Ariens Company Invests in Brillion Elementary School STEM Center to Further Science and Math Education

    The Ariens Company Foundation recently contributed to a new STEM learning center at Brillion Elementary School, located in city where the company has its corporate headquarters. The new STEM center has only been open for a couple of months, but students are already beginning to see their projects come to fruition, all while furthering their education in science, technology, engineering and math. 

    "This is a place where kids can take projects and have the space and facilities to develop them, as opposed to a classroom setting, which isn't as conducive to this kind of work," said Brillion School District Superintendent Nick Madison. "A lot of what they're working on is engineering stuff, so it's amazing for them to have the room to do that right here in Brillion."

    According to Madison, the students at Brillion Elementary School have most enjoyed the ability to be more hands-on with projects. While all projects begin with discovery and a period of research followed by planning, students love when they get the chance to begin building their projects. ​

    "I think the biggest value a space like this provides to the community is that kids are learning to collaborate," said Brillion Elementary School Principal Carrie Deiter. "They're learning to problem solve, and they're learning to have stamina through that problem solving process. This space generates many, many different ideas and I think that if kids can do that, they'll be successful in anything they want to do. What this center does is teach them to identify a problem, find a solution through research, create that solution and see it through from beginning to end. Those are life skills you can't always teach in the classroom."

    A testament to the students' excitement was the fact that they were up and out of bed before 5 a.m. and were diligently working on projects at the STEM center. It was all a part of a live news segment for Fox 11 on Friday, June 23. 

    "You can see just by looking around here that these kids love the work they're a part of in this space," said Deiter. "It's not often that kids are up this early, but when we asked for them to come in to be on the morning show, they were really excited to show off their projects from the school year." 

    Madison echoed those remarks. 

    "With this facility, there's just that wow factor when you come in here," Madison said. "It's a cool place to be, and the students come in here with enthusiasm, and it’s easier for them to find that grit and perseverance when they're working in a surrounding like this. It's not a place they're going to get bored."

    For more information about the Ariens Foundation and its giving goals, visit www.ariensfoundation.org.









    Brillion Power Equipment Hosts Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

    Ariens Company on Saturday hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting at Brillion Power Equipment, celebrating the company's new concept store.

    Ariens Company Chairman & CEO Dan Ariens, Brillion Power Equipment Business Partner and Store Manager Mike Buboltz, Wisconsin State Assembly Rep. Ron Tusler, Brillion Mayor Gary Deiter and Ariens Company representatives attended the event.

    The grand opening offered several activities for attendees, including a demo area for test riding zero-turn mowers, a chain saw carver, demonstrations from STIHL, kids crafts from the Brillion Nature Center and a brat fry benefiting Brillion High School. Guests who attended also had the chance to win one of several product giveaways from Ariens, Gravely and STIHL. 

     

    In February, Ariens announced the purchase of a vacant building across the street from the company's headquarters with plans to create a fully-operational concept store that Ariens employees could use to test cutting-edge merchandising concepts.

    "The store will be used to demonstrate best-in-class dealership practices, test merchandising concepts that might be offered to our network of dealers, and learn more about overall customer experience," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company.​

    Ariens Company has partnered with local Ariens and Gravely dealer Mike Buboltz to manage the store as a power equipment dealership. Buboltz is the owner of Hardware Plus, located in downtown Brillion, which has sold Ariens equipment since 2011. The new dealership will be open to the public for sales of Ariens® and Gravely® brand outdoor power equipment and parts sales. Hardware Plus will continue to perform service at its downtown Brillion location.

    "We feel honored that Ariens Company chose us to manage their new concept store," says Buboltz. "This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the Ariens Company to showcase their world class equipment made right here in Brillion, Wisconsin."

    With the store's opening, a building for a long time sat vacant on one of the cities most travelled roads is alive again.

    "This was an opportunity for us to take a space that was really becoming an eye sore in our community and to turn it into something that the city can embrace," said Ariens. "We have a great corporate headquarters and a fantastic museum in Brillion, but we didn't have a dedicated space to showcase our latest and greatest innovations. This store will allow the community, our dealers and everyone else we partner with to come in and see what we're creating."

    This is not a factory direct store with discounted products and close-out pricing, according to Ariens, but instead, is an independently-operated dealership with Buboltz managing day-to-day retail activities, while product placement, point-of-sale, and marketing support will come directly from the Ariens Company marketing team.


    The store will assist the company in gathering customer feedback and retail best practices that will benefit the entire Ariens and Gravely dealer base, according to Ariens. The company has more than 1,500 dealers throughout North America who sell lawn, snow and commercial outdoor power equipment. Ariens and Gravely dealers, who make regular visits to Brillion, will have an opportunity to gain insight on the best practice concepts during visits to the store.

    The dealership will include new concepts in store point-of-sale, Ariens Company brand signage and imaging, product display and merchandising concepts for accessories, parts and equipment unique to the outdoor power equipment industry.​









    STEM ‘Exploration Station’ Opens at Brillion Elementary School

    The Brillion School District hosted the dedication of its new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education center at Brillion Elementary School. The $1.5 million 'Exploration Station' is the centerpiece of the district's nationally-recognized STEM education initiative that began at the high school level in 2005.

    The two-story, 5,000 square-foot multi-purpose area at the school has been re-built into a flexible and creative learning space where students can collaborate over hands-on projects, learn problem-solving skills, record data, and professionally present their results. Students and teachers have been using the facility since late January as they prepare for its first full year of use during the 2017-18 school year.

    "Some people might be surprised that we start STEM education in kindergarten but we have found this is the perfect age to learn STEM and start teaching problem-solving skills," says Dominick Madison, Superintendent for the Brillion School District. "Young people come into school and they are extremely creative. They haven't been told 'no.' When you challenge them with problems they come up with solutions you would never expect."


    The new facility allows for an integrated approach to learning where all subjects can be taught together so that a project might include science and math but also other subjects like English and music.

    "This new Exploration Station allows students to be active in their own education. This space has made it possible for students to work together, to move around, to use tools and to present hands-on projects," says Elementary Principal, Carrie Deiter. "We see students who were not excited about school previously begin to thrive with the way they are asked to think and learn in the STEM classes, and that is very exciting."

    The Brillion community has rallied around this integrated approach to education. Brillion voters approved $350,000 for the project in a 2014 referendum. The Ariens Foundation and the Endries Family Foundation, both of Brillion, each contributed $400,000 to initiate private fundraising, and the final $355,000 was raised through company and individual donors from Brillion and throughout Northeast Wisconsin.

    "It's a credit to what the teachers have been doing at the Brillion schools that more than 140 local businesses and individuals have contributed to this effort," says Bob Endries, retired CEO, Endries International and current owner of Professional Plating. "When the education approach comes first it's easy to support the building project. Designing and building the space is the easy part in comparison to what the educators have done to update and re-vamp their methods and curriculum."

    "I think we have only begun to see what these students are capable of accomplishing," says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company. "I don't think it is a stretch to say that by the time these students reach the world of work, they are going to revolutionize the workplaces and the careers they choose, regardless of what field they enter."

    Instead of focusing solely on skills for a particular science or technology field, the Brillion School District's STEM program focuses on teaching innovative problem-solving skills that can be applied to any job, whether a student becomes an engineer, a nurse or a machinist, according to Madison. This approach helps prepare students for work in an environment where technology advancements will continually change job requirements.

    "Problem-solving skills like these students are learning will help us reduce the skills gap we are experiencing in this part of the state," says Ariens. "Regardless of which career students will eventually pursue, jobs in the future will require the ability to adapt to challenges and solve problems."

    The Exploration Station is the newest feature the district's model STEM education program that began at the high school level in 2005 under the direction of Steve Meyer, Technology and Engineering Teacher and STEM Coordinator. The Brillion High School STEM center, known as the Ariens Technology and Engineering Education Center, was built in 2007 and has become a national model for STEM education. Since that time, the Brillion School District has hosted hundreds of visitors – educators, administrators, businesses – from communities throughout the country who want to learn more about the Brillion approach to STEM education.

    "We know we have something special here in Brillion and we take that responsibility very seriously," says Madison. "This is a model facility where we can show others how we approach STEM in Brillion and how it can change the culture of your school and the culture of your community."


    Ariens Company to Open Concept Store in Brillion, Wis.

    ​Ariens Company announced it has begun construction on a new concept store in Brillion, Wis., located directly across the highway from its global headquarters. The company purchased the building at 658 W. Ryan Street, and the new store is expected to open in May 2017.

    “The store will be used to demonstrate best-in-class dealership practices, test merchandising concepts that might be offered to our network of dealers, and learn more about overall customer experience,” says Dan Ariens, Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company.

    Ariens Company has partnered with local dealer Mike Buboltz to manage the store as a power equipment dealership. Buboltz is the owner of Hardware Plus, located in downtown Brillion, which has sold Ariens equipment since 2011. The new dealership will be open to the public for sales of Ariens® and Gravely® brand outdoor power equipment and parts sales. Hardware Plus will continue to perform service at its downtown Brillion location.

    “We feel honored that Ariens Company chose us to manage their new concept store,” says Buboltz. “This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the Ariens Company to showcase their world class equipment made right here in Brillion, Wisconsin.”

    This will not be a factory direct store with discounted products and close-out pricing, according to Ariens. This will be an independently-operated dealership with Buboltz managing day-to-day retail activities, while product placement, point-of-sale, and marketing support will come directly from the Ariens Company marketing team.

    The store will assist the company in gathering customer feedback and retail best practices that will benefit the entire Ariens and Gravely dealer base, according to Ariens. The company has more than 1,500 dealers throughout North America who sell lawn, snow and commercial outdoor power equipment. Ariens and Gravely dealers, who make regular visits to Brillion, will have an opportunity to gain insight on the best practice concepts during visits to the store.

    The dealership will include new concepts in store point-of-sale, Ariens Company brand signage and imaging, product display and merchandising concepts for accessories, parts and equipment unique to the outdoor power equipment industry.

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