Helping a Generational Dealership Grow

When most kids learn their colors, it’s at the dinner table with their peas and carrots, or playing with their toy blocks. Holden Wilson, however, learned his colors according to the tractors at his family’s equipment dealership, Heart Mountain Farm Supply, in Powell, Wyo.

“I have been involved in the dealership in just about every way that I could since I was a little kid,” says Holden. “I have memories from early on of my mom taking me there to visit my dad and grandparents.” When he was 12, he started working as a “wash guy,” and gradually gained more responsibility. Currently, he works as the service writer. “Working on equipment is one of my favorite things to do, from tractors to implements to automobiles; I love just being around equipment.”

Holden also intends on pursuing it as his career, carrying on a long family tradition. His great grandfather, George Swenson, moved his family to Powell in 1965 to become an owner in the International Harvester dealership. And his grandparents, Terry and Val Swenson, started Heart Mountain Farm Supply in 1982. Now his father, Greg Wilson, is the general manager.

Earning His Way Up

Despite growing up around the dealership, Holden is earning his way into positions of increasing responsibility, and one way he is doing that is by attending Northwest College, which is also located in Powell. He started his freshman year at the end of August and is looking forward to taking classes related to what he’s doing through the agriculture program.

To help him reach his education goals, he’s received a scholarship from the Equipment Dealers Foundation, which is also matched by Heart Mountain Farm Supply. “I’m paying my own way through school, so I’m thankful for the scholarship, which is going to help make that possible,” Holden says. “I am proud to do this on my own and believe that it will make my education feel even more valuable to me.”

In addition to going to school full time, Holden will also be working 30 hours a week at the dealership. But it’s not a hardship for him: “I love this business—being around machinery and working on stuff and learning about it.”

His dad, Greg, agrees and has seen how Holden’s hard work has paid off in the dealership: “He has worked his way up from washing tractors and cleaning floors to being a valuable part of our parts department. Despite being a teenager, he has embraced hard work, timeliness, follow through and excellent customer service.”

As far as what the future holds, it’s clear to Holden. He says he’s looking forward to working with his dad and also learning all parts of the business. His plan is to work in every department so he understands how the different areas operate, as well as having a broad overview of the entire business. That, he says, will set him up for success not only in his current role, but his future goal of running the dealership when his dad retires.

About the Scholarship

The EDF was established in 1988 to provide scholarship funding to help meet the industry’s needs for trained individuals. EDF also provides temporary assistance for dealerships and its employees affected by natural disasters. Learn more about EDF here.