1965: From farming to service provider

From farming to agricultural service enterprise “Doppstadt”

“They started out really small!” recalls Friedhart Sperling, who worked at Doppstadt for 22 years.

The kitchen on the parents’ farm in Homberg played a central role: It served as a so-called “think tank”, manager’s office and lunchroom all rolled into one. That was where ideas were developed, job interviews were conducted and employees talked about their concerns. It was also where the brothers Josef and Werner Doppstadt and Werner’s wife Hedwig had decided to convert their parent's traditional farming operation into an agricultural service enterprise. From then on, they offered farmers and forest managers in the surrounding area their machines and services: planting, mowing, shredding, and threshing.

“They started out really small,” recalls Friedhart Sperling, who worked at Doppstadt for 22 years. “They themselves always joined in and worked like the rest, never expecting more from their employees than from themselves.” In his opinion, the three Doppstadts complemented each other perfectly: Werner had the ideas, Josef the creativity for transforming the ideas, and Hedwig was the heart of the company who managed the finances. Doppstadt was a family-run business – and it is still one to this today. Sperling fondly remembers many touching moments from the very early days of the company – for instance, how he felt when he finished his work late in the night: “When I finished threshing at three in the morning, Mrs. Doppstadt was already waiting for me with a meal. She actually stayed awake till three in the morning just for me. There was no way around it: I could not leave till I had eaten everything on my plate.”