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Irrigation innovator passes away


November 30, 2010
By Valmont Industries

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valleyirrigNovember 30, 2010, Omaha,
NB – Robert B. Daugherty, the man who pioneered centre pivot irrigation and
founded Valmont Industries in Omaha, Nebraska, passed away November 24, after a
short illness.

November 30, 2010, Omaha,
NB – Robert B. Daugherty, the man who pioneered centre pivot irrigation and
founded Valmont Industries in Omaha, Nebraska, passed away November 24, after a
short illness.

valleyirrig 
  

Daugherty retired in 2004
from Valmont’s board of directors after serving for 57 years.

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“We’ve lost much more than
our founder,” said Valmont’s chairman and CEO Mogens C. Bay. “We’ve lost a
great leader, mentor, innovator and friend. His vision laid the groundwork for
a global industry. He literally changed the surface of the earth.”

Born in 1922 in Omaha, NB,
Daugherty was a graduate of Central High School in Omaha and Carleton College
in Northfield, MN. After graduating from Carleton in 1942, Daugherty served in
World War II. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps,
first serving in the Pacific Theatre, and later in China.

After the war ended,
Daugherty married his junior high school sweetheart, Marge Kruse. At the time,
Daugherty was considering a career in the Marines until his uncle and mentor,
Frank Daugherty, convinced him to consider post-war business options.

Daugherty made a small
investment to acquire a half interest in a Valley, NB, farm machine shop that
produced built-to-order grain elevators for area farmers.

Later, in 1953, Daugherty
purchased the licensing rights to manufacture the centre pivot from inventor
Frank Zybach. After the company’s engineers spent years perfecting the design,
VALLEY’S center pivot mechanical irrigation equipment revolutionized
agriculture, not only in the U.S., but also throughout North America, South
America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East.

Under Daugherty’s
direction, Valmont later expanded into the tubing, galvanizing and structures
industries. Today, Valmont spans the globe as an international company, and is
a leader in the industries it serves.

“Bob has been the guiding
force in the evolution of our company,” said Bay, “and all of us at Valmont owe
him an enormous debt of gratitude. We will continue to extend his visionary
legacy into the future as Valmont continues to grow and adapt to the global
business environment. The essence of Bob’s life, what he accomplished and what
he believed in, will live on in our company and in our hearts. He surely will
be missed.”