Archived Story

Ellendale company expands operations after acquisition

Published 9:18am Thursday, October 28, 2010

ELLENDALE — Six months after Zareba Systems in Ellendale was acquired by Woodstream Corp., operations continue to expand and employment has increased.

“We’ve essentially doubled the number of injection molding machines running there,” said Harry Whaley, CEO of Woodstream Corporation.

Zareba Systems has long been known for manufacturing fence systems, including electric fences, wires and insulators, at its facility in Ellendale.

In April 2010, Zareba Systems was acquired by Woodstream Corporation. Woodstream is based out of Lititz, Pa., and has three captive factories and a dozen others which manufacture their product, plus distribution centers scattered throughout the United States.

Woodstream has become a leader during their 100 years of business, with quality branded rodent control products, caring control products for pets and wildlife, natural solutions for home and garden, wild bird feeding products and garden decor to consumers and the professional pest control market.

According to Whaley, they are best known for Perky Pet wild bird feeders and Victor mouse traps.

“Specifically with Ellendale, we are committed to the expansion of that facility’s manufacturing,” said Whaley. “The mission of the Ellendale facility expanded to support not only the electric fence segment of our business, but also bird feeders and rodent control.”

According to Executive Vice President of Operations Steve Lesher, the expansions have allowed the company to grow its employee base to about 80 employees in Ellendale, which is a modest increase in the employment base.

“We’re very pleased with the Ellendale site, and the people who work there,” he said. “That’s what makes a facility in the end, and it’s met our expectations in terms of our capabilities in Minnesota.”

Lesher said the company has already brought two or three major projects into Ellendale and hope to continue the growth there.

“We’re very committed to that course of action,” he said.

Whaley said while there is expansion potential with the factory site itself, there are no specific plans to expand the actual building at this time.

“Much of that will determine how things develop in the economy and in our business,” said Whaley.

He said the site had expansion possibilities, which made it attractive to the company.

“It is now one of our key locations in strategic manufacturing assets, and we see that as a long-term committment to that facility and that locale,” Whaley said.

He said being a national company, they have a fair amount of business in the Midwest and the Ellendale location works well being in proximity to one of the company’s major distribution centers in St. Joe, Miss.

“It’s part of our strategic footprint in the U.S. and part of our strategic manufacturing in U.S.,” he said.

Whaley also said the Ellendale facility will be a key component in bringing some production currently located in China back to the United States.