MarCo Manufacturing Company, LLC was
chartered in the winter of 1999-2000 at Bennettsville, South
Carolina. The organization is committed to providing superior
technology for growing, harvesting, handling and curing
high-quality US grown tobacco. The founder, president and CEO
of MarCo Manufacturing Company is Tom Pharr, who established a
reputation for integrity and innovation during a distinguished
25-year career at Powell Manufacturing Company, concluding that
career with 8 years as its president. In 2009 he was honored
by NC State University as a Tobacco Great for his career long commitment
to the advancement of tobacco mechanization.
MarCo began life as a manufacturer and
supplier of high quality heat exchangers for flue-cured
growers. This work was done in conjunction with Vencon-Varsos,
a leading Greek company specializing in flue-cured tobacco
mechanization equipment. Vencon-Varsos, under the trade name
Ventobacco, continues as an exclusive partner with MarCo.
During the next few years MarCo added many
items for the flu-cured growers, specializing in equipment and
service parts for curing, including designing and manufacturing
a state-of-the-art curing barn in 2002.
In the Spring of 2005, MarCo purchased the
name and intellectual property of Powell Manufacturing Company,
which had ceased operation in 2003. Subsequent to that
purchase, MarCo has produced three different burley tobacco
harvesters, based on Powell’s proven design, and markets them
under the Powell name.
In 2008, MarCo introduced an extensive
line of service parts for Powell Generation III and Generation
IV flue-cured harvesters and started work on developing an all new,
state-or-the-art self-propelled flue-cured tobacco harvester.
In 2009, MarCo solidified the design of
the new Powell 6360, Generation VI harvester and began production of
three machines, one of which was to be sold and operated during the
full 2010 harvest season. Due to the physical size of this machine
and the limited size of their current facility, MarCo purchased a four
acre tract of land in Bennettsville which already had a large, open
span, high eve height metal building, a good sized metal storage
building and an office building for the engineering group. Assembly work
began at this new facility in August of 2009.
In March of 2010, we moved all personnel and
operations to the new facility. Work on the 6360 harvester was completed
in June and the machine was delivered to a large tobacco farming operation
in Georgia. MarCo engineers and production personnel worked with the grower
during the 2010 season to make updates and to correct minor problems with
the harvester. The machine was a big success. We now look forward to continued
improvements to the Powell 6360, to expanding and improving existing product
lines, and to developing new products for tobacco mechanization.
MarCo Manufacturing Company is dedicated
to tobacco mechanization and believes that the future of US
tobacco is positive.