State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) recognized N & S Tractor and owner Arthur Nutcher as the 12th Senatorial District’s 2011 Small Business of the Year. N & S is based in Merced and also employs about 100 people at its Turlock location.
The announcement was made Monday at the California Small Business Day luncheon in Sacramento.
“N & S Tractor has a decades-long history of serving and supporting communities around Merced and Stanislaus Counties. Arthur Nutcher and his employees continue to carry on his father’s legacy of good old-fashioned service not only in their stores, but also by investing in the next generation of farmers and ranchers through the Future Farmers of America, 4-H and other community-based organizations,” said Cannella. “N & S Tractor is a terrific example of the good work small businesses are doing all across California to support our local economies and our local communities, and I’m proud to honor this Central California company.”
Co-sponsored by a coalition of small-business organizations, California Small Business Day provides legislators and advocacy organizations a unique opportunity to honor the important role small businesses play in communities across California. Since the award’s establishment in 2000, legislators have recognized small businesses in their districts for their contributions to the local economy and for their community and charitable service.
“When my father started N & S Tractor company 57 years ago, his highest commitment was always to service – both for his customers and for his local community,” said Nutcher. “That’s a tradition we’re proud to continue upholding across our three stores, and we look forward to contributing and investing in our local communities for decades to come.”
N & S TRACTOR began in 1954 as a Case tractor dealership at 15th and O streets, near downtown in Merced. It was started by Ray Nutcher and Sam Stevinson.
While both Ray and Sam were master mechanics, Ray was the one who liked to build and modify. To augment his tractors, he once used an old truck body with a mower attachment to cut wheat and hay. In the 1940s, Ray built several "Nutcher" bean threshers, including one which was self-propelled.
After Sam returned to farming, Ray continued alone until he was eventually joined by his sons Steve, Howard and Arthur. After the deaths of Steve and Ray in the middle 1970s, Howard and Arthur became partners until Howard's death in 1986.
In 1970, the lot at 600 S. Highway 59 was purchased and the first building was erected. The business became a New Holland dealership in 1971. By the mid 1970s, N & S Tractor had become one of the nation's largest dealerships in sales of both Case and New Holland equipment. To meet all the needs of their customers, shops were enlarged and other lines were added.