It all started at home on the small farm in Väderstad in 1962. After several unsuccessful harvest years, conditions were difficult and Rune's and Siw's farm was on at least one occasion advertised for sale. They were looking for something that could boost the family's income, Siw had tried to breed animals such as chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys, but realised that only the turkeys would make any money when they were sold for slaughter and it was an enormous amount of work for just a few kronor.
Rune Stark had an idea to make a harrow that would correspond to the needs of the then tractorised agriculture, where more and more tractors were being given diesel engines that by the standards of the time were very powerful. A harrow was a simple wooden tool usually made of two wooden logs that were dragged by a horse to smooth out a ploughed field. When the tractor made its entrance, more or less similar wooden constructions were used, albeit a bit wider.
Rune's vision was to make this implement much better in steel, a great improvement on the primitive wooden tools that existed at the time. "Make it last" is one of his classic expressions, a strong quality ethos that still lives on today in Väderstad.
Over a few evenings a neighbour and good friend taught Rune how to weld. With the aid of willing hands, a small carpenter's shed of about 20 m² was converted into a simple workshop and with the help of a scrap company in Mjölby he got his hands on some material that he could use.
Both Siw and Rune hand sawed a lot of the steel for the first harrow with a hacksaw. At one of the first test drives, in the spring of 1962, a neighbour came out into the field and said: "That looks good Rune, I think I need one of those too". It was the first order. Almost at the same time, a brother-in-law of Rune in Hästholmen also ordered a harrow. Thus, the small company was underway and the basis for what is today Väderstad AB with 1,550 employees spread over 40 countries and which in 2020 had sales of SEK 3.4 billion.
Rune had right from the beginning a strong vision and a very strong belief that the small company would grow large and that we would help feed the world's population. He had a strong belief that there was a higher meaning to what we did and still do.
Rune remained a farmer for the rest of his life and was always on the farmer's side. We at Väderstad are here for farmers and to make the everyday lives of farmers easier.
We all miss Rune, he has been gone since 2008 but his memory lives on strongly both in Väderstad and in our machines. Today we send him an extra thought and pay tribute to him for his innovation that still lives on in Väderstad, an innovation that every day simplifies the daily work of farmers all over the world and helps put food on the table for the people of the world.
For more information, please contact: