After several unsuccessful harvest years, conditions were difficult and Rune's and Siw's farm was on at least one occasion advertised for sale. The couple looked at various diversification opportunities including chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. Only turkeys made any money, but only 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 a newly mechanised agricutlure and included tractors with more powerful diesel engines. At the time a traditional harrow was a horse drawn implement made of two wooden logs, dragged over ploughed land to smooth it out prior to drilling. With tractors becoming increasingly popular, these same harrows were simply made 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.
Rune was taught how to weld by a neighbour and a good friend and with the aid of willing hands, a small carpenter's shed of about 20m2 was converted into a simple workshop. Materials were sourced from a scrap company in Mjölby.
Both Siw and Rune hand sawed a lot of the steel for the first harrow with a hacksaw, which was sold locally in the spring of 1962. This was closely followed with a second order frome Rune's brother-in-law in Hästholmen. From these small beginnings the business has grown into Väderstad AB with 1,550 employees spread over 40 countries and an annual sales order in 2020 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 contribute towards feeding the world's population," says Väderstad vice president communication Susanne Dalskog. " 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 all miss Rune and so today we send an extra thought, paying tribute for his innovation that still lives on in Väderstad, which is to simplify the daily work of farmers all over the world and help provide food for everyone all over the world."