Valmont's History

Valmont is a globally recognized leader in the infrastructure and agriculture industries, but, like any company, we had humble beginnings. In our case, it all started with farming...


In 1946, Robert B. Daugherty began looking for a good business opportunity. He recognized the potential of a small manufacturing company on a farm just west of Valley, Nebraska, owned by an inventor named Sam McCleneghan. After careful consideration, Daugherty invested $5,000 - nearly his entire life savings - in Valley Manufacturing and began building farm elevators.


In 1947, Frank Zybach developed a prototype center pivot irrigation machine. In the years that followed, he modified and refined the design to improve operational efficiency and, in 1954, licensed his patent to Robert Daugherty. Valmont's engineers spent the next decade refining Zybach's innovation - making it sturdier, taller and more reliable - and converting it from a hydraulic power system to electric drive.




Valmont began manufacturing steel pipe and tubing for irrigation equipment in 1959 and saw an opportunity to develop markets throughout the United States for original equipment manufacturers, steel service centers, and public and private projects.


In the 1960s, Valmont's development of high-speed, resistance welding for tubular projects led directly to the manufacture of tapered tubes for outdoor lighting, traffic signals and other applications.


During the 70s, Valmont expanded into the manufacture of large tubular structures for the electrical utility industry, and developed overseas irrigation markets to form Valmont International.


In the 1980s, Valmont integrated computers into modern farming practice and revealed another significant breakthrough: the cams™ Management System, which enables growers to quickly and confidently program and monitor their equipment to automatically accomplish a full range of irrigation, coordination, chemigation and fertilization functions based on different variables. Recognizing that the equipment dealers were working hard and already selling customers on using computers, Valmont established ValCom Microcomputer as a division in 1982.



The need for galvanizing grew in the 1990s and Valmont's facility in Valley was at capacity meeting internal demands. So, Valmont built new galvanizing plants in West Point, Nebraska, and Tulsa, Oklahoma - enabling the Company to meet other manufacturers needs for protective coatings. Valmont has continued to add galvanizing operations in the U.S. and worldwide to help fulfill internal galvanization needs and, simultaneously, respond to increasing global demand for protective coatings.

Meanwhile, sensing the international opportunity in infrastructure, Valmont started to embark on global expansion by investing in the French steel and aluminum lighting markets in 1989. The Company continued to broaden global scope in structures for lighting, utility and communication through acquisitions and development of new plants. A series of mergers, beginning with Microflect Company, moved Valmont from being just a supplier of communication poles to a broad service provider of towers, components, installation and maintenance for the wireless communication industry.


In 1993, Mogens Bay became Chairman and CEO of Valmont and made it a priority to rationalize the Company's portfolio and industry leadership – divesting it of any businesses not tightly aligned with Valmont’s core strengths in infrastructure and agriculture, and concertedly investing in those strengths through global expansion.


Valmont acquired a manufacturer of utility poles – Energy Steel Corporation – signifying the Company’s entrance into the utility market in 1994. A decade later, acquisition of Newmark International, a manufacturer of concrete poles, led the formation of Valmont’s Utility Segment and strategic integration of Newmark management.


A series of acquisitions in Europe and expansion of facilities in China, plus entrance into South America in 1997, South Africa in 1999 and the Middle East soon thereafter, greatly enhanced Valmont’s international presence.




In 2010, the Delta plc acquisition in the Asia Pacific market brought access systems – engineered grating products designed to enhance worker safety in industrial facilities – to the Valmont family of products.  This nearly doubled Valmont’s number of global galvanizing facilities and led to establishment of a regional headquarters in Australia.


In 2012, a new Valmont plant opened in India, further responding to global demand for quality infrastructure.


In 2013, Valmont acquires assets of Pure Metal Galvanizing of Ontario, Canada. Pure Metal operates five kettles out of three locations in Ontario.

Valmont acquires privately-held Locker Group Holdings Pty Ltd., a market leader in Australia and Asia, for the manufacture of perforated and expanded metal for the non-residential market, industrial flooring and handrails for the access systems market, and screening media for applications in the industrial and mining sectors. Locker Group has annual sales of approximately $80 million and operates five manufacturing locations across the region.


As Valmont has continued to expand its products, services and international reach, the Company has adopted a matrix management structure to overlay geographic responsibilities with global product lines.

This new system relies heavily on collaboration between senior executives who are responsible for products and geographies. Because this exchange of knowledge, research and development among markets enables Valmont to maximize performance, we fully anticipate Valmont's future endeavors to add to our rich corporate history.