Floyd E. Buschbom - 1986 Inductee
(1921 - 2002) He was a "farmer-turned-inventor" whose desire was to make farming easier and more efficient. By his own account, Buschbom lived two lives. He spent the first half as a farmer, the second half as an inventor. His first inventions were to automate his own farm. Buschbom obtained his first patent for his improved version of a bale loader, which he sold to Van Dale Inc. in 1951. Although the bale loader launched his career as an inventor and entrepreneur, it was Buschbom’s work with silo unloaders where he really made his mark. At the time silos, used to store feed for farm animals, were unloaded by hand – a slow and tedious task. Buschbom’s solution was a mechanical silo unloader that unloaded silage with the flip of a switch. His innovations have become the basis for the modern silo unloader industry and made his company, Van Dale, Inc., a leader in this field.
His inventions were licensed to the company and he became a consultant. Later he left the farm to have more time to devote to research and development of machinery for agriculture. He became director of engineering, and then President of the company. His continuing interest in farm automation (mostly material handling equipment) led to the invention of bunk feeders, conveyors, mixer feeders, feedlot accessories and liquid manure handling equipment. Most of these inventions have been commercially successful and are used industry-wide. More than 100 United States and Canadian patents have been issued on Buschbom’s innovations, most of which deal with farm material-handling equipment.
NOTE: These biographies have been compiled from information accompanying the nomination form submitted to the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame, information available on the Internet and from a variety of other sources.