Hagie Manufacturing started with Ray Hagie

Note: As most readers know, Clarion will be 150 years old in 2015.


To do their part in helping prepare for the sesquicentennial celebration, the Wright County Monitor staff and writers decided to start a new column called “Becoming Clarion.”

The first article is in the August 7 issue of the Wright County Monitor.


In the months to come, more stories will be written featuring people who have contributed in various roles and ways in making Clarion the strong and vibrant rural community it is today. 


We have ideas. But if you have people who you believe would be good to be featured, let the Wright County Monitor know. 


The staff can either write your suggested individual (individuals) story (stories) or you/someone you know can write that story and submit it to the Monitor office for publication. 

We are excited for this new column and hope you enjoy it. So, with out further ado, here is the first installment…


As Clarion embarks on its 150th anniversary, we might ask ourselves, what would the Clarion area look like without Hagie Manufacturing, Ray Hagie, as well as his next coming two generations? Where would we be without the influences of the Hagies?


The picture would be entirely different. What started on a Wright County farm 67 years ago, is now a world-wide corporation, based in Clarion and employing more than 500 team members.


Born in 1910 on a farm southwest of Clarion, Ray Hagie always considered himself a farmer.


Returning to the family farm after his Iowa State University graduation in 1933, Ray used his education to experiment with the coming of 'hybrid seed corn'. 


At the same time, the Midwest was greatly impacted by drought for several growing seasons. Ray's 'new fangled’ bred crops, out produced the open pollenated corn in neighboring fields and led to the founding of Hagie’s Hybrids in 1934. In 1943, Hagie's Hybrids opened a seed corn plant in the town of Clarion.


A born innovator, Ray worked to improve the painstaking work of removing corn tassels by hand by developing the first 'people mover' self-propelled detasseling machine in 1946. The machine was original and efficient. In 1947, Hagie Manufacturing was born.


Read more about Hagie’s history, how the company grew to be what it is today, and their plans for the future in the August 7 edition of the Wright County Monitor.


And stay tuned for the next installment, where we talk to a man who contributed to making Clarion what it is today in a rather unique way!