I & J Mfg: Innovators of Horsedrawn Implements
by Lynn R. Miller of Fremont Canyon, OR
I & J Mfg. was started in 1986 in a 30 x 40 farm shop by Isaac and Jacob Blank. Isaac always had an eye for improving equipment needed to farm. Their location in Gap, PA, meant close proximity to one of the largest Amish farm communities.
Because of the demand, they started making cultivators. The chemicals traditionally used to control weeds were not working as well anymore. The rebirth of interest in mechanical weeding and cultivation was a boon to their early years. Today, I & J continues to build both horse-drawn and 3-point tractor cultivators.
Around 1990, I & J started making self-contained ground drive hay rakes, and started making sickle bar mowers using superior component systems which featured a scissor-action with both the blades and guards moving (less plugging). They had great success with a trail mower design suitable for use behind forecarts or with tractors.
Over time, I & J made more products focusing on horse farming tools for everyone from the hobby/home gardener to serious farmers. Their efficient design of a heavy-duty ground-drive forecart suitable for haybines and balers brought accolades from farmers. And the success of their workmanship and designs, throughout their long line of tools, meant steady, moderate growth over many years.
In 2009, I & J Mfg. started importing ESM sickle bar components which dramatically improved the basic hay mowers’ performance. Smoother operation meant less draft requirement which in turn led to a revolutionary new self-contained ground-drive mower made available in 2011. This was to be the first such successful design since the mid-twentieth century. I & J Mfg. offers kits to retrofit other mowers with their excellent sickle bar system.
Small farmers are well served by I & J Manufacturing.