Our Commitment to Quality is Hitting 60 and Gaining Speed
Join Senninger in celebrating sixty years of providing quality irrigation products and service. To continue meeting customers needs, Senninger is doubling the main Florida facility and adding state-of-the-art automation increasing capacity to serve you more efficiently.
Top ten significant decisions that helped us get to 60 years and make us ready for the future:
Insect-Proof™ Impact Sprinkler1963 – Joe Senninger invents the insect-proof sprinkler and begins selling it to his neighbors.
Joe Hires Andy and Mark Healy and Fred Elliott
1964-1966 – Joe recruited his nephews Andy (1964) and Mark Healy (1965) as well as Fred Elliott (1966) to help develop the business.
Andy and Mark Decide to Keep the Company Going
1970 – Following Joe Senninger’s tragic death, Mark and Andy Healy remain committed to developing innovative products and continuing business expansion. Senninger Irrigation continued to excel under the leadership of the Healy brothers.
Senninger Enters the Market for Mechanized Irrigation
1971 – Senninger moves into the pivot irrigation industry by selling to Lindsay and Valley.
Andy and Mark Decide to Do the Right Thing
1974-1975 – After discovering product issues with sprinklers sold to Valley, Andy and Mark decide to “make it right” by redesigning, remanufacturing, and replacing all installed pivot sprinklers from Texas to the Dakotas.
Senninger Opens Warehouses in Texas and Nebraska
1978 – To improve product availability, Senninger opens distribution warehouses in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Lubbock, Texas.
Senninger Responds with Low-Pressure, High-Performance Irrigation Products
1980s – As the industry evolves into lower pressure and sprinklers closer to the crop, Senninger responds with 6-10 psi pressure regulators and Fan Spray, Super Spray, LDN, and LEPA sprinklers.
Senninger do Brazil is Born
2003 – To improve product availability for agricultural irrigation in Brazil, Senninger opens a distribution warehouse in Holambra.
Senninger Moves to Clermont, Florida
2004 – Senninger moves its headquarters to Clermont, Florida to allow further expansion.
Hunter Acquires Senninger
2016 – Senninger joins the Hunter Industries family of companies as their agricultural irrigation segment.
The Senninger story is one full of commitment, determination, and hard work. It is the chronicle of how one man developed an idea then invited others to take part in the journey founded in 1963.
Born on September 20, 1907, in Toluca, Illinois where he grew up on a farm.
Served 2 years in the Civil Air Patrol during the war stationed in Sarasota where he flew his own plane searching for submarines.
Joe married Annette Radtke Senninger. Annette worked for Senninger for 24 years as the Accounting Manager. They had two children: Tom and Sandy. Tom worked for Senninger for 39 years as the Molding Manager and served on the Board of Directors.
Joe worked as an engineer in the oil burner business in Park Ridge, Illinois. He retired to Groveland, Florida in the early 1950s to grow citrus trees and raise chickens. A man of innovations, he created and patented many products including the Econ-O-Mist Sprayer, a large grove fan for Marlow Pump to help disburse chemicals in orange groves, a filter/screen concept for growers using canal water for irrigation, and the principle of a pressure regulator.
He created and patented the “insect-proof” sprinkler, the product that launched Senninger, to solve a bothersome problem for growers. Before his invention, mud dauber wasps were nesting in the nozzle orifices of overhead sprinklers when the irrigation system was not in operation. When irrigation was needed, the plugged nozzles impeded water flow.
The Insect-Proof sprinkler employed a water-activated retractable pin to seal the nozzle opening to prevent mud daubers from nesting inside the sprinkler when it was not operating. Joe used an everyday pencil sharpener to make each pin.
He offered to sell the patent to Buckner. They were not interested so he decided to promote it himself.
Joe recruited his nephews, Andy and Mark Healy, bringing their marketing and engineering backgrounds to help the business grow.
In 1970, Joe tragically died in a boating accident. Honoring his commitment to the business, Mark and Andy Healy pressed on, propelling the business forward and continuing to produce innovative products mainly used in the rapidly growing center pivot irrigation market.
The oldest of four siblings, Andrew M. Healy, was born on November 20, 1930, in Streator, Illinois.
Andy loved reading, drawing and coin & stamp collecting. Trains and model trains, however, became his lifelong passion. He worked on the Santa Fe railroad during high school summers.
In 1948, just out of high school, Andy Healy went on a three-week, 6,000-mile cross-country motorcycle trip covering 16 states including California.
Andy attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts to study commercial arts, but then went back to work as a signalman for the Santa Fe Railroad.
In the spring of 1949, Andy went a second motorcycle trip, this time taking two weeks traveling 3,500 miles through seven states including FL. He stopped in Groveland, to visit his mom’s brother, E. J. Senninger and his wife, Annette.
Andy served two years in the US Army before returning to the railroad.
Andy then took a job at General Motors in the Jet Aircraft Division of Buick before attending the University of Illinois to major in Electrical Engineering.
After college, he joined the Magnavox Corp. in Champaign, IL. where he ran their Environmental Test Lab until his uncle, Joe Senninger, proposed that he join him in Florida to help with his small business building sprinklers for orange groves.
Andy and his new wife, Ruth moved to Florida to help Joe and Annette build what would become Senninger Irrigation.
Andy wore many “hats” over the years but mainly focused on sales and marketing. Andy went door to door selling & installing product. He also created the company advertising- crafting logos and layouts by hand.
The company faced a great deal of uncertainty in the early years but Andy and his brother Mark, kept the faith and found others, like Fred Elliott, who would play a vital part in establishing and building the company.
Andy was instrumental in expanding the Senninger product demand worldwide. For more than 51 years, Andy served in leadership as the Vice President, President and the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Andy was a great family man, and his family played an important role as well. He married Ruth Ann Perry on September 18, 1965. Ruth was an integral support to Andy and the company over the years. She managed the family and home while he was often away at work and on sales trips. In the early years, many a night was spent assembling sprinklers once the kitchen table was cleared.
Andy and Ruth had five children:
- Susan was Senninger’s main photographer for about two decades, shooting products in the studio and in the field. She took beautiful employee anniversary portraits for many years.
- Brian worked for Senninger as the Advertising Manager for 16 years. His wife, Robyn, worked for Senninger in production for 7 years.
- David worked for Senninger as the IT Manager for 19 years. His wife, Nicole, worked for Senninger in Accounting for 16 years.
- Patty worked for Senninger in Advertising and as Safety Manager for 24 years.
- Mark used his computer engineering degree to help the IT department during the summer before attending med school.
The second of four siblings, Mark Healy, was born on April 28, 1933, in Streator, Illinois.
In his early years, if he wasn’t racking pool or scooping ice cream at his dad’s cigar store, he was playing baseball in a neighborhood pick-up game as he knew he would someday take Nellie Fox’s place as 2nd baseman for the Chicago White Sox.
When reality set in and making a little real money was becoming increasingly important, Mark started working four consecutive summers on the Santa Fe Railroad section gang, beginning at $0.92/hour in 1949.
College days and “hitting the books” was tempered by the enjoyment of making the gymnastics team. By June of 1955, Mark was in possession of a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. But it didn’t help much during the next two years as he was drafted into the US Army.
Upon military discharge, a job at Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co, in Milwaukee awaited. It was there that Mark met his love Joan Lauerman and they were married on April 25, 1959.
His uncle Joe asked Mark and his brother, Andy, to come to Florida to help expand his small business.
Mark began as a contract laborer on a 300-acre installation in Fort Pierce before becoming a part owner.
Mark’s engineering expertise led him to design new products working with growers and academic experts to develop needed irrigation solutions.
Although involved in multiple aspects of the business, Mark’s focus soon became product development. One example - Joe drew the principle of pressure regulation on a piece of paper and asked if Mark could make it out of plastic.
Mark worked with a molding company in St. Petersburg to produce the Insect-Proof sprinkler in plastic instead of metal. He also was instrumental in bringing the molding process in-house to help assure product quality. The first mold machine cost about $10,000. Main competitor, Russ Nelson, loaned them the money to purchase their second mold machine.
Mark was instrumental in the development of the sprinkler package program to guide nozzle size and position for optimum system design.
He also implemented a water checking method to test every pressure regulator before it left the factory to help assure product quality.
For more than 57 years, Mark served in leadership as the Vice President and served on the Board of Directors.
Mark and Joan had five children: Jan, Lois, Carol, Dan, and Barb; sixteen grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. They are still happily married. Their daughter, Carol worked for Senninger for 24 years as the Operations Manager and served on the Board of Directors.
Interview with co-founder and Vice President of Senninger Irrigation Mark Healy on Senninger's sixtieth anniversary.
Senninger Irrigation: 60 Years of Gratitude and Growing Together
Senninger is celebrating six decades of gratitude and commitment to all its customers and employees who have helped the company grow to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural irrigation products.