Our company is owned by three individuals, Mike Rasch, Phil Brown, and Chuck Dietrich, all of whom possess unique talents.
MIKE RASCH is a third generation fruit grower and is the owner of West Ridge Orchards in Conklin, Michigan. With his entire career devoted primarily to apple, cherry, and apricot farming, he has a particular interest in streamlining fruit growth and harvest. For the past ten years, he has been researching and mechanizing harvest aids and has developed a number of harvest aid machinery prototypes. This activity led to the collaborative efforts of Phil Brown and Chuck Dietrich, initiating the development of a pneumatic fruit harvest aid which has excited the fruit farming industry. He and his collaborators patented the technology of pneumatic fruit conveying and started DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC of which Mike Rasch is the managing member.
PHIL BROWN founded Phil Brown Welding Corporation in 1964 in Conklin, Michigan. He has spent his entire career focused on designing and manufacturing specialized fruit industry equipment. He is most widely known for his “Brownie”--a three wheeled hydrostatically driven swing boom bucket--and most recently for his self propelled hydraulic work platform. Phil Brown is a cofounder and member of DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC whose collaborative work on the pneumatic fruit harvester has been essential for the construction of the machine. Manufacturing and distribution of the harvest assist will be conducted through Phil Brown Welding Corporation. In March of 2010, Phil Brown received the Industry Service Award during the International Fruit Tree Association annual conference held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His website, linked above, can provide additional background information of the pneumatic harvester and the multitude of equipment designed and manufactured by Phil Brown Welding Corporation.
CHUCK DIETRICH of Kalkaska, Michigan has spent thirty-three years in the drilling fluids industry cultivating his knowledge base of physics as an engineer. His reputation for his knowledge enabled him to successfully start Dynamic Drilling Fluids, Inc. in 2000. Chuck Dietrich developed the idea for pneumatic fruit harvesting in which fruit is conveyed from the picker into a bin via pneumatic tubes and a decelerator after a happenstance visit with Mike Rasch. The novel concept of this approach is now assigned patented technology by DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC of which Chuck Dietrich is a member and cofounder. This technology has excited the agricultural fruit industry and a plethora of articles have been written about the augmented harvester that DBR Conveyor Concepts, LLC has developed.