Our history as a family business

1983 - Early Beginnings by Joe Lato

Thorp Equipment Inc. began business in the barn and pole building industry and has become a manufacturer of Custom Stainless Steel Products serving customers worldwide.

When Thorp Equipment began the barn and pole building business, Joe Lato was the sole proprietor with over 25 years of experience in the business industry. He started the barn and pole building business in a 60′ X 120′ steel building.

In 1983, the manufacturing business was started in a larger building that was 120′ X 104′ with six emloyees that had transferred from the barn and pole building business. The main product marketed at the time was painted metal and stainless steel dairy equipment. After showing our equipment at numerous shows, the farmers began requesting stainless steel hog equipment. The volume of hog equipment continued to increase. We also started to manufacture custom sludge conveyors for wastewater treatment plants nationwide.

1985 - Growing Business - from 6 to 26 employees

In 1985, we started to manufacture computerized cow feeders for Westfalia Systemat. The business continued to grow and had reached 26 employees.

By 1989, Thorp Equipment had doubled its building size with an addition of a 160′ X 100′ steel building. The relationship with Westfalia Systemat grew, allowing us to produce the Herringbone Milking Parlor, which sold in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In addition to the parlor, we also acquired production of an assortment of the smaller parts used in the dairy industries such as the stainless steel ACR boxes, small food grade parts, barrel claws, hose distributors, and much more.


1991 - New President - Roy Lato

The company became incorporated in July of 1991, at which time Roy Lato became president of Thorp Equipment Inc. and took over the daily operations. His father, Joe Lato still remained a consultant of the business. At this time there were 42 trained men and women employed. We continue to expand the manufacturing of stainless steel hog equipment which now includes varieties of farrowing crates, penning, feeders, waterers, gestation stalls, and metabolism crates. The equipment is based to fit the needs of the customers, such as customizing products to fit into existing buildings for the customer’s convenience. The hog equipment is mainly manufactured for the hog industry, but is also purchased by research and development departments of universities and businesses. We are proud to say our equipment was utilized in the procedure of cloning the first pig. We also continue to produce the custom dairy parlors and conveyors. The conveyors are still shipped nationwide to waste water treatment plants and our parlors are sold to some of the largest agricultural equipment dealers. Other product lines include conveyors, commercial equipment such as handrails, stairways, gates, canopies, and hoppers: and other special orders that can be custom designed by Thorp Equipment.


2006 -  Tripled in Building Size 

By 2006, we tripled in building size with an addition of a 100′ X 105′ steel building, which includes three loading docks for shipping and receiving. Employment has increased to over 80 trained men and women with day and night shifts.

Thorp Equipment continues to grow, not only in size but also in a variety of quality products.


2009 - International Exposure and Introduction of Stainless Steel Doors

In 2009, Thorp’s dry feeders were shipped to Madagascar, Africa. Thorp Equipment also started production of insulated interior and exterior Stainless Steel Doors.