Sudenga Staff Feature – Craig Ulmer

Sudenga’s featured team member for April is Craig Ulmer. Craig has been with the company for 24 years. He is an engineering manager, along with being a member of the executive team.

A Brief Q&A with Craig Ulmer, an engineering manager & member of the executive team

Q. Craig, how long have you worked for Sudenga Industries?

A. I have worked for Sudenga for 24 years.

Q. Where did you attend school?

A. I graduated from Southeast Technical College.

Q. Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?

A. I grew up on a very diversified and active farm by Menno SD, in the southeast corner of the state. Now I live on an acreage near Larchwood, IA.

Q. Care to share anything about your family?

A. My wife Ivy and I have been married for almost 24 years, we have 3 children, Ty (21) is a collision repair technician, Tory (17) is a senior at West Lyon and Trace (10) is in the 4th grade.

Q. What is your favorite memory from work?

There are so many to choose from! One that comes to mind is when we were accidentally overloading the first 18 trucks while testing the Ultra Scoop—because it is so fast! Also, throughout the years, I’ve gotten to experience countless different products that we’ve made that have later been copied by competitors, which I consider to be the ultimate compliment!

Q. What is one thing that many people might not know about Sudenga products?

Many of the sales, shop, and engineering staff here at Sudenga have first-hand experience with our products, whether it be through testing, service calls, or using Sudenga equipment on their family farms.

Q. What are your favorite things to do when you aren’t working?

A. You will often find me hanging out with my family, whether it be in our yard, in my shop, or at a tractor pull.

Q. Do you have any favorite activities or sports teams you follow?

A. I have been cheering for the Minnesota Vikings since I was a kid. I also enjoy all kinds of sports, including motorsports.

Q. What is a “fun fact” about you that not many people might know?

A. I feel lucky to have grown up around a father, grandfather, and uncles that were highly mechanically inclined, and we all lived very close to each other. We fixed everything from engines to building roofs; fabrication of all types of farm equipment was the norm. Both my uncles had welding and machine shop businesses where we frequently used their equipment for whatever we were doing at dad’s. They would teach, then step away and let me use their welders, mills, lathes, and more. When it came to chores, grinding feed and washing hog barns were my least favorite, but my parents said I should do it because it built character!

Q. Anything else you’d like to share?

A. I’m a 3rd generation tractor puller. We run a modified tractor with 3 supercharged V8s, which currently makes 6,000 horsepower. My grandpa started in the 1960s, and we started running full seasons in 2011. Since then, we have been able to bring home 7 championships and a couple runner ups. We are one of the few left that still designs and builds our own engines, chassis, and drivelines, which we do in my shop in Larchwood. We strive to increase by 100 HP every year. In order to win championships, you need more than just the highest HP. It also takes reliability and a combination of parts that work well together. Now that I think about it, that sounds a lot like what it takes to have successful Sudenga products: performance and reliability.