A storied past … is a story that’s just getting started.

Valmont® began more than 75 years ago with $5,000 and a dream. The man who had that dream was Robert B. Daugherty. In 1946, he founded what was to become the company we know as Valmont Industries, Inc. Today, Valmont is a globally recognized leader in creating vital infrastructure and advancing agricultural productivity.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1922, Bob Daugherty was a graduate of Omaha Central High School and later attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. After college, he served in World War II. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, first serving in the Pacific theatre and later in China.

In 1946, following the war, Frank Daugherty (Bob’s uncle and mentor) encouraged Bob to consider business opportunities. This led him to invest his life savings in a farm machine shop in Valley, Nebraska. In 1954, Daugherty purchased the licensing rights to manufacture the center pivot from inventor Frank Zybach and embarked on a journey that would revolutionize agriculture—in North America and throughout the world.

Under Daugherty’s leadership, Valmont later expanded into the tubing, galvanizing and engineered infrastructure products industries.

Daugherty retired from Valmont’s Board of Directors in 2004 after serving for 57 years, and continued to demonstrate his dedication to agriculture and water conservation well into his retirement. In April 2010, his charitable foundation committed $50 million to the University of Nebraska to establish the Global Water for Food Institute. The multi-campus center for research, education and policy analysis relating to the use of water for agriculture will facilitate development of solutions to the challenges of hunger, poverty, farm productivity and water management. “I can’t think of a better investment to sustain [my life’s work],” he said.

Daugherty’s legacy will extend into the future as Valmont continues to grow and adapt to the global business environment. Explore the Valmont timeline to learn more about our history.