Farm Horizons, February 1998

Berry Cam serves a 5-state area

By MAGGIE SCHUETTE-VOSS

Inside Berry Cam, the smell of oil hangs in the air. Joel Machemehl works in the back of the room, remaking lobes on a cam shaft.

At another machine, Scott Berry checks the size of the lobes, ensuring all is correct.

Scott learned the art of grinding cam from his father, Bill Berry, who started the business at the family farm.

"Since I was small, I've been coming in here to work," he said.

Joel is also part of the Berry family, married to Scott's sister.

Scott's other brother, Keith, is also part of the business.

Back in 1954, Bill was asked to grind cams for authorized Ford rebuilders. He officially went into business in 1958.

"He was a mechanic head," Scott said of his father. "He could figure out anything. He would have people calling him, asking how to rebuild stuff."

The business moved to its present location, on McLeod Co. Rd. 9 south of Lester Prairie in 1965.

The shop custom grinds cams for tractors equipped for pulling competitions, stock tractors, or anything else that requires a cam shaft.

"We did one for a 1903 Olds," Scott said.

The lobes are ground using a pattern, either made from the original cam or from the cams and master patterns the shop has in stock.

"We can make a pattern if the cam has two good lobes, one for the intake and one for the exhaust," Joel said.

Next to where Joel is working on a cam shaft, is a shelf full of patterns - Moto Guzzi, Triumph, Harley Davidson, and the 1903 Olds.

Berry Cam is the only shop of its kind in the five-state area, and that has worked to its advantage.

The company has made cams for pulling tractors located all over the country, Indiana, Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, are just a few of the states where tractors have a Berry cam.

The building where Berry Cam is located houses two other businesses, and the owners are related to the Berry clan.

Engelke Machine is owned is by Orlin Engelke and his sons, Jeff and Tom. Orlin is married to Scott's sister. The business rebuilds crank shafts.

Lester Prairie Engines, which does machining and rebuilds engines, is owned by Scott's other brother-in-law, Lester Mahlsted.

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