Fox River Valley Game Farm
Norbert, the son of Martin Van Zeeland, succeeded his immigrant father in taking over the family dairy farm and homestead in rural Kaukauna. Through a love for the outdoors, Norbert and his brothers founded “Fox Valley Pheasant Farm”, raising game birds to sell to sporting clubs and state conservation departments, as well as New York night clubs and restaurants in the 1950s and 60s.
As the East Coast market for wild game decreased, Norbert sold his interest in the game farm and continued to operate his family’s dairy farm.
A New Business is Born: “Fox Valley Crate Company”
Through his connection with Badger Northland, a local farm implement manufacturer, Norbert embarked on a new business. Norbert offered Badger Northland the opportunity to lease some extra space on his farm. While the implement manufacturer declined the lease, they did express a desire for someone to build crates to ship its products across the country. The Van Zeeland boys were just the people for the job. With exemplary work ethic and prior experience with building pheasant coops they seized the opportunity. In 1963 Norbert and his sons began building shipping crates in a pole shed behind their dairy farm.
All of Norbert’s sons were involved in the business in one capacity or another. They worked nights and weekends building crates the old fashioned way, utilizing only hammers and nails. The company began to expand to other wooden products as they supplied pallets to local castings company Neenah Foundry.
In 1968 Norbert unexpectedly passed away at the age of 55. A short time later, a fire destroyed the pole shed manufacturing facility. The boys were now in their teens and twenties. Some tough decisions were now at hand.
New Building, New Name. “Fox Valley Wood Products”
Tom, Don and Dale took the business to the next level in 1970 by building a 6,000 square foot manufacturing building on neighboring property and re-named the business Fox Valley Wood Products. The youngest son Roger began working full time for the company following high school.
Throughout the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, the four brothers built the company into a multi million dollar operation. This included several building expansions and manufacturing upgrades.
The Next Generation…
As the third generation became teenagers, they also got involved in the business. Following the completion of their college degrees and the retirement of their uncle Tom, Travis and Jeff began to work full time on the production floor in 1996. It was an opportunity and a test to see if the next generation could take the reins by learning from the ground up. Over time, Jeff became the sales and customer service manager. Travis’s position evolved to pallet production and operations manager.
In 2005 Don reduced his hours in preparation for retirement. He continues to help the company on special projects and consultation. Dale plans to continue with the business for several more years and is currently oversees hardwood purchases and continuous improvement.
Being a third generation company, Fox Valley Wood Products is fortunate to have had great examples of hard working, dedicated fathers. They have provided the tools to take this company into a successful future.
The most important virtues gleaned from their experience have been: how to serve our customers, how to treat our employees, and what it takes to operate a successful business.
Choose Us For:
- Same Day Quotes
- Same Day Delivery
- Quality Fabrications
- Diversified Product Mix
- Competitive Prices
- Employee Experience
- Employee Retention Near 100%
Fox Valley Wood Products provides wooden pallets, crates and specialty wood boxes throughout Wisconsin, including Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Madison, as well as the Chicago, Illinois area.
OEM Machinery Skids
Heat Treat Solutions
What Our Customers Are Saying
We at Fabio Perini have come to rely on Fox Valley Wood Products for all of our needs when it comes to wood products used for shipping and storage. In a fast paced global market our needs can be spur of the moment and highly complex. Fox Valley Wood Products has proved time and time again that they are the leader in the market place by providing quality, competitive, and accurate materials on schedule at the right price every time.
As we continue to be leaders in our market place we strive to partner with other area businesses who share the same work ethics based on honest reliable service while always keeping the customers needs in mind. Fox Valley Wood Products is a customer service based company with the experience and leadership that keeps both their products and employees in a league of their own. It is the intention of Fabio Perini North America to continue to work hand in hand with Fox Valley Wood Products in an effort to provide outstanding customer service and quality products at a fair price for many years to come.
Rick Zellner/Purchasing Team Leader
We have always experienced exceptional quality, as well as top customer service. We are always asking for 'next day' and many times even 'same day' service, and they ALWAYS meet or exceed our expectations. The people at Fox Valley Wood Products are very helpful. They even come here to our shop to look at various projects and offer better crating ideas on certain parts we are shipping. Jeff and his staff are a great company to do business with and it has been a pleasure working with them.
Mark Dennis - Shop Foreman/Owner
It has been a joy to work with Fox Valley Wood Products for the past 15 years. Our company manufactures products that vary in size, weight and destination. The crates we order are job specific to a particular part. Meeting our needs has never been an issue for Fox Valley Wood Products. They always supply us with the right product for the job. Prior to partnering with Fox Valley Wood Products we used to fabricate our own crates and machine skids in house. The quality, innovation and speed in which Fox Valley Wood Products fulfills our requests has enabled us to incorporate LEAN principles by eliminating that department (and headache) from our business altogether. Everyone that I have dealt with at Fox Valley Wood Products has been courteous and professional since day one.
I have been working with Fox Valley Wood Products for the past 4 or 5 years. They continually meet are our needs as far as quality and on time delivery. There have been many occasions, which we have had a change in our production and have needed product from Fox Valley Wood Products within a day or two. They have always come through for us. Our company has an award for our vendors that we are able to nominate due to performance. Fox Valley Wood has been the recipients of this award. I know that I can count on Jeff and his team for any of our requests, and I have been more than happy with their performance.
Fox Valley Wood Products has supplied pallets and other materials needed for both shipping paper or securing our loads for many years. Whether it is a standard pallet or a special pallet that needs to cradle, yet secures a roll of paper Fox Valley Wood Products finds a way to help you out.
For US Paper, space in the warehouse is always at a premium. Fox Valley manufactures and maintains inventory at their location and delivers on a 'just in time basis'. With this set up most orders are placed with a one day lead time. There have been cases when shipments are made the same day when the need arises.
Many orders on our paper machines are entered with no thought of what pallet is needed. Fox Valley Wood Products has made this possible with the inventory levels they maintain and the delivery service they provide.
Tom Van Deurzen/Logistics Manager