Get to Know WINCO – Matt

WINCO is a family-owned business with almost 80 employees. We thought it would be great to meet them!


Name: Matt Larsen
Department: Engineering
Hobbies: Tractor pulling, hunting, and fishing

Q: How long have you worked at WINCO?
A: 12 years


Q: Tell me about your family.
A: My wife Becky and I have been together since high school. We have two daughters, Abbie and Tara. Becky runs daycare out of our house, so it is always busy at our house.


Q: What is a tractor pull?
A: Tractor pulling is a competitive motor sport in which modified tractors, drag a metal sled along a prescribed course. The sled contains a box filled with weight that is mechanically driven forward as the sled progresses along the course. Pulling this ever-increasing load eventually causes the vehicle to lose forward momentum and torque, although a rare few might indeed reach the end of the course, known as a “full pull.” The distance from start to finish is measured in thousandths of an inch and the tractor that pulls the sled the farthest distance is declared the winner.

Q: How long have you been doing tractor pulls?
A: 22 years, I started out with a super modified garden tractor (it looks like a lawn tractor but has a motorcycle engine). We eventually completely rebuilt that tractor and installed a snowmobile engine. About 8 years ago we built a second tractor so my dad could pull. That one also has a snowmobile engine. It looks like an Oliver tractor its pretty sharp if you ask me. 4 years ago I bought a mini rod it has a 420 cubic inch engine during the winter of 2019 I completely rebuilt this tractor unfortunately due to the events of 2020 we did not get to pull close to home. We traveled to Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota to find hooks. In the winter of 2021 we took the mini rod to the Midwest winter nationals in Shipshewana Indiana and placed 3rd out of 20 of the best mini rods in the country. Then in march we attended the spring shoot out in waterloo IA with our super modified tractors and won the 1250 lb. class with our original tractor. We had a great 2021 puling season.  I have friends all over the country from this sport and really enjoy traveling to pulls. We have pulled in MN, IA, WI, ND, SD, MO, IA, IL and KY. 


Q: When you aren’t doing tractor pulls, what else do you like to do?
A: I enjoy fishing trips with my Dad and girls. Dad and I take an annual trip to Black Duck, MN with a group of friends. We have been making this trip for about 30 years. Dad also has a house on Cedar lake by New Prague so we spend time there fishing and relaxing in the summer as well.


Q: Colder weather is approaching us, do you have any plans for the winter?
A: Our last pulling hook for 2021 is September 25th. Then we will start prepping for the Midwest winter nationals in January in Shipshewana IN. I am hoping for a slow winter in the shop as of now I have one friend who is looking for some help with his tractor. Becky and I are taking a cruise this winter to the Bahamas it will be the first time I have taken a 5 day vacation in at least 10 years, I’m really looking forward to that. I am also the promotor for a pull in April “Midwest super pull” inside the area at Cedar Lake Speedway so a lot of the winter is spent prepping for that. I hope to spend time ice fishing this winter also.


Thank you, Matt for taking time to talk to me!


If you are able to come to visit, make sure to say ‘Hi’ to Matt!

Stay tuned, next month we will meet up with another great employee!

See you soon!

– BIG DOG

Get to Know WINCO – Trina & Dareld

WINCO is a family-owned business with almost 80 employees. We thought it would be great to meet them!

Another WINCO love story.

Name: Trina Ingles
Department: Sub-Assembly
Hobbies: Gardening, bonfires, fishing

Name: Dareld Benz
Department: Final Assembly
Hobbies: Golf, camping, bowling, frisbee golf, fishing

Q: How long have you worked at WINCO?
A: Trina – 8 years in September
Dareld – 9 years in September

Q: Did you meet at WINCO?
A: Trina – Yes, we started dating 5 months after I started working here.

Q: I heard you are engaged! Do you have a date set for the wedding?
A: We are planning on August next year, the Covid pandemic has pushed our plans out a couple of times. We want to be able to have everyone attend.

Q: Tell me about your families.
A: Trina – I have two daughters
Dareld – I have three boys, one girl, and 2 grandchildren, a boy and a girl.
Trina – We also have two dogs, Dareld is their favorite.

Q: Have you been enjoying the summer?
A: Yes, we recently went on a camping trip to Diamond Lake. We rented a cabin and enjoyed fishing for sunnies, sight seeing, and relaxing. We also just bought a boat and are looking forward to getting out on the lakes.

Q: Any more plans for the rest of the year?
A: We are planning on one more vacation, but we aren’t sure on what to do
. We are looking forward to going to the county fairs this summer.


Q: Trina, what do you like to garden?
A: Vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. I also like flowers and taking care of the landscaping.


Q: Dareld, I hear you being a Minnesota Wild fan is a bit of an understatement.
A: I am a hockey fan. I was a North Stars fan and now I follow the Wild. I am hoping we can go see a live game. Our game room in our basement is my Wild showroom.


Thank you Dareld and Trina for taking time to talk with me! I hope you are inviting this Big Dog to the wedding!


If you are able to come to visit, make sure to say ‘Hi’ to Trina and Dareld!

Stay tuned, next month we will meet up with another great employee!

See you soon!

– Big Dog

WINCO Summer Fun


Spending what seemed to be an eternity of social distancing at our facility, we thought this summer would be a great time to spend an afternoon filled with great food and fun activities.


The Food

Keeping with our Speak & Eat traditions, some of the guys in charge serve up the food. This quarter we enjoyed pulled pork and beef tacos were catered by N8’s Pl8s.

After we enjoy our delicious food, Dan Call, owner and CEO of WINCO, introduces our new employees and keeps us up to date on current WINCO news.

Fun Fact: As an award for sitting through Dan’s speech, we have a drawing for awesome prizes!


Bean Bag Tournament

A bracketed style tournament brought together teams with one goal: crush the opponents.

Congrats to Noah and Jake for being the bean bag champions!


WINCO Survivor

The Ropes

All 3 team members had to get through the ropes before going onto the next challenge.

Chicken Wire Challenge

The goal was for two teammates to get two golf balls up the chicken wire.

Plank Walk

It isn’t as easy as it looks!

Sling Shot

Hit the target to move onto the puzzle.

We decided Brandyn would be the target from then on!

Puzzle Challenge

The Big Dog Puzzle was a bit of a challenge! Especially getting the teeth in the right spot!

Congratulations to the fastest team through the obstacle course: Caz, Arturo, and Josie!


As you can see, it was a great time and definitely one for the books! Shout out to all of our employees, we appreciate everyone for their hard work and dedication to making WINCO a great company.

– Big Dog

Get to Know Winco – Brooke

WINCO is a family-owned business with almost 80 employees. We thought it would be great to meet them!

Name: Brooke Linder
Department: Sales
Hobbies: I play on a co-ed volleyball team during the winter months. Boating, fishing with the kids,  sports with my kids during the summer months

Q: How long have you worked at WINCO?
A: Since October of 2020

Q: Tell me about your family.
A: Between my boyfriend, Chris, and myself we have 4 kids total.  My boys are 12 and 10 and my daughter is 6 years old, and Chris has a 6 year old boy.  We are expecting a little girl, due in September. We have a house full and keep busy!  



Q: What does your summer look like?
A: Last August we moved to the lake which has been great. We enjoy all the watersports- the kids ski and tube behind the pontoon, fishing, kayaking and swimming.  We love having friends over for lake days and campfires. My oldest son is in football, Chris and I coach his basketball team, and he recently started his first year of trap-shooting. My 10 year old plays basketball and baseball and the little ones are in soccer and t-ball this summer.   The older boys go with our church to a 4-day summer camp in Iowa, my daughter will also join this year for the first time. 

Q: Do you use the lake in the wintertime?
A: This past winter we cleared an ice hockey rink and flooded it to smooth it out- I was great to get outside all winter long. 

Q: Any fun trips planned for this year?
A: Chris and I just got back from a quick trip to Clearwater Beach, Florida.  During the winter/early spring months we try to get down there as much as possible for long weekends and bring the kids down once a year- It is a long 27 hour drive with 4 kids on board!  We love the sun, the beach and the activities that come with it.  


Q: I heard you are doing some work on the house, how is that going?
A: We’ve been remodeling our house since we purchased it this past summer.  Our first project was converting a large bar area in the basement to create two additional bedrooms and we are currently in the process of updating our kitchen.  It seems like a never-ending project but we are hoping to be finished in time for summer so we can enjoy the nice weather. 


Thank you, Brooke for taking time to talk to me!


If you are able to come to visit, make sure to say ‘Hi’ to Brooke!

Stay tuned, next month we will meet up with another great employee!

See you soon!

– BIG DOG

Get to Know WINCO – Scott

WINCO is a family-owned business with almost 80 employees. We thought it would be great to meet them!

Name: Scott Schanus
Department: Punch Press
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, restoring Allis-Chalmers tractors

Q: How long have you worked at WINCO?
A: Coming up on 6 years.

Q: Tell me about your family.
A: I have 2 brothers, 2 nieces, 1 nephew, and 1 great-niece

Q: Ice out is at the end of March here in Minnesota, will you still be ice fishing?
A: I have to get my ice house off the lake this weekend, but we can still use a pop-up shelter.

Q: Tell us about your tractors.
A: I restore Allis-Chalmers tractors. I have a 1939B, a 1947C and a 1953CA.

I also collect toy Allis-Chalmers tractors.


Q: Do you still use them?
A: Yes, I put a modern plow on them and plow at tractor shows. I also drive them in local parades.

Fun Fact! Scott brought his 1953CA to WINCO for a photo shoot with a 27PTO!


Thank you Scott for taking time to talk to me!


If you are able to come to visit, make sure to say ‘Hi’ to Scott!

Stay tuned, next month we will meet up with another great employee!

See you soon!

– BIG DOG