Perhaps it’s true that you can take the kid out of the country, but not the country out of the kid. Raised on a farm in Tamalco, Illinois, located in downstate Bond County, Sam Langham grew up with a healthy curiosity for machinery and the way things operate. That interest eventually led him up Interstate 57 to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where he enrolled in Agricultural Communications. That curriculum offered Sam the opportunity to combine his farm background with a passion for photography, which resulted in a photojournalism assignment for the College of Veterinary Medicine as well as a stint on the photo staff for the school newspaper, The Daily Illini.
His proficiency with the camera earned him a photographer position with the Wheaton Daily Journal, and a relocation to Chicagoland area. Eventually he experienced a desire for a career change and felt the pull of the equipment business. So in 1981, Sam, with much gusto, turned up at Martin Implement’s dealership in Orland Park to demonstrate a mower manufactured by Grasshopper, one of the leading innovators of zero-turn technology. Perhaps due to Sam’s outright enthusiasm, he ended up being hired on to the sales staff by company President, Art Novak. In those fledgling times, Sam sat side by side with Art and Sales Manager, Bill Morgan, in an office that had less of a footprint than a contemporary walk-in closet. To this day, Sam is still fond of relating the story on how he had to plead with Art to part with the office’s rotary phones for more efficient touch tone models!
Some 36 years later Sam holds the distinction as the most tenured sales rep in the history of Martin Implement, so it’s understandable why he’s ready for a change of pace. He’s always been a fervent advocate for the company and will no doubt continue to regale others about the unique experiences and friendships he’s formed with colleagues and customers alike. As a benefit of his proclivity for photography, he’s documented a fair share of Martin’s history along the way, some of which can be found on our Instagram site. If you desire to stay in touch with Sam, he’s graciously offered his new cell number for you to do so. He can now be reached at (708) 321-0007. Thanks for the memories, Sam, and fare thee well, our friend!