American Values Forged in Steel

Tough Country’s grand safari

August 2014 Feature Jeffrey V. Shirts Web Exclusive

Tough Country—owned by the Pratka family: Mark and Kay, Brent and Christy, Kurt and Danielle, Clay and Beverly—loves their family, their company, and their country, and to them they are indistinguishable. Their vision is to have 45 percent of all trucks and ATV owners in the US equipped with a Tough Country component aboard their rig, and the crazy thing is that they might just succeed; because Tough Country is more than a company, they believe.

They believe in their product, they believe in their values, and they believe in their supporters. They know that American manufacturing is not dead, and that building a company upon the values of innovation, hard work, and quality materials that they can offer superior products than their competitors. They also realize that their supporters are a part of their company, not merely a customer, and they believe in treating them to not only the best products available, but also to the best experiences available.

In fact, they more than believe in their supporters, and they want more for their supporters than to know that they have purchased the best products Tough Country provides. Tough Country wants to be part of their supporters’ hobbies, passions, and recreational activities.

Charles Jordan of Tough Country stated their core philosophy: “If we are going to work hard, we are going to play hard.” This motto carries Tough Country to be more than a manufacturer of bumpers and other products, creating great moments defined not by their products, but by their passions. Located in the southwest Texan city of El Campo, hunting, outdoor living and recreational activities are a large part of the culture that Tough Country embodies. Sharing their passion for hunting and enjoying the outdoors, Comre Safaris has sponsored a once-in-a-life time adventure with country star Kevin Fowler and Tough Country to give away a South African Safari.

During the contest, over 3,000 people applied, from all over the United States. The photo contest was of entrants showcasing what they had successfully hunted. After selecting the top 20 entrants, Tough Country then flew out all 20 potential winners to their ranch to have dinner with the Tough Country family, to meet Kevin Fowler, and to participate in the final competition.

Comre Safaris created the final competition to mimic the conditions of a South African safari, where abilities of hunters are constantly tested against the changing landscape. The contestants had to shoot a series of several targets spanning several distances, while running to different ranges with a South African Professional Hunter from Comre Safaris. The winner won with the fastest time in the relay and the most accurate marksmanship. At the end of the competition, with the fastest time and the most precise marksmanship was Jeremy Pozderac.

After the competition, Tough Country held a giant barbecue featuring, of course, Kevin Fowler on stage. Talking with Tough Country they mentioned that the competition was more than a success: not only did Jeremy Pozderac win, but nine of the invited 20 finalists purchased their own tickets and will be joining the safari.

Of course, those that know Tough Country realize that is no surprise. Since their founding Tough Country has made a name for themselves with the quality bumpers, guards, headache racks, and more, and they realize that the success of their company hinges on their ability to interact and lead the industry, not only in products, but also in supporter experience. Tough Country continues to grow in the industry, following the dictates of their values, and it seems as if nothing could possibly slow them down.

Tough Country’s partner that sponsored the South African Safari contest was Comre Safaris. Located out of South Africa, Comre Safaris offers their clientele a variety of hunting styles, including ‘spot and stalk’—which is similar to the final contest held at the Tough Country ranch, tracking, the leopard hunt using their residential hound pack, bow hunting, and bird hunting.

The contest of the South African Safari spanned from early 2013, and next week winner Jeremy Pozderac will be flying to Africa for his adventure with Tough Country, Kevin Fowler, and Comre Safaris.

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