Foster County Independent - The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Trader calls it a career


March 13, 2023

Erik Gjovik

Al Trader will be celebrating his last day on the job as a sales representative for Leading Edge Equipment. He spent 42 years with the dealership, starting out when the business was Rosenau Equipment in 1981.

Back in the early 1980s, Al Trader and his wife, Sandy, didn't quite have a defined idea where life would take them.

After Al worked for an eastern North Dakota dealership for a time, the couple's original plans were to move to Bismarck and take jobs there, and that stance was one on which the two would not easily compromise.

So when Trader was offered the sales position at Rosenau Equipment in 1981, he accepted, albeit reluctantly.

"The company I was going to work for [in Bismarck] did not end up getting the business," he said. "So, they gave me Wayne's [Vigen, then-store manager] number to call. I talked with him, and he offered me the job, but I told him up front that I had intentions of going to Bismarck, and that was the place we wanted to end up."

Forty-two years from that day, the Traders are still here, and Leading Edge Equipment and the Carrington community are all the better for it.

Trader is retiring from Leading Edge following a long tenure serving the region's agricultural equipment needs.

"Over the years we realized that Carrington was the place we wanted to live," he said. "It's been good to us, and we've always thought we made the right decision."

Trader has spent all of those four-plus decades in the salesman's role, cultivating relationships with customers that have lasted over several generations of farming.

"The most rewarding part of my job has been, first and foremost, my customers," he says. "I've always said that I don't think of them as just that, but as friends."

When he started at Rosenau, the dealership was in a transitional phase, having just moved to the new building on north Highway 281 from their previous location at what is now the Independent's office.

Trader cites the strong leadership of the Rosenau family, from Jack to current office manager Gaylen, and the Leading Edge Group as one of the company's greatest positives.

"It's been a great group of people to work with, and I've also worked with a lot of people since then. Very few bad ones," he chuckled.

Since moving to Carrington, the Traders have become a very-visible part of the city's fabric, as they have been long-standing supporters of Cardinal athletics and other activities (named Honorary 'C' Club members in 2014), along with supporting FFA, 4-H, dance and almost everything in between.

"I believe the key to the future is the kids, no doubt about it," Trader says. "Without a strong group of kids, there would be no city, or no business."

Trader's involvement also extends to his church, where he has served on various offices within its leadership, and nine years on the Carrington City Council.

"As president of the council, I've always believed that if you don't like the way things are done, then join in and change it," he says. "It all comes down to working with people young and old, and treating them with respect."

Al and Sandy plan to take a cruise of the Panama Canal near the end of March, which he said they've been talking about for 45 years. They also plan to spend more time at the lake.

They won't be total strangers, though, as Al plans to stay involved with city council, FFA judging, and "local things for the unforeseen future."

"I've always told the people I deal with or work with, or the kids we support, that I truly am living the dream," Trader concluded.

A retirement party for Al Trader will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 2-5 p.m. at Prairie Inn, on the corner of the Highways 52-200/281 roundabout in north Carrington.