Nelson Agri-Center owner Dan Kanis retiring and handing off business to next generation

VIROQUA, Wis. – Nelson Agri-Center is one of those anchors, or pillars of the community, that small towns depend on to keep their business community thriving. Dan Kanis is the current owner of Nelson’s, but he is carrying out a tradition of community leadership started by Fred Nelson, passed to Dan’s father Roy, and then to Dan and his former partner Mark Brueggen. After almost 30 years, Dan has decided it’s time to retire, but he will also carry on the tradition of leadership by passing the torch of ownership to the next generation.

Mark Brueggen, Fred Nelson, Roy Kanis and Dan Kanis

According to a social media post by the business, Dan’s career at Nelson Agri-Center started in July of 1995. One of his first positions in the company was in the agronomy department. From there he started learning all aspects of the business from his father, Roy.

In 2002, Dan and Mark Brueggen purchased both the Viroqua and Prairie du Chien stores from Roy. In 2015, they built a new store in Prairie du Chien.

Throughout his career, Dan has served on several advisory boards, both locally and nationally within the industry, as well as local economic development boards. Under Dan’s leadership, the company has been recognized as an industry leader, both locally and nationally. Among various recognitions, one of the highlights came in 2009 when Dan and Mark received the National Innovative Hardware Retailer of the Year award.

Dan has always felt very passionate about taking care of his employees and getting to know each of them on a personal level, developing a family atmosphere. Supporting local events in the Viroqua and Prairie du Chein communities has always been very important to Dan, continuing Fred Nelson’s legacy.

If he’s not fishing, hunting or hanging out with his grandkids, you will still see him occasionally in the store.

Dan’s sons, Jacob and Garriet, have taken over the family business, and are excited to continue to serve our communities with the service and expertise our customers have come to expect.

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