Our Story

Edward Shorma's First Business


In 1954, a shoe repair business became available in Wahpeton, North Dakota, when its owner left town.  After some bargaining, Edward Shorma’s offer of $1,500, which was raised by mortgaging his car, was accepted.  A $50 loan from an employee of the shop covered cash register change and the first month’s rent.  Not long after, Shorma used his shoe repair skills to diversify into repairing tarps for farm trucks.  That turned into new contracts for replacement seats for tractors, canvas belting, and wooden slats.  Fast forward to 1973 when MacDon Industries, a Canadian farm equipment supplier, gave Shorma and the Wahpeton Canvas Company (WCCO) its big break.  MacDon asked for a quote on original-equipment canvas belting.  By the end of that year, WCCO had found its niche and would soon relocate its business to the north side of town to a larger facility with plenty of land for future development (picture below). 

In 1982, after nearly ten years of growth and success in the agricultural equipment and manufacturing industries, Ed Shorma's entrepreneurial talent and hard work were nationally recognized when he received the Small Business Person of the Year award from President Ronald Reagan in a White House ceremony.

The current C.E.O./President of WCCO Belting, Inc. is Ed Shorma’s third oldest son of eight children, Thomas Shorma, who began working for the company in 2001.  Since then, WCCO was the 2003 North Dakota Exporter of the Year and in 2010 it won the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exporting.  Today, the business is a stand out in the national and international agricultural belting markets and continues to acquire customers in the industrial, construction, and recycling fields.