Dream Shop Created for Multiple Family Farm Businesses
With a diversified dairy farm, precision planter shop, and forage bagger business, Mark and Kim Baker needed a headquarters for their growing operation. Alongside their sons, Chad and Zack, the Bakers constructed a 60- x 80-foot shop to serve as the center for the family farm.
“So much planning goes into building a shop,” says Mark, who started planning for the shop two years in advance. “Being able to understand the general layout and knowing what it is that you need the shop for is critical, because that is what’s going to make your dream come true.”
Baker Precision Planter Works, a planter repair and calibration business, completes numerous rebuilds on planters throughout the year, and the shop enables the Bakers to work on as many as two sizable planters at the same time. With the season starting as early as January, Mark says whatever it is that needs fixed on a planter, they can do it.
Mark is particularly fond of their MetalWorker as there is hardly a day that goes by that the Bakers don’t use it within their fabrication area. From building brackets and other planter pieces, Mark says the machine can build almost anything.
The shop also features an industrial, vertical Marvel Band Saw, also useful for the family’s fabricating business. “It’s a wonderful piece of equipment: very precise and can cut through anything,” says Mark.
The Bakers find their rolling welding table to be another useful feature in their shop. “If there’s a piece of equipment that needs to get closer to the welder, you can easily roll the bench out of the way to get closer,” says Mark.
Jib Crane Usefulness
With a handy fabrication area, the Bakers placed their swinging jib crane between the fabrication area and main door to enable them to swing equipment easily and safely. When completing maintenance on equipment that’s heavy and hard to maneuver, the Bakers find the machine to be a key one for their operation.
“It’s amazing how much work we do with the jib crane,” says Mark. “More than I even thought we would. There’s not a season that doesn’t go by that it’s not being used.”
The busy shop is equipped with security, including cameras inside and outside the building as well as touchpad locking systems on the doors. The security was added after the Bakers experienced a break-in.
“We recognize that we have a lot of equipment and customer’s equipment is in our safe keeping, so the security was something we really needed.”
Mark says the investment in the security system was significantly low. The whole family is able to monitor the security cameras on their smart phones.
Effortless to Clean
The Bakers work just as hard to keep their shop clean as they do maintaining the farm and their businesses.
“We wanted to make it a comfortable environment for our customers, so they can sit and learn newer techniques and technologies,” says Mark. The Bakers deep clean the shop from ceiling to floor at least once a year. With movable, detached equipment, they are able to move anything to clean.
When constructing the shop, Mark buried the electrical conduit under the concrete to allow the walls to be free of excess conduit. In turn, the Bakers are able to power wash the walls and ceiling without electrical issues.
A Customized Office
When building the shop, the Bakers knew they wanted an office where they could assist their customers as well as have its own personality.
A 30x47-foot lean to was built with a general office split with a meeting room and kitchenette. The functional office space has six computer desks as well as a training area for their customers in precision planting and farm safety.
With a general store interior built from reclaimed barn wood from the family farm and an antique barn trolley serving as a chandelier in the meeting room, it’s not only a busy office but also a place of family history.