Successful Farming - - TOP SHOPS® -

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 60×80-foot shop to serve as the cen­ter for the fam­ily farm.

“Be­ing able to un­der­stand the gen­eral lay­out and know­ing what you need the shop for are crit­i­cal, be­cause that is what’s go­ing to make your dream come true,” says Mark.

Handy Equip­ment

Baker Pre­ci­sion Planter Works, a planter re­pair and cal­i­bra­tion busi­ness, com­pletes nu­mer­ous re­builds on planters through­out the year. 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 . It’s very pre­cise, and it 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, we can eas­ily roll the bench out of the way to get closer,” says Mark.

use­ful Jib Crane

With a handy fab­ri­ca­tion area, the Bak­ers placed their swing­ing jib crane be­tween the fab­ri­ca­tion area and the 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 ever thought we would.”

Se­cu­rity mea­sures

The busy shop is equipped with se­cu­rity, in­clud­ing cam­eras in­side and out­side the build­ing, and has 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 be­cause cus­tomers’ equip­ment is in our safe­keep­ing, se­cu­rity was some­thing we re­ally needed,” Mark says.

The whole fam­ily is able to mon­i­tor the se­cu­rity cam­eras on their smart­phones.

easy to Clean

It’s as im­por­tant to the Bak­ers to keep their shop clean as it is to main­tain the farm and their busi­nesses.

“We wanted to make it a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment for our cus­tomers so they can sit and learn the new 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.

Cus­tom­ized Of­fice

When build­ing the shop, the Bak­ers knew they wanted an of­fice where they could as­sist their cus­tomers, and they wanted it to have its own per­son­al­ity.

A 30×47-foot lean-to was built that in­cludes a gen­eral of­fice, a meet­ing room, and a kitch­enette. The func­tional of­fice space has six com­puter desks as well as a train­ing area for their cus­tomers in pre­ci­sion plant­ing and farm safety.

The in­te­rior looks like a gen­eral store and is built from re­claimed barn wood from the fam­ily farm. An an­tique barn trol­ley serves as a chan­de­lier in the meet­ing room. It is not only a busy of­fice but also a cen­ter of fam­ily his­tory.

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