DREAM SHOP HOUSES MULTIPLE FAMILY FARM BUSINESSES
THE BUSY BAKER FAMILY BUILT A USEFUL SHOP SPECIFIC TO THEIR FARM’S NEEDS.
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.
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.”
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.
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.