Lacona-area farmers have depended on Troy Williams’ fix-it skills for years and have celebrated the business’ success and growth. The company, Williams Machine Shop, is this month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa entrepreneur award winner.
Williams established the machine shop in 1991. He started offering farm machinery repair and realized he needed to diversify. The business evolved to add metal fabrication and welding services. Today, Williams Machine Shop works with area farmers and large companies, including Casey’s General Stores.
For farmers like Duane Ohnemus, president of the Warren County Farm Bureau, Williams’ business is vital. “As a farmer, when you have a break-down, it’s important to get back online as quickly as possible,” he said. “Williams can fix or make about anything,” said Ohnemus.
Jason White with Warren County Economic Development said Williams Machine Shop is key to the county’s economy. While recruiting outside businesses is important to the county’s long-term economic outlook, White is quick to highlight the role of existing small businesses. “Troy’s business continues to grow and now employs 17 people. We find that most new jobs are created by businesses that are already here,” said White.
Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring and financial resources. RRI will host a Business Success Seminar on Thursday, Nov. 1, in the IFBF auditorium. The seminar features Curt Nelson, president of Entrepreneurial Development Center, and will discuss resources, business planning, and leadership development. To learn more or register for the seminar, visit www.renewruraliowa.com
. The seminar is supported by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Venturenet Iowa and Iowa State University Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service.