Family Business Lauded for Local Economic and Community Impact
Although DK Plastics is located in the remote rural town of Archer, their products are found around the world and used for a wide variety of purposes, earning the company worldwide recognition and this month’s Iowa Farm Bureau Renew Rural Iowa Award. In 1963, DK Plastics founder Dave DeKok decided he would scale back on farming with his dad to pursue a business venture selling windows. Today, more than 50 years later, Dave, his wife, and three sons operate the family business that has evolved to produce six to seven million pounds of plastic sheeting per year.
“I started the business selling windows on the side,” said DeKok. “I’d go knock on doors and sell and install windows. We ended up selling a lot of windows to schools, and six years into the business we started installing siding and grew to have multiple installation crews.” DK Plastics has grown to 32 employees with crews working around the clock on a variety of products.
Kiana Johnson, executive director of the O’Brien County Economic Development Group, has a hard time quantifying the huge local impact DK Plastics has on the small rural community of Archer with only about 100 residents.
“We have had the opportunity to work with Dave DeKok and his family as their business has grown,” Johnson explains. “They are a great family, a great organization, and a huge benefit to Archer, O’Brien County, and northwest Iowa. Integrity is the cornerstone of everything they do. They are a hard-working family and are very deserving of the award they are receiving today.”
The end users of DK Plastics’ products are wide ranging. The company has a customer base that ranges from local farmers who use plastic in their livestock barns to a company with the contract for the hockey rinks used during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The DeKoks expressed excitement about seeing some of their plastic products on display during the Olympic Games this summer.
Tim Peelen, an O’Brien County Farm Bureau board member and DK Plastics customer, speaks highly of the local manufacturer. “DK Plastics help bring more families to our county and help enroll more kids in our school districts,” Peelen said. “As more kids are looking for part-time jobs, many of them help out on farms here in O’Brien County thanks to DK Plastics attracting more families to our community.”
Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources. For more information about resources provided through the RRI initiative, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.