Local Success Story Praised for Community Contribution, Employee Loyalty
FarmChem, a Floyd, Iowa-based company launched in 1974, knows how to evolve with the times and succeed, earning them Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur winner.
FarmChem began in ag chemical sales but the founders soon realized there was more potential growth in manufacturing and selling ag equipment used in grain farming, storage and energy. Justin Peterson, vice president of FarmChem, says the easiest way to describe the company is just to know they “predominantly make storage tanks, pumping systems, about anything you would use to move crop production.”
Today FarmChem has 80 employees who work to meet the needs of clients in 49 states and three countries, offering a catalog full of 12,000 small ag, energy and storage equipment. They have more growth ahead and even though they have distribution centers around the nation, Peterson says there are two predominant reasons they stay in Floyd. “Geographically, we’re well-positioned to serve our customer base in the corn belt and row crop states. And, the people here in north Iowa have served us well and we’ve found that employee base is key to our success.”
Chuck Souder, Floyd County Farm Bureau member and longtime resident, has seen the company’s success from several angles. “In my prior career, I was with First Security Bank in Charles City, working for 30 years as an ag and commercial lender. I had the fortunate opportunity to work with the founders, and I watched this company grow from a good idea to a whale of a good company with good employees. It was operated well and they’re very good corporate community neighbors,” says Souder. Souder sees advantages in keeping the local employer local, and growing. “The more times you can turn a dollar in the local community, and keep that dollar in that community, it’s just going to have an exponential, positive effect on the local environment and the community, and helps Floyd County be the progressive county it has been over the years and provides a vision for that continuing in the future.”
FarmChem President Dion Buhman says his vision for the future is to continue to serve the agricultural market. “We’ll do that by investing in employees and paying attention to the needs of the agricultural retailer,” says Buhman.
RRI is an Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) initiative supporting new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources. Since its inception over a decade ago, RRI has helped create $125M in economic impact for rural communities. The next RRI Business Success Seminar, “The Journey to Your Vision,” takes place in October. For more information about that upcoming seminar, RRI and the RRI Pathways, a searchable technology that connects entrepreneurs with resources, go to http://programs.iowafarmbureau.com/RRI/.