RealAg Shops, Ep 4: Retooling a municipal building with Mark Richards

When it comes to machinery shops, most farmers like to build them in their yard from the ground up.

But farmers are also innovators and some just can’t resist looking for alternative ways to get the job done. That’s certainly the case for Dresden, Ont., grain farmer Mark Richards who in 2015 came up with the idea of turning a former public works garage for the Town of Dresden into a farm shop for Richards Rolling Acres, his family’s century farm operation.

In this episode of RealAg Shops, Richards shares how he and his partners purchased the 145 x 75 foot building located at the edge of town, about a mile from the century farmhouse. He explains that when towns and municipalities in the area were amalgamated to create a new Chatham Kent municipality, the building was deemed surplus.

Richards toyed with the idea of building a new shop, but the prospect of purchasing the building and simply rolling in his tools, at less that half the cost of building a new shop, was too good to pass up.

In the video, Richards discusses the simple modifications he made to take advantage of the existing features in the shop, which now includes rolling benches that carry everything from welders to cutting torches and toolboxes.

With four work bays, there’s plenty of room to work on two combines and a tomato or sugar beet harvester, while keeping the main bay, with its wider 23-foot door, open for more short-term jobs. Richards also shares how office and storage space is allocated and why he likes not having the shop in his yard.

Tap here for more episodes of RealAg Shops.

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