SIBLEY—More than 35 years of experience in building and remodeling hog confinements is putting out new roots in Sibley.
Precision Structures Inc. opened a location at the Osceola County Enterprise Park northwest of Sibley in December.
The general contracting business specializes in building, remodeling and servicing buildings for hog producers.
It is based in Wellman, and formerly covered eastern Iowa and parts of Illinois, Indiana and eastern Minnesota. The expansion marks its first foray into N’West Iowa and serving customers in southwest Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota.
“In recent years we have seen a growing movement in hog production and swine facilities moving west, which opened up the opportunity to expand more,” said Tasha Kapp, who along with her husband, James, manages sales and projects out of the Sibley location.
Precision Structures has been building and remodeling every kind of building for raising hogs since 1983. The business is known for construction of sow complexes, nurseries and wean and finishing sites as well as converting buildings from one purpose to another.
“That’s kind of our main staple, is anything and everything to do with pigs, from new constructions to remodels to service work,” Tasha said. “We kind of encompass anything to do with a hog facility.”
This includes niche projects like building or converting small barns for show pigs.
Precision Structures has a four-person service team to do repairs and install parts for buildings they have constructed or remodeled. That has yet to be replicated in Sibley for N’West Iowa customers and those even farther afield, but the location has plenty of room and potential for expansion and additions as the customer base grows.
“We have the facilities for storing parts and pieces with a heated shop and cold storage, so our goal is hopefully in the next three to five years, have enough workload in this area so we can support having a maintenance crew and a service department,” Tasha said. “That’s our goal for that.”
For the moment, James and Tasha Kapp are the only employees based at the Sibley location. They are able to provide sales services and supervise projects from the site for customers.
Any service or repairs for customers are contracted out to Hog House Handyman of Ashton, owned by Corey Shearer. As demand for facility services grows, in-house service technicians will be added in Sibley.
“We’re still able to service the buildings we have now, and as we get bigger we’ll be able to bring on more staff to kind of build our own service department,” Tasha said.
Hog producers still are working through the kinds of industrywide upheaval brought on the coronavirus pandemic. Shutdowns of meat-packing plants last spring resulted in an overall decrease of pigs, leaving some producers with empty buildings while they waited for the demand to come back.
Contractors like Precision Structures are seeing those producers take this opportunity to update existing buildings to attract new contracts.
“COVID gave them the opportunity to focus more so on the remodel side of things,” Tasha said. “With the rising cost of materials and not the number of pigs out there, we’re seeing an increase in remodels and a decrease on construction.”
That increase is popping up across N’West Iowa and farther afield. The Kapps have customers and projects in east South Dakota, north central Nebraska, and southwest Minnesota as the customer base expands outward.
Tasha added that the advantage of going to a general contractor for these projects can make remodeling more efficient than individual hog producers could accomplish by contracting every element of a project piecemeal by themselves.
“There’s the concept of hiring a general contractor that will do a turnkey operation,” Tasha said. “A general contractor is going to take on that day-to-day work of making sure the subcontractors show up, they follow the blueprint, the barn fits the contract with the integrator.”
Although the dust has yet to settle in the hog industry as a whole, Tasha said this window of change has turned into an ideal opportunity for Precision Structures to branch out and expand its service area.
“We knew the industry was going to come back,” she said. “It’s not going away. The pig industry is here to stay. We’re building for the future to support that future.”