Armour equipment manufacturing company growing

Farm Forum

ARMOUR – A major employer in Armour is adding on to its facility.

Werk Weld Inc., a family owned and operated company, manufactures cattle feeding equipment and distributes it across the country.

The company already employs 18 people and needs more room for storage and fabrication to keep up with orders. An addition will add 13,000 square feet to an existing 19,500-square-foot building. There are future plans to add employees.

Darold Werkmeister started the business in 1982 as a welding shop. His son Kevin started his career at the shop during childhood, sweeping floors and cleaning equipment.

“I dreaded it,” Kevin said with a laugh.

But after the Army, college and some time working in Dallas, Texas, he came back to Armour to work in the family business.

Darold acquired a creep-feeder line in 1995, which launched the company toward greater success.

The business began in a 40-by-40 foot shop, which received a 48-by-70 foot addition prior to Kevin returning home.

In 2007, the company built a new facility, a 130-by-150 foot structure located just south of Armour on U.S. Highway 281. The addition will be 130 by 100 feet.

To construct the building in 2007, the company received a state Revolving Economic Development and Initiative (REDI) Fund loan. For the addition, the Werkmeisters are funding the project with the company’s own capital.

Kevin credits the company’s success to a quality product.

Darold instilled in his son and his employees, “If you’re going to do something, do it right,” Kevin said.

Werk Weld already sells its products nationwide, but the company believes it can still grow.

Werk Weld has field salesmen who sell to 200 dealers from coast to coast. The company also exhibits at 15 to 20 farm shows per year throughout the United States, including Dakotafest in Mitchell.

Despite the drought affecting agriculture, Werk Weld is thriving.

“A lot of farmers bought creep feeders to supplement cattle for feeding when there wasn’t a lot of pasture,” Kevin said.

Although the company sells nationwide, Kevin said he’s grateful for the local workforce and support.

“We’ve been very blessed to live in the Armour community,” he said. “They’ve helped us grow, and we’d like to do the same for the community.”