Ag Property Solutions: Where design meets possibility

Ag Property Solutions introduces new catalog; Expands further into livestock building market

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Agricultural Property Solutions can assist in the building process of livestock buildings from the design process to construction and more.

EMMETSBURG — From planning and design to maintenance and repair and everything in between, Ag Property Solutions (APS) works closely with livestock producers, providing customers with innovative and customized solutions for their construction and facility needs.

APS was founded in January 2009 as a subsidiary of Emmetsburg-based Kerber Companies to serve as a general contractor and provide a variety of warehousing, repair and maintenance services for Kerber-owned livestock operations and other customers. Soon thereafter, APS entered the wean-to-finish segment in 2011, and then advanced into building complete sow farms in 2014.

In 2017, Ag Property Solutions moved to a new facility in Emmetsburg, which, according to the company, allowed them to put more strategic focus on growing the business. Standard Nutrition Company of Omaha, Nebraska, acquired APS as part of their acquisition of Kerber Companies in 2018. Not long after this, APS acquired Win-Win, LLC. This acquisition has allowed the combined companies to grow into new markets and geographic regions and bring more than a decade of experience to the livestock facilities sector.

Brian Stork, executive director of operations for APS, said those changes are just the beginning of company growth for APS.

“Our execution has changed a lot from where we were a year ago,” he said. “We have been able to successfully bring the two companies together and establish a standard process. We have a lot of good team members that work with us in the office, and we have a lot of talent in the field. That is so important when you are looking at remote locations all across the U.S.”

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An aerial view of Agricultural Property Solutions shows the company’s main office, which is located in Emmetsburg.

APS has primarily focused on offering design and construction for the swine industry in the past, but has decided to branch out from there.

“We’ve added solutions for dairy, cow/calf and poultry just within the last year,” said Stork. “Within just the last three months, we have made good contacts in the market. They are eager for somebody else to look at the opportunities there. It’s a good opportunity for us to diversify the company.”

With so much of their focus being on swine building construction, what makes APS qualified to branch into other livestock and animal building construction?

“We hire the right people. We look for people within the industry that have experience and have built relationships already,” he said.

Stork said they work with both private producers and large integrators.

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Agricultural Property Solutions can custom build livestock buildings, assist in developing the design, and also assist with the building permit process.

“We are a full turnkey provider of design and construction services. We can do everything from civil work to the end completion of the building,” he said. “We have drafting and engineering capabilities, the ability to go out and help with surveying and permitting, or we get a spec sheet and are told ‘here’s exactly what it has to be’ so then, there is not a lot of design required and we build to their specifications. We adjust to the needs of our customers.”

Stork said they can also help to steer the customer in the right direction for financing.

“We do that, so when we hit the ground, everything’s there. It’s all pre-approved, and we can just go,” he said.

“Right now, we are working on an engineering platform that will help from start to finish, from getting the permits, helping with a manure management plan, all of that, so we can guide them in the right direction,” he said.

Stork said if someone is ready to enter, re-enter or expand into the livestock industry, all they need to do is give APS a call.

“Give us a call, and we will walk you right through it,” he said. “We want to provide producers with an easy button. If we can help and get the right people up front, make the contacts, then we are doing our job. Whether it’s looking for an integrator, or maybe an independent who wants to switch over, we have contacts on that as well. It’s just a conversation over a cup of coffee. My goal is for them to make one call and we take it to the end.”

Another facet of the construction phase APS offers is an asset audit.

“We can do asset audits where we go through and make sure the things are working how they are supposed to be working,” Stork said. “It provides clarity of what’s in the barn and where there may be needed repairs. Customers can just give us part numbers of everything they need. It stops the guess work.”

Stork said there isn’t just one particular design to their buildings at APS.

“We don’t build based on a cookie-cutter design. The customer drives what we are doing. We work with as many vendors as we can to get our customers what they want in their barns,” he said. “We might make suggestions, but it is ultimately what they want in their barns.”


Not only does APS construct buildings, but they also supply products for those buildings, and for buildings being built by a separate entity, as well as have products on hand for repairs.

“We carry a lot of our own inventory,” he said.

New this year for APS is their product catalog.

“We have our first release, volume one of our product catalog,” said Michelle Kubat, marketing manager for Ag Property Solutions. “We’ve always had product, but we have not promoted it within one dedicated division. And, our parts phone line rings directly to a parts account manager, not a customer service bank of inexperienced order takers.”

“We carry a lot of products that people don’t know we carry,” said Stork. “It just gives a broader picture of who we really are. Start to finish. We’re not just building a barn; we want to supply what you need for that barn and we want to help repair things in that barn.”

If there is a product that is not featured in their catalog, they will find it.

Soon, Stork said they will have their new product catalog available online.

Stork said they also offer 24-hour tech support for their barns and products through the technical services division.

“They can call 712-852-8556 and ask for service, and there’s somebody that will either answer or call right back. We can help, and if we need to send people out, we can,” he said.

APS also has two engineers and a manager over in China that work closely with their factories there.

“We can custom-build products if we need it,” he said. “That helps a lot.”

Stork said APS has a large footprint in the United States, estimating they have constructed buildings in about 24 states, and he expects that to only grow.

“We’ve built anywhere from Utah to South Carolina to Texas, and we’re broadening that footprint,” he said. “We have already put staff in the east this year and are working with them to expand that market.”

Currently, APS is all managed from their home office in Emmetsburg. Thanks to technology, Stork said it is easy to keep in communication with his teams in the field.

“I can hit one button and call all of my team members in the field,” he said. “We also use a lot of analytics. We use software to track everything. I can track to see how long it takes to get a barn done. It’s all about communication and making sure that we are all communicating together as a team.”

Although Stork said he keeps a close eye on things from Emmetsburg, it is really the project managers and superintendents that get the job done.

“It is all driven by them,” he said. “They’re the eyes and ears on-site.”

Animal livestock industry

Stork said that although there have been some issues with trade, he believes things are beginning to look up.

With the passing of the USMCA, he believes it opens up a lot of opportunities, as does the Phase One deal that was made with China.

“I think there is a lot of cautious optimism in the market,” he said. “People are excited about opportunities that could arise, but we are still at that point that we don’t have all the facts. But I think in the next three to four weeks, there are going to be some positive things come out of the pork industry.”

If that’s the case, Stork said APS is ready to help people expand or enter the animal livestock business.

“We are ready to go,” he said.

But why should someone choose APS?

“Quality. And we really listen to the consumer,” he said. “We’re doing everything we can to streamline the approach to save them money.”

Stork said they have made a lot of changes in their approach, and efficiency is a big factor in making the changes.

“We had a finisher in 2019 that was 55 days from start to finish to having pigs in the barn,” he said. “It’s all about efficiency and our follow-through. We also have a large group of vendors we work with. We have a lot of opportunities.”

Stork said APS also has a high rate of repeat business.

“Guys that have built with us are coming back, and I think that speaks for itself,” he said. “We have a good team out there and professionals that know what they are doing. Our tagline is, ‘Where Design Meets Possibility’; we are taking ideas, putting them into the designs and making them a reality.”

When it comes to designing a building, Stork said they have implemented a lot of software to assist with that process, including new accounting packages, new estimating software and recent training on new state-of-the-art building design software that can provide for a 3D walkthrough of the building.

“It’s not the same industry it was 10 years ago. It is going to continue to change, and we will be looking at new technologies, he said. “Farmers don’t carry five-gallon buckets anymore to feed the pigs. It has become an art and a science, and we really have to look at the new technologies that are coming down the pipe to make sure we are on top of it. That way, we are ahead of it and bringing innovation to the producers.”


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