Is metal the future of agricultural construction? Ryan Edward Rock is a general industrial contractor from Ankeny, Iowa. He is the President of Empire AG. He’s here to share his thoughts on using metal for Ag construction.
What is Ag Construction?
Agricultural construction is the construction of buildings or structures related to agriculture. These include residential buildings for families or workers, barns, and silos.
It includes feed lots, arenas for selling livestock, and crop processing facilities. Shelters for farm machinery storage and workshops are included as well.
The Rise of Factory Farming
Farming used to be performed by families on small farms. It has roots in the early 1900s, but factory farming as we know it today began in the 1950s with chicken farming.
By the 70s, the government encouraged farmers to “get big or get out.” Today, over 90% of farm animals live and are processed by factory farms.
Factory Farming and Metal Buildings
Factory farming is a large scale, which requires much larger buildings than smaller family farms. Agricultural buildings were traditionally made from wood.
Smaller facilities could be made from wood easily. However, creating larger buildings out of wood is challenging.
Advances in farming have also led to increased crop yields in Ankeny, Iowa, and around the country, which requires a greater storage capacity.
Ryan Rock notes that there are also new industries promoting agricultural construction growth. CBD has created a large-scale hemp industry, for example.
The Benefits of Metal for Ag Construction
Ryan Edward Rock states many benefits of choosing metal for agricultural construction. In addition to being easier to build on a large scale, they are typically less expensive, cheaper to insure, and aren’t susceptible to pests.
Ease and Effectiveness of Construction
One reason why many farmers, both large and small scale, are choosing metal buildings is the ease of construction.
Metal buildings are typically easier to build than wooden structures. This means the building can be utilized sooner.
They don’t require trusses or columns, often used to support wooden barns. This provides more open floor space that can be utilized.
Metal structures are often less expensive to build than wood buildings. One reason for this is the ease of construction. Another reason is the cost of the materials themselves, according to Ryan Rock.
In addition to being cheaper to build, the insurance costs of metal buildings is typically less than those made of wood. They are resistant to fire and pests, which may account for this difference.
Farmers today have many regulations to follow. For example, there are regulations about how animals are housed. Metal buildings can be easily designed to meet these regulations.
As the president of Empire AG, Ryan Edward Rock works as an agricultural contractor. The company focuses on designing and building within the agricultural industry.
He founded the company in 2018 and has a highly skilled team of the workers. He’s from Ankeny, Iowa. He is a proud Iowa State University Ivy College of Business graduate.