Brent Benike is the General Manager for Northern Farmers Co-op in Williams, MN, and its organization had been needing new storage for fertilizer for quite some time. The changing nature of the farming business was one of the drivers for expanding the co-op’s fertilizer situation. Equipment, explains Benike, is getting bigger and more sophisticated, so farmers can get their crops in the ground faster than ever (weather permitting of course). Consequently, their fertilizer business has to be ready all the time. “You have to be at capacity to be able to handle that in today’s ag world,” he said, “Product has got to be on hand so you can get it out the door quickly.” Northern Farmers Co-op had an old elevator that it tore down to expand its fertilizer capacity, and it came to Legacy to design a building that fit the space. A map of the site shows that the company’s land is hemmed in by a railroad on one side and a state highway on the other. The building had to fit in that space.



Being able to customize a structure for the needs of a building owner is one thing; the ability to customize it to the future needs of a customer is another matter altogether. That’s what Legacy did for Northern Farmers Co-op. The cooperative had a need for more fertilizer storage, but it also wanted one that could be expanded and modified based on future needs. Legacy customizes every building it creates; fitting structures into existing spaces is what we do. Sometimes fertilizer storage structures include a mixing tower. Benike said it currently has a mixer for fertilizer, but it’s getting on in years. Eventually, a volumetric floor blender will be added to the new building, and the company created extra space for that. It also used precast concrete walls to create bins, something Legacy often recommends. While the company is limited on space by the railroad and the highway, it can expand in another direction. There’s an old quonset hut that is just about ready to be torn down, and Benike plans to expand the new building into that space. By communicating with Legacy up front that they wanted to expand, it gave our designers and engineers the opportunity to design end walls that will accommodate that growth in the fertilizer storage space.