Along the dusty, meandering back roads that make up thousands of miles of America’s rural landscape lie the scenic views of postcard fronts, the backdrops of leisurely Sunday drives, the nostalgic glimpses of a simpler, slower time. But behind the scenes, behind the barn doors and barbed wire fences, thousands of America’s farming and ranching families are up with the sun – hustling to do their part to produce the more than 130 billion dollars-worth of agricultural products that feed our families and meet the world’s export demand.
This is no days-gone-by industry of generations past; operations are more technologically focused than ever before and the business-savvy men and women who run the two million-plus farms and millions of other agriculture-based businesses throughout the United States are seeking smart solutions for meeting the demands of a vastly growing population and changing consumer demands.
One of the most prominent needs and most critical factors in the success of agriculture-based businesses is the buildings that house all of those animals … all of that expensive equipment and machinery … every hard-earned ounce of that valuable product. The wooden barns and structures of tradition are no longer the rule as more and more people choose the longevity, durability, practicality and affordability of metal building construction. And that’s where Matt Redlin of Landmark Builders in Watertown, South Dakota and Star Building Systems come together.
Matt began working with Landmark Builders in 2003 and eventually purchased the company from the original owner in 2016. His company’s primary focus is constructing metal buildings for use in various segments of the agriculture industry: cattle confinement buildings, dairy buildings, equipment and commodity storage, and just about anything the folks who depend on agriculture for a living depend on to keep them going.
Matt’s clients cover thousands of acres of South and North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and portions of Nebraska. Because they rely on him, he relies on Star to deliver not only a quality product, but the service that helps him respond to customer requests and changing industry standards efficiently and cost effectively. “The Star pricing program is really nice because it lays out the details of every project – from simple to complex”, says Matt, “and the introduction of new and different products that meet changing demands and building codes helps me take care of problems before they become even bigger problems.”
P.J. Bogensberger, Heartland District Sales Manager at Star, has worked with Matt for seven years and has built a strong relationship with him, getting to know and understand the agricultural building design/build process and how Star can help add value to every project. “Matt is every well versed in cattle structures, dairies, commodity storage, and equipment buildings;” P.J. explains, “We try to look at every project of his and see how we can value-engineer a building to help find an area where we can reduce the cost, add a column in a critical area, correct the loading to avoid future issues, adjust the bay spacing to be more efficient … those types of things.”
“A lot of Matt’s buildings are similar”, says Tony Showen, who works with Matt as a builder service rep at Star, “so there’s often something we can tweak on one building that helps reduce cost or increase efficiency, and then we can use that same adjustment on several of his buildings and it helps keep design costs lower while making improvements across the board.”
Similarity among designs doesn’t suggest lack of creativity, though. Today’s metal buildings aren’t the “square box”, Matt says, that people sometimes assume they are. With a variety of rock or brick fronts, customizations, colors and details available, metal buildings can be as beautiful as they are functional and dependable. And in an industry that must stand up to tough conditions – extreme weather, pests, environmental hazards, care of live animals, protection of large, expensive equipment – the buildings better stand up, too. Matt understands the gravity of getting it right, which is why his relationship with Star stands just as strong as those buildings do. In his words, “Star just steps up to the plate and gets it done.”
We’re honored to serve you, Matt, and to help you serve one of our country’s most valued and important industries.