A second home to a group of hard-working young men
By Mark H. Stowers
The Bolivar Bullet
Farm shops come in all shapes and sizes. Farmers construct, renovate, and remodel to produce a space that is both efficient and spacious enough to house all the necessary items that are needed to run a smooth operation.
The farm shop that Jack Westerfield shares with Jacob Fullen and Hunter Abide just outside of Merigold, has a creative history. It first housed a motorcycle assembly business and then morphed into a gas station. That foundation was a perfect fit for the building to become a well-used farm shop.
Westerfield said the renovated 8,000-square foot-facility is more than sufficient to fit the needs of the first-generation farming trio.
“It was a manufacturing facility then vacant for a long time before it was re-opened as Three-Way Gas Station. When that business closed I was lucky enough to be able to buy the property,” said Westerfield. “I was working out of a very small shop in Merigold before I purchased our current location.”
The renovations that took place to make the building work efficiently included taking out walls to open things up.
“We’ve got the space opened up now and it’s a blessing to have all the great work area. We work on most of our equipment ourselves. We also do a little custom mechanic work as well.” he said.
Like most farm shops, the structure doubles as a place to eat and fellowship with workers and other farmers in the area.
“It’s a great place for all of us to gather. We have lunch at the shop three or four times a week. There’s always something being cooked or grilled. We have several dogs that live in the shop full-time that are sure ‘nuff junkyard dogs. The dogs are intimidating due to their breed and size, so we have a very reliable alarm system!” he laughed.
There is plenty of room inside the shop to park equipment and the building has two gas pump awnings left over from the previous business to park things under as well.
“We have a fully paved gravel lot and plenty of room. We have a couple of shipping containers out back to put materials in,” he said. “Hunter, Jacob, and myself farm separate land, but we work together and share our equipment so we can learn and try to make it all work.”
In the back area of the property Westerfield’s brother, Jon, has a mechanic shop.
“Jon tunes LS motors. He can dyno anything and can even tune a race car – tell how much horsepower it has and the shift points. We call him the mad scientist. He’s been into it since we were kids.”
Westerfield summed up the shop as most farmers do.
“It’s a second home to all of us. We’re at the shop more than we are at home most of the time,” he said.