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Farm services ready for new FD facility

By Staff | Dec 2, 2011

Kendal Jeandlanc, with Marsh Concrete, uses a power saw to cut expansion joints in the freshly poured parking lot of the new USDA building located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 169 and Highway 7, north of Fort Dodge.

By LARRY KERSHNER

Farm News news editor

FORT?DODGE – An $800,000 building has been under construction since late September, and two U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies are preparing to take possession the week following Christmas.

The facility, which is located at the corner of U.S. Highway 169 and Iowa Highway 7, is being built by Zimmerman Buildings Inc., based in Monticello, which was awarded the bid earlier this year.

The structure will be leased by USDA for 10 years, said contractor Norm Zimmerman. His company has been building USDA facilities since 1996, he said.

Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, will relocate to the new structure between Christmas and New Year.

“We get a lot of positive comments about it,” Zimmermann said of his barn-style structure.

The office building is 56-by-94-feet, with a gambrel, barn-style roof, and a round cutout to resemble a silo. There will also be a second story in the center of the building.

Zimmerman said his company will provide 100 percent full service to the building.

Sam Adams, district conservationist for Webster County’s NRCS office, said the move will give the USDA agencies more room to function.

“We’re pretty cramped here,” he said of the current location at 1200 1/2 3rd Ave. NW. “It will be more open and inviting to farmers.”

He said records storage will be more centrally located and increase staff efficiency.

“The real nice thing will be energy efficiency,” Adams said, “it’s really, really high.

“I believe there are triple-pane windows and (Zimmerman) has used quality products.”

Adams said the property behind the building will be transformed into a prairie habitat. Webster County Conservation will assist with preparing the prairie plot and Pheasants Forever will assist with feed, Adams said.

Gary Yoch, acting county executive director for Webster County FSA, said the office space will be more open, with lower counter levels for handicapped accessibility.

He said parking will also allow for semitruck traffic.

An open house is being planned for January.

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141 or at kersh@farm-news.com.

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