Agri-Plastics settles in to Sidney with first product shipment
SIDNEY, Neb. —
A $4.5 million investment is finally making headway in Sidney. Agri-Plastics, a calf-housing manufacturer, officially began production three weeks ago.
Governor Pette Ricketts made it out to Sidney to celebrate Ag week and see the operation in action.
This 159,000-square-foot operation is the Ontario-based company’s first American production facility.
Darren VanBuuren, the CEO of Agri-Plastics, told NTV News that it was founded in 1995 and began when he and his family, dairy farmers at first, saw a need for calf housing and decided to grow a business.
"We make group housing for multiple calves, and we do other Ag products for the dairy industry. We do water tanks, footbaths, you know, anything that’s plastic for the dairy industry that's what we go after,” said VanBuuren.
VanBuuren said that at full production, they shell out 500 calf houses a week. He said they just shipped their first load to Colorado last week.
"Currently we have 132 employees in Canada, we were out at capacity, and then the emerging dairy markets down here, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, California and Texas, we're closer to our markets,” said VanBuuren.
Vanbuuren said with transportation costs and being able to work from their customers backyard, the addition just made sense. The addition also brought a few jobs to Sidney as well.
Governor Ricketts addressed this new business and others that have helped grow the local economy.
"Just here in Cheyenne County and Sidney, we had three company’s that actually helped us win the governors cup for the most economic developments per capita and that was Agri-Plastics... and Sand Hills Publishing and so we want to look to draw more companies in,” said Ricketts.
VanBuuran said expansion is exactly what they are hoping to do. Soon they will have 20 employees and after that, VanBuuren said they will see where they can go.
Agri-Plastics is working on their second production machine- and hopes to have it up and running before April.