The Pettis County business community gathered Wednesday afternoon to welcome yet another new company to the area.
A ribbon cutting and open house took place Wednesday for LAG Industries LLC, located at 19601 North state Route 127 in La Monte. The company is family-oriented, as it is operated by Bart and Brenda Brackman and their son and daughter-in-law, Bradley and Nicole.
“I worked for another company developing equipment for them and I was complaining about my job down at the lake last year and my cousin said I should stop and do it myself,” Bradley said. “We started kicking around the idea in August and then by November we had started putting our business plan together and getting everything lined out. “
The Brackmans, who are from Concordia, looked at several different properties and communities for an existing building before deciding on purchasing the building in La Monte, which happened to be owned by their Concordia neighbors.
“We felt like it was a pretty agricultural-related community,” Bart said. “… Maybe getting into a little more cattle country, making it a little more convenient for the customer.”
The family has been in the livestock business for years and they decided to work together to create agriculture-related steel products. Keeping with the family theme, Bart came up with the idea to name the company LAG, named after Bradley and Nicole’s children, Lane, August and Gracie.
They worked to renovate the building starting in January, trying to begin working amid the construction, and officially opened the beginning of March, Bart said.
Bradley described the company as a metal fabrication shop that specializes in custom livestock equipment. The company manufactures everything it sells, which includes continuous fence panels, portable panels, gates, feed bunks and cradle-style hay feeders. They also manufacture livestock equipment such as alleyways, tubs, chutes, calving pens and creep pens.
For those who aren’t involved in agriculture, LAG also produces items such as smokers, grills, fire pits and metal home decor.
“We’ll custom-build just about anything,” Bart said. “We have stuff we’re building that are jig, set sizes, but we’ll custom build to fit farmers’ existing facilities and we’re doing the metal art as a sideline to go along with it; make more use of the plasma table and the plate roller.”
LAG Industries employs three full-time welders and one full-time employee who works in the yard, Bradley said. Bart and Bradley both do most of the design and layout work and Brenda and Nicole take care of advertising and book-keeping.
They’ve already become involved with the local business community as the first presenters at 1 Million Cups in April and as one of the first clients of State Fair Community College’s Small Business Development Center.
While the company has only been fully functioning for a short time, Bradley said business has been “very steady. We have a good following so far.”
“It seems to be a fairly steady increase in our retail sales, walk-ins. We’ve got a couple of out-of-state dealers that have been buying material from us, a couple of those while we were still under construction,” Bart said Wednesday as a long line of people waited for lunch prepared by the Cattleman’s Association. “We’re excited about the open house, getting more exposure that will increase some of the local retail sales as well. We’re very excited about the crowd we’ve got here. We’re pretty honored to have that many people come out to be a part of this.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.