LARCHWOOD, IOWA (KELO) — The Farmers Business Network has had a big presence in Sioux Falls for years, but now the national company’s local footprint is growing even more.
FBN held a grand opening of its new central distribution center in Larchwood, Iowa Thursday.
“FBN was founded in 2014 and really started with just a handful of farmers, those farmers wanted to share data and create a network that other farmers could be part of,” FBN co-founder Charles Baron said.
In just eight years, the company has grown to more than 48,000 members across three countries, giving farmers direct online access to the products they need to operate.
“You buy them online just like anything online, you click buy and it ships right to your farm. So a facility like Larchwood here is a critical part of the logistics infrastructure that FBN has been building across North America,” Baron said.
“This is a primary fulfillment center, this is one of five large buildings we have in the United States,” FBN’s Vice President of Global Fulfillment and Logistics Jack Cox said.
FBN’s data led them to search for a new hub location in the Sioux Falls area and they settled on renovating this large facility in Larchwood.
“The building is around 90,000 square feet,” Cox said. “The building had sat empty for a number of years so it did require a lot of work.”
“It was fully gutted so we could get the high ceilings and open up the floor space,” the Larchwood Distribution Center General Manager said.
This new fulfillment center means a lot to all of the customers at Farmers Business Network who will now have much faster access to the products they need right away.
“The large door is a ramp where customers can come in. We do allow customer pick-ups, they can come right here if they need it in a hurry,” the facility GM said.
But the building will also help with delivery logistics for farmers all over the upper Midwest.
“We’re really serving an area up to Minot, Fargo, Twin Cities and West,” Cox said.
“Just within 250 miles of Larchwood are about 12,000 FBN members and there’s many tens of thousands of farms in the whole region,” Baron said.
FBN’s fleet of trucks and drivers stationed in Larchwood will now be able to make deliveries in a 250 mile radius of the facility within two days of orders placed online.