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There’s more to these buildings than a farm shopThere’s more to these buildings than a farm shop

These shops include space for family and friends to gather and relax.

Tom J. Bechman

April 3, 2023

3 Min Read
 open kitchen area in Troy Furrer’s farm shop for family and church gatherings
COME ON IN: This space in Troy Furrer’s farm shop near Wolcott, Ind., isn’t an office or break area. It was specifically designed for family and church gatherings. Photos by Tom J. Bechman

Many modern farm shops are more than just a place to replace worn parts or change oil. For some time, farm shops have included designated office space or a conference room to meet with sales reps. The newest trend is adding a well-equipped kitchen and area in which to relax.

Often, these kitchen and dining areas serve as breakrooms for employees or lunchtime space, but not always. Here’s a look at two unique uses for non-shop farm shop space uncovered recently:

Parties and gatherings. When you walk through the door on the ground floor of the 30-by-70-foot two-story space enclosed inside Troy Furrer’s farm shop, your eyes immediately go toward a kitchen area, complete with wood cabinets and appliances. Furrer farms with his dad, Don, and son, Josh, near Wolcott, Ind.

“You probably think it’s fancier than necessary, but there is a story behind it,” Furrer says. “As we planned the shop, my wife and I wanted an area where our family could gather for celebrations, and where we could invite church groups to come.

“She found this kitchen advertised. The catch is that it was a showroom kitchen for a model home, but it was about 20 years old. The company wanted to update it and offered this one at a very low price. It was just what we needed.”

In fact, most things in the Furrers’ shop complex were gently used or repurposed to fit a need in his facility. They installed the kitchen, added a couple of extra cabinets, and now have a functional kitchen as the heart of their meeting area.

“We even have folding chairs stored away on racks,” Furrer says. “If there is a big event at church, we clean up the shop and get out the folding chairs.”

Nathan and Aubrey Bush sit at a table in the kitchen of their farm shop

Family time. Both Nathan Bush and his wife, Aubrey, work at full-time, off-farm, ag-related jobs. Their shop building still fills up with tools to support their mum business and other side ag ventures, but they don’t need every square foot for tools. So, after the shop was built in 2022, they purchased basic cabinets at a big-box store, accepted used appliances from relatives, and set up a kitchen and dining area in one corner of the building.

“We painted the cabinets and did some of the other work ourselves,” Bush says. “Our children are young, and we really like spending time out here. There is plenty of room for them to run and play.”

In fact, they added a TV and couch in the same area. Even though the area isn’t walled off, it’s still a cozy corner where they can relax after work.

“We’re still adding some finishing touches to the building, but this area for family time will become permanent,” Bush says.

Read more about:

Farm Shop

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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