Firm touts local product

FAIRMONT – Concrete is concrete, right?

Not according to Gary Werner and Darrel Sager, plant managers at Martin County Ready Mix.

Boldly featured on the company trucks is a bald eagle and the words “Buy American.” That’s something the managers proudly promote: not only are their products from the United States, they’re also from the area.

“All our products – aggregate, rocks, sand – it all comes from area pits, and it’s all state-certified,” Sager said.

The cement mix comes from Mason City, Iowa.

Located just west of Highway 15 on the north end of Fairmont, the Ready Mix plant opened for business earlier this month.

“We’re itching to get going,” Sager said.

So far it’s been a good start, when the weather has cooperated.

Late in the afternoon on Tuesday, the operation had shipped out 172 yards of concrete, which is about average for summer, according to Sager.

“We sell by the yard, and a truckload is 10 yards,” Werner explained.

About 60 percent of Martin County Ready Mix’s business is ag-based, and the rest is commercial and residential. Most of those customers are within a 30-mile radius of the plant.

“We’re dealing with a perishable product, so we can’t go too terribly far,” Sager said, though there are a few tricks to slow down solidification of the concrete.

Sager has been in the industry since 1966, starting at Fairmont Caststone, and he is now teaching Werner the ropes. Werner previously worked at the Biofuel Energy ethanol plant in Fairmont.

“When I started out, we pulled levers and set beam scales,” Sager said. “Back then the biggest truck could hold seven yards. … Everything’s grown and it’s all automated now.”

Martin County Ready Mix has eight full-time employees, including Werner and Sager, and several part-timers. The company is affiliated with Great Lakes Concrete of Iowa.

For more information, call (507) 235-5359.