March 26, 2015
Gov. Terry Branstad, making his second visit to Puck Custom Enterprises in the last year, earnestly talked of connecting the rural Audubon County business to customers in Kosovo, Iowa’s sister state.
The manure-application provider and innovator company already is in the world market with a strong presence in Croatia, for example, Branstad learned.
With a blend a local farm boy pluck and international aspirations, Puck has expanded its inventory and reach in the manure-application market. Most of the 46 employees, 38 full-time and eight part-time, hail from within 20 miles of the facility.
But the business is increasingly seeing the globe as its customer base.
“If we can be of help, Kosovo would be real close to Croatia,” Branstad said during a recent hour-long tour of Puck led by Jeremy Puck, general manger of the business.
“It’s all former Yugoslavia,” Branstad added.
Founded in 1979 by Ben Puck, and located in a state-of-the-art manufacturing complex just across the Carroll County line in Audubon County, Puck fashions manure applicators, hose carts, boosters, agitation pumps and other devices that carry nutrients to fields to produce higher yields for farmers—and provide demand for a by-product of livestock operations.
“The doors just keep opening,” Jeremy Puck said. “They keep opening all over the place.” Ben Puck was traveling in the eastern United States, promoting the company’s reach during the Branstad visit. Puck also recently shipped to Ukraine.
Puck plans to add at least 10 more employees this year, and could schedule in a second shift. The current shift is from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. A second shift could run from 6 to midnight.
“Demand has allowed us to grow,” Jeremy Puck said.
The Puck business is a family affair. Nancy (Puck) Trapolino, Ben and Kathy’s daughter, is vice president for marketing. Another daughter, Mary Puck of Iowa City, is involved with marketing and graphic design. Dan Puck, a song of the founders, is the product engineer.
The full family is focused on one central component of the business for success: customer satisfaction.
“We find a lot of fun in trying to educate and solved people’s problems for them,” Jeremy Puck said.
Courtesy of Daily Times Herald, Progress Edition, 3/26/15.