a flag banner for Evolution of the Heartland outside of the Puck Manning offices
August 9, 2023

Evolution of the Heartland Tours Puck

When Americans think of a successful business, they typically imagine a company in a large city, but rural communities have entered a major revival. The Evolution of the Heartland Tour is an immersive experience designed to showcase the advancements of rural Iowa. This tour highlights how agriculture has kick started entrepreneurial growth in the rural Midwest. Tour attendees learn about agriculture, small business, and the thriving rural communities in our state.

This year, the Innovation & Technology portion of the experience visited Puck Enterprises for a tour about the manufacturing of innovative equipment. Although located in a small town, Puck manages to hire and retain great talents to grow the business and give back to the community. Using the latest technology to manufacture liquid transfer equipment, Puck has grown to be an industry leader in a niche market.

The Innovation & Technology Tour

When the tour group arrived, Jeremy Puck, CEO of Puck Enterprises, explained the history of the company and how it has grown since starting in 1979. Knowing the audience may not be familiar with agriculture, Jeremy explained the manure application process, why it is important, and the sheer size of the manure application industry. Many attendees had questions about the technology Puck utilizes and how the agricultural industry has advanced in the last few decades.

After taking questions, Jeremy led the group through the production line, starting at the beginning of the manufacturing process of cutting steel, and down the production line through painting and coating, welding, and assembly. Guests were taken aback by the size of our equipment and manufacturing process. Some guests from the area were surprised at how large the operation has grown in the last decade.

Jeremy Puck giving a tour to Evolution of the Heartland tour guests

Jeremy explained that the machinery we use at Puck can track every action that goes into the manufacturing process. If a piece of equipment does not meet our standards, we have the opportunity to look back at our system and see which part of the process had an error, who was in charge of that process, and which piece of production machinery needs to be adjusted to account for the errors.

The technology that goes into our equipment doesn’t end at the production line. Jeremy explained how technology has advanced so far that the equipment itself does the math and controls the tractor throttle, taking away the chance for human error. This helps ensure manure application is consistent throughout the job. Puck knows that technology will only keep progressing to increase efficiency and ease of operation. Looking towards the future in the agricultural industry, the goal is that equipment becomes so automated that it will only require one person for setup and operation supervision.

Reflecting on How Far We've Come

At the end of the production line, Jeremy showed the group the red barn next door. This is where Puck Enterprises started before it outgrew founder Ben Puck’s backyard. In the past decade, we have expanded to more than five acres under roof. Puck has gone from a handful of employees at a single location to over 200 employees at six locations in four different states and two different countries.

At the end of the day, Puck staff joined tour guests at Manning’s historic German Hausbarn. At the evening event, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg gave a speech on Iowa’s future. Gregg spoke of the investments going into preserving the dream of a thriving economy in a relatively small state. Puck Enterprises knows that our location in rural Iowa plays a large part in how far we’ve come. We’re happy to be a part of the Evolution of the Heartland tour to display the technological advancement of rural communities.