21 Oct Member Spotlight – McPherson Concrete Products
“I don’t think everyone is familiar with everything we do.” So says McPherson Concrete Products CEO and President Wade Wentling. And after hearing Wentling share more about the company, he was exactly right. When you hear McPherson Concrete Products, your mind automatically jumps to Ready Mix. Yes, they do Ready Mix, but they also do so much more. Get ready to be educated!
The story starts in 1911 when McPherson farmer Lambert Anderson wanted a silo for his farm, and he wanted one that would last. Instead of using wood he built his using concrete silo staves made with molds he designed. Soon his neighbors were asking him to build silos for them, and just like that a new business was born. McPherson Concrete Products is still owned by the Anderson family and is in its 4th generation of family involvement in the business. With its humble beginning as a stave silo company, it is now made up of three entities: McPherson Concrete Products, McPherson Concrete Storage Systems, and Wichita Concrete Pipe.
Of the three, Wichita Concrete Pipe is their primary pipe and precast producer because of the marketplace. Wichita Concrete Pipe works a lot with the Kansas Department of Transportation, starting with the Comprehensive Highway Program several years back, followed by work from the American Road and Recoveries Act, and more recently, the T-Works Program which is upgrading the roadwork previously done. Wichita Concrete Pipe also produces storm sewer products. The Wichita operation is looking to expand their product offerings in the coming year. They have brought on some new engineers to help develop the new product line, and “so far it’s going pretty good,” Wentling said.
At the McPherson facility they produce pipe and precast, making products that Wichita doesn’t make – like the elliptical pipe. What is made at the McPherson facility complements that which is produced in Wichita. McPherson Concrete Products also has the Ready Mix operation. Their facility on the east side of McPherson located on 17th avenue, is the primary plant to produce concrete. McPherson Concrete Products also has a plant on the west side of McPherson, plus a portable concrete plant. The portable concrete plant is set up to support their construction company and also for the larger industrial jobs when the demand for the product can’t be produced fast enough. It makes it much easier to service their needs. McPherson Concrete Products is a material provider, and they are continually reinvesting, upgrading, and expanding their equipment to meet the qualifications and standards required for their products.
McPherson Concrete Storage System is their construction company. If you see a Diamond Top Concrete Silo as you travel the Kansas byways, that is a silo made by McPherson Concrete Storage System. They are a specialized jump form contractor as opposed to a slip form. This technique McPherson Concrete Storage System uses to build tanks has been very successful for them. They do, of course, compete with other methods of grain storage – like metal tanks or ground storage, but as Wentling puts it, “We consider ourselves the Cadillac of grain storage.” McPherson Concrete Storage System mainly builds in Kansas and contiguous states, but this year they’re also building in Mississippi and Minnesota.
So, there you have it. Things like risers, elliptical pipe, end sections, storm sewer products, silos…yes, McPherson Concrete Products is a lot more than Ready Mix! Just listening to Wade Wentling talk about McPherson Concrete Products, you can tell he loves what he does. When reflecting on the heritage of this family-owned company, Wentling had this to say about Lambert Anderson’s son Chet, who stepped into the leadership role following his father: “Chet Anderson. I loved the guy like a grandpa, but he was a mentor to me. He helped me a lot. I started here in ’84, so I’ve been here quite some time. I got to experience some of our growth and help with those kinds of things. It’s been a real blessing for me to be a part of this organization.”
You can discover more about McPherson Concrete Products, located at 300 North 81 Bypass by visiting their website. Photos from Chamber Connections hosted by McPherson Concrete Products can be seen here.