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Repair business moving off the farm

Staff writer

A family-run implement and diesel repair shop in business five years has outgrown space on a family farm and is building a new shop in Hillsboro.

Mike Morales operates This N That Farm on his farm at 1281 170th Rd. The shop repairs farm equipment of any kind as well as trucks, school buses, semis, power equipment, and pretty much any diesel equipment of any kind. The business also does welding, fabricating, and weld repairs.

Barkman Honey, Countryside Feed, Hillsboro school district, the city of Hillsboro, and local farmers are among his biggest customers, Morales said.

“Lately, we’re really been working on big trucks,” he said.

The business employs four, counting Morales. He has one full-time mechanic, Chris Moyer, and two part-time mechanics, Deven Karki and Morales’s father, Dan Morales.

His wife, Staci Morales, does bookkeeping.

Staci wants more room for the family’s cattle, hens, and guineas.

“My wife said, ‘I kind of want my farm back,’” he said.

Morales recently bought land at 225 Santa Fe St. in Hillsboro’s industrial park. A larger, 60-by-100-foot repair shop will be built to accommodate more vehicles and implements to be worked on inside instead of outside in the weather and to be able to pull a full-length semi into the repair shop.

This N That offers a service not easy to find in the region.

“There’s a pretty big shortage of people to do these projects,” Moyer said.

The Hillsboro building is expected to be completed by early May. Morales will do much of the interior work himself.

Growing his business over the past five years has been made easier because of help from the community, he said. He’s been able to contact other businesses and get help solving problems.

“The community has really helped us get to where we are today,” Morales said.

Sometimes, farmers wait until the last minute when they need an implement repaired.

“I tell them bring it here and we’ll service it,” Morales said while Moyer’s face showed mock exasperation.

Morales doesn’t mind squeezing work in, though.

“When you love it, you do it,” he said.

It gives Moyer a good feeling to get a project operating in good order.

“I was blessed to find these two guys,” Morales said. “They’re really hard workers and very good at what they do.”

Part of Morales’s joy of running his business is building relationships with customers.

“It’s really a good feeling when a customer refers someone else to us,” Moyer said.

Last modified March 7, 2024

 

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