Source: Bill Ryan, Sentinel-Tribune

PORTAGE, Ohio — With agriculture being the number one commodity in Wood County and Ohio, along with the crossroads of major highways nearby, Archbold Equipment Co., is investing more than $2 million to enlarge and upgrade its store just north of Portage, Ohio.

When the company bought the store in 2011, it was planned to eventually build a new facility at the site. It is now becoming a reality.

"With farm equipment getting larger and more technological all the time we needed the equipment and infrastructure to support them," said Zach Hetterick, the chief executive officer.

"This is a major expansion for us. With the nice cross roads of Route 6 and 75 so close, this will become a hub or our company, Hetterick said.

He explained it is an ideal location to be able to do work for the company's other 5 locations.

One aspect of the expansion is complete with more work still to be done on the project. The new workshop is complete with two major cranes capable of lifting the larger equipment as needed. The former shop will be converted for parts storage and a store display for products including lawn and garden items for homeowners.

The Case IH dealer will also feature a variety of lawn and garden equipment including snow blowers and other seasonal offerings.

"We are really excited to be a part of the agriculture community and the other homeowners," said Rodney Mobley, director of sales. "We want to be vested in the entire community."

Mobley said they will also being hiring locally as well.

"We started at $2 million investment for this, but it just keeps growing, it's now well over the $2 million mark," Hetterick said. "This will be a state of the art facility."

Mobley added, "Because Bowling Green and Wood County are a major ag count, this will be an epicenter for us. We will have a full service equipment and part sales store and a complete service center."

Both men said it will also be a hub for precision farming, the modern technology aspect of tractors and equipment.

A week-long grand opening celebration is tentatively set for Aug. 10. It is designed to be held between the Wood County Fair and the National Tractor Pulls.