News: Loyal Dairy Breakfast - at RZ Builders (Jul
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Zvolena, Gregorich
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 6/12/2019
Loyal Dairy Breakfast to be at RZ Builders (Zvolena - 2019)
RZ Builders in Loyal will be the site of this year’s county dairy breakfast. Shown (l-r) are owners Dustin, Shelby, Lori and Roger Zvolena. The breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Sunday. Valorie Brecht/Clark County Press
By Valorie Brecht
A local business with strong ties to agriculture will be the site of the Loyal FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast.
RZ Builders will host the 36th annual breakfast this Sunday June 16, at 204 E. Mill Street, Loyal, from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The meal has also been designated as the county breakfast by Clark County Dairy Promotion. The county site rotates between communities from year to year.
RZ Builders is co-owned by Roger and Lori Zvolena and Dusty and Shelby Zvolena. The company constructs commercial, residential and agricultural buildings throughout central Wisconsin. RZ Builders was named “Business of the Year” by the Loyal Chamber of Commerce this year.
Roger, who started the business, was born and raised by his parents Joe and Leona on a farm south of Loyal.
“I’ve been in the construction industry since 1975,” he said.
He spent 12 years working with his brothers on dairy buildings, houses and general construction projects. Then he worked at Marawood Structures for 15 years and another construction company for three years after that. In 2001, he decided to start his own construction company, which he ran out of his garage. Dustin, Roger’s son, was doing construction work, too.
“I was pretty much involved from day one when we started this business and I worked with my dad in the prior company that we both worked for,” he said.
Over four years ago, Dustin and Shelby entered into a partnership with Roger and Lori. The next big step for the business came in October 2016, when the Mill Street building was purchased.
“The large brick structure has quite a bit of history to it. It was built in 1928 by Lakeshire Cheese. The company made American and Swiss cheese there until 1938. The building sat empty for about 10 years but was later insulated with cork and converted into a cold storage warehouse for Borden Cheese Company. It could store five-and-a-half million pounds of cheese. The building was used as storage for many years until around the 1990s. It then went through a couple different owners who didn’t do much with the property until the Zvolenas bought it.
It was quite the task to remodel the building, said Roger. They hauled 13 dumpsters of junk out of the building. They had to put in all new electrical work and plumbing. There were three loading docks on the building, which they took off, and they replaced the small doors with big doors. They also hired someone to fix the masonry on the outside of the building. They spent about three months doing heavy renovation, said Dustin. The grand opening was July 8, 2017.
The building includes a welding manufacturing facility and a paint shop. The company manufactures their own streel columns and paints them with epoxy paint. They also repair and store machinery on site. J. Hack Designs also has an office in the building. RZ Builders partners with J. Hack for drawing and design work. RZ Builders has 12 employees on the payroll currently.
They cover a wide radius, having completed jobs in locations like Thorp, Stanley, Marshfield and Phillips. Roger said they’ve built many kinds of diary facilities over the years, including those with different ventilation systems.
“We’ve done cross-vent, tunnel vent, natural vent barns,” he said.
“Generally, a consultation is done on site, so we get a lay of the land and get an idea of what they have, what they want to do, what the plans are,” he said. “When we build something, hopefully it’s got the future in mind. Maybe their sons or daughters ae going to take over, so we want to make it easier to build on if they want to again.
Technology growth over the years has changed what people expect in a barn, said Roger.
“Now things are getting so much more technical … the barn designs have gotten technical in stall sizes and heights. Now they want so many square inches per cow width of waterers and there’s a lot of stuff that’s changed. And I think it was always that way kind-of, but people didn’t worry about the little things years ago; you built a barn and they just put the cows in and that was the end of it. Now it’s gotten technical in every part of the barn. I always say anybody can build a house, but it’s difficult to build a barn.”
Dustin added that the advent of robotics and automated systems has changed the way a lot of dairies operate. To save time, and ultimately money, dairy farms have tried to be more efficient by automating systems when possible. For example, the curtain systems is newer barns are automated where the curtains will automatically open as the fans turn on. The system can also be equipped with wind or rain sensors.
“The whole system has got its own PC sitting in the barn,” explained Roger.
The business has strove to adapt with the times to meet the needs of all their customers, including their agricultural clients.
The Zvolenas were happy to offer the building for the dairy breakfast when contacted by FFA Alumni president Mark Gregorich this past fall.
“I’ve always known Mark; he only lives a mile away,” said Roger. “So, I said to him, after we got this place all fixed up, ‘If you ever have a year where no one volunteers, we would do it.’ So, they were kind of looking around this year and no one was really stepping up’ so Mark gave us a call.”
The breakfast menu will include pancakes with maple syrup and Grassland butter, scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese curds, applesauce, ice cream, milk, orange juice and coffee. Besides the breakfast, there will be a petting zoo, an antique tractor show, Loyal Car Show raffle tickets for sale and other raffles.
Roger and Lori live in the country near Loyal. Their four children are Dustin, Travis, Amanda and Thresa. Dustin and Shelby also live outside of Loyal. They have four children: Mariah, 20; Alysia, 14; Autumn, 12; and Tyler, 11.
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