MILES - It has been a year of expansion and improvement at Top-Tier Grain & Feed in Miles formerly known as Kasberg Grain.

MILES - It has been a year of expansion and improvement at Top-Tier Grain & Feed in Miles formerly known as Kasberg Grain.

Owner Donnie Schwertner, who has worked there for going on 20 years, has been working hard to transform the complex the expansion began about a year ago. Kasberg Grain started by Jerry and Eugene Kasberg in 1984, and Schwertner started in 1999 as a feed mill operator, the position he kept until 2002. The Kasbergs expanded the business 2004 and built new offices.

Schwertner purchased half the business in 2012 and finally the other half in 2015 all along with plans for expansion.

And, this year, he decided to change the name so on Jan. 1, the name was formally changed to Top Tier Grain & Feed.

“I thought it was time,” Schwertner said.

About a year ago, work began on that expansion and Schwertner purchased the needed acreage and started work to ad the two new tanks and facilities. Now the business has diversified offering both storage and feed to customers.

Schwertner said to keep pace with producers, the expansion was needed. He said the expansions were possible because of “effective management and staying out of debt.”

The new feed mill allows them to steam flake the grain and grind it too.

The facility is equipped with a mixer and he has purchased an auger truck to load feeders. The multi-million dollar project also included the placement of new storage tanks. They still lack a few pieces to making the new storage facilities fully operational. But that was the plan all along, and the plan is to have a larger facility to store local grain.

The new tanks are 75 feet wide, and 81 feet tall and will hold 12 million pounds or 210,000 bushels of product. Each tank will hold up to 53 rail cars of product. One of the tanks is already holding product, he said.

“The new facilities are self contained,” Schwertner explained.

“You can weigh in and out here, you can dump here - you can do everything,” Schwertner said.

Schwertner and his 20 employees have been very busy over the past month, wrapping up wheat season. During wheat season he hires extra employees, but there are usually five full time employees at the facility.

“During wheat season they work 14 hour days,” Schwertner said.

Rail cars have been lined up on the tracks for weeks, filling up with wheat. As of Monday, most of the wheat harvest was complete.

Schwertner has made it a point over the years to invest in the rail side of the business, to keep things moving as quickly as possible. Plus, the added rail capacity allowed Top-Tier the ability to move product in to markets south of the border.

“We’ve got to be able to move faster,” Schwertner said. “The rail industry is moving to a higher capacity too. Now they want 110 cars no matter what.”

Schwertner’s customers come from all over the area and as far away as Oklahoma. Schwertner is a board member of the Texas Grain and Feed Association.