(This is the second in a series of stories about rural businesses. Click here to read the first, on H&S Manufacturing.)

For many rural communities, local businesses act as the lifeline to the local economy. Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing located in Cooperstown, N.D., is no exception, and offers quality employment to the residents of the rural town.

“I really think that businesses such as ours are the backbone of the communities," said Tim Eggert, owner and president of Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing. "Not only do we employ a number of people in the community, but from a business perspective these communities seem to have such a special niche around work ethic. They are people that have pride and care about coming to work.”

Sheyenne Tooling has deep roots and a rich history in Cooperstown, beginning in the 1970s. Throughout its history, Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing was known as a premier tool and die company within the region. According to Eggert, the company’s previous owners began adding different agricultural products to supplement their tool and die work.

The company makes an array of agricultural products, such as augers, a variety of attachments and other products. It also works with larger companies.

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“We also do a number of contract manufacturing for larger manufacturers, such as John Deere and Bobcat,” Eggert said.

Cooperstown, N.D. is a rural community. Photo taken March, 10, 2021, at Cooperstown, N.D. (Emily Beal / Agweek)
Cooperstown, N.D. is a rural community. Photo taken March, 10, 2021, at Cooperstown, N.D. (Emily Beal / Agweek)
With a population of around 1,000, Cooperstown is a close-knit, rural community. Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing takes pride in employing many of the town’s residents.

“Right now we employ just over 60 people and we are currently the second-largest employer here in Cooperstown,” Eggert said. “I think the employees that we do have here are definitely small-town people that have small-town values and enjoy this type of lifestyle.”

Like many companies and businesses, Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Eggert, his company suffered for two to three months, with their business slowing to a crawl. However, business for Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing has since been on the rise.

“Actually, since business has been coming back I almost feel like the demand has whiplashed, and people are ordering to make up for lost time,” Eggert said.

Despite the setback, Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing remains dedicated to creating a positive and productive work environment for their employees.

Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing sells an array of agricultural products. Photo taken March, 10, 2021, at Cooperstown, N.D. (Emily Beal / Agweek)
Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing sells an array of agricultural products. Photo taken March, 10, 2021, at Cooperstown, N.D. (Emily Beal / Agweek)
“At Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing we really are trying hard to make this the best place to work,” Eggert said.

Eggert also encourages others who are thinking about starting a business in a rural community to take the risk, as he believes that rural communities offer an abundance of positives.

“It’s definitely gonna be a lot of hard work and a lot of hours, but it is definitely a rewarding experience, especially working with these people in small towns and communities. It is really valuable,” Eggert said.