1973 – The Farm Shop, Inc. was created in 1973 through the efforts of Ernie Stahl, the first owner of the company. Prior to entering the metal fabrication and welding industry, Mr. Stahl had worked as a Caterpillar apprentice, an Army maintenance welder in Vietnam, a carpenter, and an employee of DMI in Goodfield, Illinois. Equipped with the many skills that he had gained and with an entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Stahl grew the company in both size and numbers of employees. In its first few years, the Farm Shop consisted of a 36' x 54' wood pole structure located on Mr. Stahl's father's farm. Equipment repair work and specialty custom work was the company's focus at that time.
1989 – In 1989, Mr. Stahl sold the company to Dave Zobrist, one of The Farm Shop's employees. Under Mr. Zobrist's leadership, the Farm Shop ventured into the structural steel business as well as larger production jobs using the latest metalworking technology. By the end of 1996, the company had approximately 28,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 23 employees. This growth fostered need for additional management assistance. Bruce Hohulin, a recent retiree of Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria, was hired to work with Mr. Zobrist to organize and further grow the company.
1998 – In 1998, Bruce and Charlene Hohulin became the sole owners of the Farm Shop. At that time the Farm Shop had approximately 55 employees and manufacturing space of over 50,000 sq. ft. To accommodate the Farm Shop's growth, the company was reorganized into three divisions in the Fall of 2000. The three divisions are Custom Fabrication, Production Fabrication, and Structural Steel.
2005 – In 2005, the Farm Shop changed its name to Premier Fabrication, Inc. to better reflect our business and products. The employee base grew to 70 employees.
2008 – Scott Aberle joined Premier as President and the company initiated further expansion with a 25,000 square foot facility to house the new state-of-the-art automated structural steel beam line. The beam line addition, which includes a fully integrated miter saw, three axis drill, and shot-blaster, increased Premier's ability and capacity to 50 tons of steel per day. The new facility also includes a 65-foot long paint booth. The increased plant capacity and technology empowers Premier to effectively compete in the structural steel market and better serve its industrial customers. The family of professionals grew and expanded as well in design, drafting, and detailing to help keep Premier on the leading edge of customer service. At the end of 2008, the company employed approximately 100.
2009 – In response to ongoing growth and market opportunity, Premier aligned the custom and production divisions into one group and added a new CNC controlled machining center.
2011 - Future – Premier continues to address its clients' needs by growing its staff of professionals and product capabilities. In 2011, Premier added a new laser cutting machine and enhanced its quality focus with additional resources including a coordinate measuring machine.