Iowa Irrigation Corporation was started in 1986 by John Rademacher. Five years after its inception, Alan Essex purchased the company and has owned it ever since.
In its infancy, Iowa irrigation was run out of a storage unit with $89,000 in gross sales. Alan was able to double this number in each of his first two years. The floods of 1993 were a major setback, but the company has continued to grow ever since. In 1993 the company moved to Kelley and was run out of the basement where Alan’s family of five resided. In 2000 the company moved to Cambridge where it was still being operated out of Alan’s residence until the company broke ground on a new headquarters in the spring of 2015. Iowa Irrigation is now pleased to be based out of a 7,200 sq ft facility complete with a top of the line shop area and a comfortable office area.
In its humble beginnings, the crew consisted of Alan and a few part time employees as needed. He had two used vans, four antiquated Ditch Witch machines, and two old trailers. Today Iowa Irrigation has a full time salesman, a production Manager, three installation crews, four service technicians, and an office manager. Alan’s son, James, was named Vice President in 2010.
Iowa Irrigation has completed several large scale projects in the Des Moines metro area. The first were two buildings for R & R Realty in 1993. Other major projects to date include three different phases of MLK/Fleur Parkway street-scapes, Bass Pro Shops, The east stairs and west steps of the state capitol building, Cowles Commons Event Venue downtown, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Center (both inside and outside), and athletic fields for several schools including Ballard High School, Ankeny High School, North Polk High School, Nevada, Roland Story, and Boone. Iowa Irrigation has also had the pleasure of providing irrigation systems for two of the highest tax assessed residential properties in Polk County, one in Ankeny and one in West Des Moines
Reputation and experience has earned Iowa Irrigation the privilege to team up with many of the top developers, landscape contractors, home builders, and general contractors, including the largest home builder in Polk County. Iowa Irrigation has been awarded the “Best of Story County Award” every year since 2004, when the Ames Tribune first introduced the category. Other notable accolades include Rain Bird Select Contractor, Hunter Preferred Contractor, Toro Professional Contractor, and members of the EPA Water Sense Program. In 2007 Alan Essex also earned the status of Select Certified Irrigation Contractor.