Iowa Irrigation was started in 1986 by John Rademacher. Five years after its inception, Alan Essex purchased the company and built it into central Iowa’s premier irrigation company. After 35 years of hard work, Alan made the difficult decision to “slow down” and transition the business to someone who would continue to work hard to grow the business and provide the same excellent customer experience central Iowans have come to expect. Through luck and happenstance, Jason Schechinger was introduced to Alan in 2020 and subsequently purchased Iowa Irrigation in January of 2021.
Jason worked in the irrigation industry for 5 years before he purchased Iowa Irrigation. He has a passion for the irrigation industry, customer service, his employees, and business in general. Jason and his experienced team work hard every day to provide the best customer experience in the industry and to grow Iowa Irrigation to new heights.
In its infancy, the company was run out of a storage unit with $89,000 in gross sales; this number was doubled in each of its 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, then 2000 the company moved to Cambridge, where it was being operated out of the garage. Finally, 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 one full-time and a few part-time employees as needed. Iowa Irrigation had two used vans, four antiquated Ditch Witch machines, and two old trailers. Today Iowa Irrigation has two full-time salesman, a production manager, a service manager, four installation crews, six service technicians, an office manager, an HR manager, and a designer.
Iowa Irrigation has completed several large-scale projects in the Des Moines metro area. The first was 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 enjoyed 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 have earned Iowa Irrigation the privilege to team up with many top developers, landscape contractors, home builders, and general contractors, including the largest homebuilder 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 the EPA Water Sense Program members. In 2007 Alan Essex also earned the status of Select Certified Irrigation Contractor.