Podcast Episode 35

The Best of 2021

In 2021, the Water Table Podcast launched over 30 episodes and invited 29 guests to join the conversation and share their industry expertise with listeners. Topics have ranged from wetlands and the farm, water quality issues, use of recycled materials, tiling impact on land values, and unique life stories from guests. To close out the year, listen as Jamie reflects on some of the best conversations of 2021.

Episode 35 | 38:37 min
As I go back and look at the episodes and the guests we've had, it's really remarkable all of the things I've learned from each episode.
— Jamie Duininck

Jamie Duininck (00:02):
This is The Water Table.

Kent R. (00:05):
The chance to hear the agricultural side of these issues.

Jamie Duininck (00:09):
Place for people to go find information and education.

Matt H. (00:13):
Water management is just going to become even more critical into the future.

Jamie Duininck (00:19):
How misunderstood what we do is…

Kent R. (00:22):
I would encourage people to open their minds and listen to this dialogue.

Jamie Duininck (00:31):
Well, welcome back to The Water Table podcast. Really grateful to have you here again, as a listener. And as we enter the final stretch of the 2021, oftentimes at the end of a year, I’ll kind of reflect on what the last year has brought in many different ways for my family and for my work.

Jamie Duininck (00:52):
And this year, being that The Water Table has been new. I’ve been reflecting on what we’ve been doing at The Water Table podcast. And as I go back and look at the episodes and the guests we’ve had, it’s really remarkable, all the things that I learned from each episode. And I hope all of you had opportunity to learn something from each episode.

Jamie Duininck (01:16):
And I thought it would be just be fun to take some time here and just review from some of the podcasts that we did and just reflect on some of the high points and key points of some of our guests. So that’s what we’re going to do today as we finish our 2021, and hopefully we’ll have another great run of podcasts and learning in 2022.

Jamie Duininck (01:41):
So kind of want to start. We started this in October of 2020. We had a few episodes at the end of the year. We had some great episodes from Todd Stanley, a farmer up in Northern Minnesota. That’s just a wise interesting man to listen to. And from Matt Heller’s, Iowa state university, Jeremy Donabauer was our first guest that Kent did as I was out with… I didn’t have COVID, but I had been exposed. And so Kent jumped in my seat and had Jeremy Donabauer answer some questions right at the beginning of 2021.

Jamie Duininck (02:28):
And Jeremy’s a consultant to the water management industry. And he had some really interesting things to share with how he, as a specialist can educate land owners on the benefits of hiring a consultant and how it can benefit them with trouble spots that maybe they can’t get through to NRCS or to USDA around some of their issues. And how by hiring him and his knowledge of the law really can benefit them. So I’m going to share a little piece of that episode now.

Kent R. (03:12):
What are the most common misconceptions about wetlands and agriculture and banking?

Jeremy Donabauer (03:17):
I think that right there is, to me, what I see is probably the biggest misconception from an outsider looking in is that if somebody drives out into rural Minnesota and they see a tile plow out in the field and you know what, maybe they are going through a wetland area.

Jeremy Donabauer (03:36):
What I think sometimes they don’t understand is for that project or that farmer, he in all likelihood went and purchased credit out of a wetland bank that now just has this better function and value instead of this half acre, acre spot that is getting farmed over every year anyway. And so I, that’s probably, in my opinion, the biggest misconception from an outsider looking in.

Kent R. (04:04):
Like you said, before you thought you might see a farmer out or a contractor out in the ground, installing some tile or might look like he’s doing something that he shouldn’t be doing, but it is heavily, heavily regulated by the federal and the aid government.

Kent R. (04:21):
And to do anything like this wetland banking is, even stepped up from that. And so there’s really good things going on, but I think one of the huge benefits is the habitat side of that, don’t you?

Jeremy Donabauer (04:33):
Yeah, absolutely. And what you do is you’re able to consolidate these small half acre to acre wetlands that are probably going to be farmed when they can anyway into maybe an 80 acre site, that is just all habitat contiguous instead of these little spots here, and they’re dotted across the countryside that maybe provide a little bit of value to a migrating duck for 14 days out of the year until it dries out anyway.

Jeremy Donabauer (05:09):
But now you put it into this 80 acre site where it’s just a benefit across the whole landscape for everything. I think for the most part guys do know what the right thing to do is. And I’ve been on both sides of this, and I guess my opinion is just follow the rules guys.

Jeremy Donabauer (05:29):
When it comes down to this wetland mitigation and banking stuff, if you have a half acre or an acre wetland or a place that you’d like to talk about mitigating, it real really is something that I have not had a guy call me back and say, “I wish I wouldn’t have done that.” Guys that are mitigating these little spots of wetland, farming straight and draining, not only that area, but like I say, the encompassing area around it is beneficial.

Jamie Duininck (06:08):
A little bit after that, a little later January, I was able to interview Dr. Michael Pluimer. And Dr. Pluimer, it was really fun for me as I’m going to call him, Mike, you’re supposed to call him Dr. Pluimer, but Mike and I were childhood friends, childhood classmates, all the way from elementary school on.

Jamie Duininck (06:33):
And then Dr. Pluimer went on to make quite a career for himself in the plastic resin industry, became an engineer and a doctorate. Got his doctorate for Villanova. And we had a fun conversation about our industry as Dr. Pluimer worked at Prinsco and represented the Plastic Pipe Institute for years and now is out on his own.

Jamie Duininck (07:00):
But he shared his experiences and his expertise around with Jason Ahrenholz from Prinsco around the science, behind making pipe. And some of his perspective on the use of recycle plastics. I think it’s really important as we continue to move in this industry, we’re going to see more and more pressure on us to be environmentally conscious, and you’re going to see more opportunities for our industry to use recycled materials.

Jamie Duininck (07:32):
And Prinsco is at the leading edge of that. So I was really excited about for Dr. Pluimer to be able to share his expertise and experiences over the years. And we’re going to share a part of that episode now.

Jamie Duininck (07:51):
When we think about materials and recycle materials, how much recycle material gets used in the pipe industry and the plastic pipe industry for agricultural use, and probably for all uses as far storm sewer and residential also?

Michael Pluimer (08:08):
So a ballpark figure that we’ve been hovering at for the past decade or so with regards to the overall amount of pounds of materials used in the corrugated industry is about a billion pounds. So about a billion pounds of polyethylene materials are used in corrugated drainage pipe for all applications that would be storm sewers, culverts, highway drainages, as well as agricultural drainage.

Michael Pluimer (08:31):
So we’ve been hovering around about a billion pounds. Of that, about 50% believe it or not is recycled materials. So over 500, somewhere in the range of 500 to 600 million pounds, and that fluctuates year to year, but it’s been steadily increasing.

Michael Pluimer (08:47):
For the most part we’ve seen it level off a little bit over the past couple of years now, but about half of that volume is post-consumer and post industrial recycled materials, which is pretty astonishing. In fact, the corrugated pipe industry is one of the largest consumers in North America. If not the top, it’s in the top three or four of high density polyethylene, recycled materials.

Jason Ahrenholz (09:12):
So thinking real high level of how pipe is produced, we source recycle material. We bring that in house and we go through a number of testing procedures to analyze that material. Essentially, we’re wanting to fully understand the density and all the properties of that material and how it will perform in the finished product.

Jason Ahrenholz (09:36):
And then we have the ability to take that material and blend it together with other materials of known properties to arrive at what will meet the finished product requirements.

Michael Pluimer (09:45):
I’d just add, add to that, Jason, and it’s a very interesting process. And I think a lot of people may assume that manufacturers are just taking plastic pallets and turning them into products. And that is a simplistic way of thinking about it. But beyond that, there goes, there’s a lot of science that goes into the blending of the different materials to make sure that they are appropriate for the given application.

Michael Pluimer (10:08):
The focus on more sustainable materials and the use of recycled materials specifically in drainage pipes was of interest to me. And the main reason it was of interest is because we have a lot of issues in the world. We have a lot of pollution issues.

Michael Pluimer (10:22):
And I look to what our world’s going to be like, what are planets going to look like 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now? And the question is, what can I do? What can we do to help make it a better place for our children and for our grandchildren?

Michael Pluimer (10:36):
And one of those areas is using more sustainable materials, more materials that have a lower impact on the environment. And I really can’t think of a better way to invest time and energy than focusing on how we can improve the situation that we’re in by using these more environmentally sustainable material for these applications.

Michael Pluimer (10:58):
I applaud the plastic pipe industry for being really proactive on this area. I really encourage other drainage industries to do the same. I think the concrete industry can do a lot of things to help improve the sustainability of their products. I think the metal pipe industry can do things.

Michael Pluimer (11:14):
So I would just encourage everybody that’s in infrastructure to consider and thinking about doing ways that we can produce products, quality products in a more sustainable and environmentally beneficial manner.

Jamie Duininck (11:32):
When I look back at our year, I can’t help to think about last spring. We did a little series on the law and drainage law. Had some great guests on the podcast. We had John Kolb from Rinke Newman, and one of his partners, Kale Van Bruggen, and Levi Otis from Ellington companies all joined us through a three episode series.

Jamie Duininck (11:55):
And we talked a lot about just drainage law. How it was derived going back in history, how things worked out in the early days and, and how we got to where we are now. We talked about US fishing and wildlife easements on water management on the farm.

Jamie Duininck (12:16):
And we even talked about the waters of the United States, a more recent issue that has that every one of our listeners has heard about, better referred to as WOTUS, but we’re going to share a little clip or a couple clips on these episodes now of some of the highlights from that spring series.

Kent R. (12:43):
One of the things that’s been interesting to me to observe in the last few years, John is the prominence of watersheds and how they play into this whole scheme of things. Can you inform us a little bit about the role of watersheds? I think there’s 80 some watersheds in Minnesota.

John Kolb (13:01):
In Minnesota, that we have a special law allowing for the creation of a special purpose unit of government called A Watershed District. And watershed districts are based on a hydrologic boundary and not on any kind of political boundary, like a county or a city or a township.

John Kolb (13:19):
And the thought was at the time that water doesn’t know any boundaries. So if we’re going to create an entity to try to coordinate activities that address water quality and water quantity concerns, a special purpose unit of government might help that at.

John Kolb (13:35):
Now, watershed districts are a unique in a different way in that the management, the governing body of a watershed district is appointed and not elected. And the thought there was, if you have appointed an appointed governing body, they are less likely to be influenced by political rusher and more likely to stay true to either the mission or the objectives of the watershed district, which should be embodied in a watershed management plan based on the needs and the situation in that particular district.

John Kolb (14:09):
So watershed districts don’t cover all of Minnesota. They cover a fair portion of Minnesota. There’s a good part of Northwestern, Minnesota that’s covered by various watershed districts.

Jamie Duininck (14:21):
We’re going to start by just visiting about us fish and wildlife, what’s happening with US fish and wildlife now? And some of the dynamics that go on that Levi sees and can ask Kale some questions. So welcome guys.

Levi Otis (14:35):
One of the frustrations that many farmers in North Dakota and South Dakota shared with me and in some in Western Minnesota, was that they had us fish and wildlife easements. The ground was souring around them. They’re not allowed to tile near them. The setbacks are huge.

Levi Otis (14:51):
Their grandpa was going to sell or sold a wetland to the department of interior, US fish and wildlife for X amount of dollars. And now that tile has found the Dakotas or the Northern Plains, they feel that was far overreaching, that the argument is that the been paid for the slew, not the setback.

Jamie Duininck (15:13):
Today we’re going to talk about waters of the United States, better known as WOTUS. And I want Kale and Levi, you can add to this, but to kind of describe for our listeners as we have a full range here, people that maybe have not even heard the term to people that are pretty intimate in what it is. And so if you would just give us an overview of WOTUS, Kale, that’d be great.

Kale Van Bruggen (15:36):
Yeah, thanks Jamie. So when we talk about WOTUS, that stands for waters of the United States. So what we’re talking about is the federal clean water act. This is the most basic federal law that authorizes the core of engineers to issue permits for discharging pollutants into WOTUS, into waters of the United States.

Kale Van Bruggen (16:01):
The one that Levi’s company follows, and my clients follow really closely with water management tile systems is the consideration of whether installation of drain tile through a wetland area that’s Waters United States requires a permit and mitigation or not. And that’s been somewhat controversial, especially in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Jamie Duininck (16:32):
Last spring we also had an opportunity to speak with Jacob Handsaker of hands on drainage in Iowa. And we talked with Jacob about some of the projects that they’re working on with water quality practices, some really exciting things going on in Iowa there. And we’re going to be interviewing more gas on that project and on the greater opportunity that’s happening in that watershed in 2022. But I wanted to just share a little clip from that episode with Jacob Handsaker.

Jacob Handsaker (17:14):
I would say my first love is agriculture, and farmers kind of get the short end of the stick a lot of times. And it’s working with different concerns through the urban areas of central Iowa, that have placed a lot of that blame squarely on the shoulders of farmers and squarely on the shoulders of drain tile that those farmers have put in.

Jacob Handsaker (17:41):
There’s got to be steps that we can take that are going to be able to benefit everyone, both the farmer, the view of the farmer, the production of the farmer, the water quality that everyone drinks and the respect that the farmer gets, and the willingness to understand why the farmer is putting in these systems. And water management and water quality systems are what’s going to do that.

Jacob Handsaker (18:12):
There’s projects that we’ve designed with the end in mind that the farmer has warned and said, “Hey, I want to do a water quality process, whether it’s a bioreactor, saturated, buffer, wetland, whatever.” And we design around that.

Jacob Handsaker (18:29):
A lot of great publicity on what farmers are doing and what we’re doing, right, and how drainage contractors and drainage tile can be benefit in that, that water’s the water’s going to go into the stream somehow.

Jacob Handsaker (18:43):
And it’s going to either going to run off over top and carry soil particles with it, or we’re going to create that sponge through tile drainage, and we’re going to be able to manage that. And in my mindset, it’s a lot better to manage something than just to let it go and find its own course.

Jamie Duininck (19:06):
Over the last several years, going back to around 2012, when Prinsco was the first company to introduce flexible dual wall as a product line in the United States, we’ve been researching that at Prinsco, our engineers have. We’ve had a lot of product out in the field on a development basis.

Jamie Duininck (19:29):
And it was really fun to interview Trey Ellis with Prinsco, and to talk about flexible do well in the years of the product development and testing that happened to get to the ASTM F3390 spec. So I’m going to share a couple clips from that episode with Trey Ellis of Prinsco.

Jamie Duininck (19:56):
What is flexible dual wall, and why is it important to our industry?

Trey Allis (20:01):
There’s a single wall product that’s been around for a while, and then also the dual wall product that has a smoother inside diameter, so the water flows through it better. So you don’t need as big of pipe to flow the same amount of water through it.

Trey Allis (20:16):
Installation wise, they get a little different, however, with flexible dual wall now, is instead of installing in 20 foot sticks for your dual wall pipe, you can use the same machinery that you do for your regular single wall coils and take advantage of always a machine moving, continuous with the flow benefits that you see from the dual wall product and match that with the ease of installation from the single walls.

Trey Allis (20:41):
And that’s one of the biggest questions that I get, one of the most popular questions that I’ve gotten before is the crust strength, or the installed strength of the product itself. And that’s going to be the same for dual wall.

Trey Allis (20:54):
And I would also pair that with the research and development that we’ve done within our products, like you mentioned, it came out 2012, almost 10 years ago. Now we’ve had product in the ground without much of any concerned with it.

Trey Allis (21:08):
So that’s been in the ground, that’s been performing just like all the other pipe in the ground has been since it came out, back in the ’60s or ’80s or whatever, type of pipe that you’re looking at there.

Trey Allis (21:19):
So we have that history of putting the stuff in the ground for a while, also paired with, hey, we’ve been making advancements on it. We’ve been develop are always looking for continuous improvement on this stuff to back up and just talk about a little bit of what that ASTM standard is.

Trey Allis (21:33):
It essentially just defines the product. So like you said, when wild west is out there, anybody could call a flexible dual wall product, a flexible dual wall product. And what this ASTM does is it defines it into, “Hey, if you’re making this pipe, it has meet these certain requirements.”

Trey Allis (21:49):
Yeah, so that’s one thing with this product. And I like telling the history of it is it came from an idea of, “Hey, let’s kind of merge single wall, dual wall and get the benefits of both.” We started that and did some testing on it, developing for a long time to make sure that we were confident in that product before we brought it out to the market.

Trey Allis (22:08):
And then along with that, there was always continuous development. We came out, invested a lot in a new profile, into materials, into a lot of different forefronts with this product to make sure that we don’t just come out there with something and call it good enough.

Trey Allis (22:23):
We modified that product. We’re always looking for improvement. We’re taking that same stance within the industry as well within that ASTM standards and getting stuff rolling on that front too.

Trey Allis (22:34):
So kind of the most exciting part about this too, is that improvement process. That’s something that the customer can also have confidence in and say, “We’re really comfortable with where we’re at now, but that doesn’t mean that this is going to be where we’re at in the future. So we’re taking all the feedback that we can get to keep moving this product in the right direction.”

Jamie Duininck (23:06):
One of the things in our industry that is definitely a lightning rod is climate and climate change. And it was really fun for me to have the opportunity to interview Paul Douglas, a meteorologist, an entrepreneur out in Minneapolis.

Jamie Duininck (23:20):
If you’re a Minnesota resident, you know who Paul is. He was he’s on the radio now and was on TV for many, many years and the Twin Cities market. But it was enjoyable and a great learning experience to interview Paul on his thoughts about how weather and the effects of weather will affect the farm and managing water on the farm in the future.

Jamie Duininck (23:48):
So I’m going to share a little piece of that episode here, that we did this back in June or July, I guess it was of 2021, and grateful that Paul was willing to take the time to join us.

Paul Douglas (24:08):
The climate models 50 years ago said that wet areas will get wetter, dry areas will trend drier. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing in the data. Theory has become our new climate reality. And I think climate change hits home when it hits home. For many people, that means the frequency and intensity of flooding.

Paul Douglas (24:37):
People who aren’t even in the flood plane, who didn’t realize that their home or business was vulnerable, are seeing more flooding from the Midwest, the Mississippi Valley to the east coast. I think it’s getting harder to dismiss and deny the fact that something is happening. And the most likely conclusion is it’s because of the warming that we’re seeing.

Paul Douglas (25:01):
In the US, it’s an average of about two degrees, but Northern tier states, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Maine, Michigan, the M states more like three, four degrees warming since the mid 1800s. And a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor, simple physics, more fuel, when it does rain that rain comes down harder and much of it is going to be a running off.

Paul Douglas (25:27):
And that again is a threat, it’s an opportunity for companies like Prinsco to reinvent how ag producers, how everybody looks at managing water, excess water, not enough water. How do we make sure we have the water we need in an increasingly fickle and volatile pattern?

Jamie Duininck (25:54):
One of the episodes that I really look forward to doing and had a difficult time pinning them down, but was an episode I did with Roger Ellingson of Ellingson Companies. And Roger is quite a guy I many of you that listen to The Water Table know Roger, and he has a passion for the agricultural water management industry. He’s a really busy guy.

Jamie Duininck (26:17):
So again, I was super grateful that he was willing to take the time. And it was really a fun episode to listen to what Roger had to say and how he shared his experiences in the agricultural water management business over the last 50 years. And we’re going to share a clip from that now.

Roger Ellingson (26:43):
A lot of farmers in general are very… they’re willing to take risk and they’re always trying to improve how they do things and to get better yields and more consistent yields. And it’s such a misunderstood industry.

Roger Ellingson (27:04):
And probably a lot of it has to do with the fact that we bury everything we do. It isn’t like you can drive by this big, shiny new building and say, “Well, see what I did or see how great this is.” You can drive by a field and I do. And a lot of people that work with us talk about this is they like to drive by some field that was just crappy, and now it’s got beautiful crops on it. And that’s a real sense of accomplishment.

Roger Ellingson (27:43):
But for the average person, they don’t even know there’s tile in that field. I remember way back, I was at an LIC meeting in the early years of my career. And I heard a motivational speaker speak. He was a sales manager with Johnston’s at the time, and he talked about whatever you did whether you’re the biggest fish or the littlest fish in the ocean, just be the best.

Roger Ellingson (28:15):
And if anything stuck with me, it’s that, it doesn’t matter where you’re at, but the passion and being the best is what’s really important irregardless of what you’re doing. And I really tried to apply that to the water management business is how can we do it better, quicker, faster, cheaper? And I guess that evolved into where we’re at today.

Jamie Duininck (28:53):
All of the episodes on The Water Table in 2021 were enjoyable for me and fun. But one that was really fun was that the opportunity I had to interview my wife. My wife, Kristine Fladeboe-Duinick is a partner in a family business that they are auctioneers. And they sell farmland by public auction.

Jamie Duininck (29:16):
And this year in 2021, there has been a lot of activity in farmland sales. And so to listen to her talk about farmland sales, the value that’s being driven out of farmland right now with high commodity prices and why tile maps are really important. And as she put it worth their weight and gold, we’re going to share that clip now, but I’d heard from so many of our listeners how much passion she had in her comments. And it was just super fun to be part of that interview with her.

Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck (29:57):
The current farmland sales market is very strong. Back in 2012, 2013 farms were selling exceptionally high. I never knew if I’d see that again in my lifetime, but we don’t take this for granted. We don’t feel entitled. It could all change tomorrow. Believe it or not we are getting CLO to those numbers and sometimes exceeding the sale prices of 2012.

Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck (30:27):
So farms are selling exceptionally high at this time. Some of the factors that are driving those prices are high commodity prices. It’s so fascinating in our business, what has happened with water management and drainage.

Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck (30:45):
Again, my opinion, but I will say with great confidence, three to five years ago, the first question that we were asked when we brought a farm to market is what is the soil quality? What is the crop production index number? The second question we were asked is, does the farm have tile? Can it be tiled? And does it have a good outlet?

Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck (31:09):
Now that is completely flip flopped. People are most excited about tile and the ability to tile a farm with a good outlet, thereby increasing their yields. But I do encourage families to keep their tile maps. They’re like liquid gold. If you can find your tile maps or have a farm tiled, do everything you can to keep those maps or to meet with your tenant and have them mark the tile and intakes to the best of their ability.

Kristine Fladeboe-Duininck (31:43):
And I’ll just add something to that Jamie, what’s fun for you and I is to talk about our passions for our work and what I’ve really seen in you and I align with this is it goes far greater than tiling farms. It goes all back to making a difference and feeding the world. And so the increased yield, not only does that benefit people with greater income, but bottom line, those increased yields are a far benefit to our world, as we’re all working together to feed the world.

Jamie Duininck (32:28):
So back in the mid 2000s, around 2010, 11, I had the opportunity to meet Franck Groeneweg of Living Sky Grains. And Franck made an impression on me right away. And as always one of the people I thought of, well at the infancy of this podcast, it’d be fun to interview Franck and talk about his journey in agriculture, which is just very grand.

Jamie Duininck (32:55):
The journey he’s been all over, he’s done lots of things. And it was a really fun interview for me. It was a long interview because there’s so much to talk about. But Franck being a great land steward and understanding agriculturally really well was just enjoyable to visit with and want to share a clip from that episode that was done this fall of 2021.

Jamie Duininck (33:28):
So I was just wondering if you could kind of tell me about your story, and let’s start at the beginning where you’re from and how you ended up in America. And that kind of thing.

Franck Groeneweg (33:39):
I grew up in France, south of Paris, about 80 miles. And always wanted to see North America, big equipment, wide open spaces. In the fall of ’94, I made the trip to Sully, Iowa, and I found there’s something totally different that I was looking for, but I found great people, people with just a heart of gold and communities that were supported by agriculture.

Franck Groeneweg (34:14):
In France, agriculture can often be denigrated as being something not of a noble profession. Northwest Iowa has an interesting industry. A lot of parts are made there are lot of machining, E&I products or parts country now with John Deere is originated there. There’s a couple really important salvage yards out there.

Franck Groeneweg (34:41):
So agricultural parts are pretty important. And I saw that and I thought maybe there’s a business here to start. We’re doing really well, but really wanted to farm. And we could see it was not going to be possible in Northwest Iowa. Her parents being from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada said, “Why don’t you look into Saskatchewan?” And I think the first time I heard of Saskatchewan, I said, “Saskchis, what? Where is that??

Jamie Duininck (35:14):
So now you own a farm in Saskatchewan. You’re 24 years old and you’re highly leveraged, but you’ve got a lot of passion and a lot of resolve around farming. And so what happened then, like the next couple years, how’d that go?

Franck Groeneweg (35:31):
2011 was wet and we hit five years where it was really wet, amid some commodity prices that were awesome. So we weren’t really doing great, but the commodity prices were keeping us from losing money or, I mean, they were a couple tough years there where we had very little crop, but at good prices.

Franck Groeneweg (35:55):
And we were losing money, but it was not a disaster. It was just not a part for the course, for I missed some better years. Yeah, so that’s actually when too much moisture came in and that’s actually, when we start to think, how do we manage water better? And that’s actually, when you come in the picture JB.

Jamie Duininck (36:24):
Yeah, so Frank, you and I met, I think it was right about 10 years ago, this time of year in the fall. And I don’t remember what social media platform. But at time there was a agricultural chat board and you were farming in Saskatchewan at the time and you were looking for some pipe. And water management pipe was kind of in tight supply at the time. And so we started a conversation. That’s how we got to know each. And I got to know your story.

Franck Groeneweg (37:00):
[inaudible 00:37:00] I may have written, like I can’t find any tile pipe. Do you guys have any suggestion on where I could find anything? I really I’m looking for a load or two, and that would be it. And that’s when you answered.

Franck Groeneweg (37:14):
And as I found out later, as you told me, you moved a fair bit of stuff to try to make it happen. And you got us a couple loads. And that was something that got us going and got us started. And yeah, it started actually a great friendship as well. So it’s all about relationships.

Jamie Duininck (37:40):
Yes it is. And that’s what’s so neat about your story is you can go back and just listening and how you connected with people all along the way in those connections, whether it was in Sully, Iowa, and in Rock Valley or the wood stove piece or this piece, it’s all starts with a connection and a relationship. And then it grows from there. So glad you mentioned that, because that is how things happen in life, it’s relationship.

Jamie Duininck (38:13):
So thanks for joining us today on The Water Table, you can find us at watertable.ag. Find us on Facebook. You can find us on Twitter, and you can also find the podcast on any of your favorite podcast platforms.