Corey Getz, CEO of DIGS Associates in Moweaqua, Illinois, also draws inspiration from past experiences. In his case, however, he points to the forward-thinking mindset of an ancestor.
“My great-grandfather started a tiling business in the 1970s that used lasers to do most of their measurements,” says Getz. “At the time, many found it silly, saying it would never work. But all laser use has done since then is make everyone’s life easier.”
“The technology has really allowed us to focus at the watershed level rather than the independent farmer level. It’s no longer a farmer calling to say, ‘I have a certain number of acres I need to drain.’ It is us saying those acres fall within a larger watershed and then working with neighbors to find the most equitable, efficient way to drain it. ”
– Corey Getz
The introduction of GPS as a measurement tool in the 2000s met similar resistance. An unwillingness to settle for status quo solutions to drainage water management (DWM) motivated Getz and his partner, Quint Shambaugh, to start their own DWM consulting business in 2016.
“The drainage tile business never really had any checks and balances. It was essentially a handshake agreement business,” he says. “There was no set way to develop plans for engineering, so essentially what DIGS does is bring large watersheds together, representing every landowner within that watershed.”
To move from handshakes to high-tech, they developed and now implement an innovative watershed mapping tool. Within a matter of minutes, their patent pending software can pull topographic data to identify outlet locations, land ownership and the exact watershed to the acre.
“The technology has really allowed us to focus at the watershed level rather than the independent farmer level,” says Getz. “It’s no longer a farmer calling to say, ‘I have a certain number of acres I need to drain.’ It is us saying those acres fall within a larger watershed and then working with neighbors to find the most equitable, efficient way to drain it.”
After analysis, the company engineers the entire project, working directly with contractors and tile manufacturers, and facilitating every other aspect, be it surface or subsurface, short of manufacturing and installing the pipe. For Corey Getz, this commitment to water technology reflects a legacy of innovation that goes back at least three generations.