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Working Full Circle Is Pivotal For Local Irrigation Business

-Ewing News, 11/25/15
LuAnn Schindler

Meeting the needs of each farmer and building a strong relationship is the primary goal of Anson Electric, Inc., of Ewing.

“If you don’t have a customer base, you have nothing,” said Hugh Benson, salesman and electrician, who has been with the company for 27 years. “We try to treat each customer with an individual respect, virtually, treat them the way we want to be treated, with trust, and serve them the way they deserve to be taken care of.”

That philosophy has been the pivotal force driving the electric business based in Ewing.

Terry Anson, president of the company, had previous experience working for an area irrigation dealer, but the 1980s farm crisis led to its closing.

Opportunity knocked.

In 1986, Anson, and his wife, Rita, formed the company, handling irrigation service and electrical needs of Ewing and area communities.

Benson joined the business in 1988 and the service area expanded, precipitating the need for a second location.

A satellite office opened in Brunswick in the early 1990s, due to a large following of customers from the region, who wanted to buy parts.

“Our parts sales are there. People really look at if you’re a part of their community,” Benson said.

An area customer offered a location in Brunswick.

“It snowballed from there.”

The business serves an approximate 60-mile radius from each location.

Ansons worked with several irrigation companies for a number of years.

“We were not getting the results we wanted from them,” Benson said. “We were just on the sidelines. They were commercialized.”

The lack of business relationship with those companies bothered Anson and Benson.

While on a service call, they heard a radio advertisement for Reinke Manufacturing, based in Deshler, Nebraska.

Anson and Benson visited the Deshler plant several times.

“We found out Reinke was family oriented, and to this day, that’s the plus for us,” Benson said.

The small-town feel made an impression.

Since 1998, Anson Electric has teamed with Reinke.

Around the same time, the company formed a partnership with Chief grain bins.

Benson said it is “a sideline business,” and the company sold six new bins last year.

“It is a way to diversify services.”

The company employs a licensed electrical contractor, two licensed journeymen electricians and four apprentice electricians, in addition to three office employees.

Service workers keep up with tremendous changes in irrigation.

Benson said when he began working on systems, there was just a basic main panel.

“There were no computers involved,” he said. “In today’s era, you have computerized panels you can program to put on a quarter inch of water on one spot and maybe a half inch on the next,” Benson said.

The technology changes quickly, especially for next-generation farmers. “They’re all gamers. They’ve been on the computer since they were six years old and they’re wanting that on the irrigation side.”

Benson said agricultural equipment, ranging from combines to irrigation systems, are all following that direction, especially with touch screen capabilities.

Benson credited Reinke with being a leader in technology, including cloud technology, which allows a farmer to check on all pivots at once.

“It’s changing vastly but there’s a demand for it,” Benson said.

The typical lifespan of a pivot in this area averages 35 to 40 years.

“The water is clean, so the pipes don’t rust out.”

The business remains on the go throughout the year. Summer is typically the busy season for the company.

“Before the last two years, we averaged 30 to 40 service calls a day in the summer. We are pushed to the max in the summertime, which is our main business.

Electric and grain bin needs mean a busy harvest season.

During the winter months, new systems are erected and electric wells are wired.

“We try to keep our manpower busy,” Benson said.

Servicemen work on all brands of systems. Benson said the company continues to carry on Terry’s value of working with anyone who requires service.

Last year, Anson Electric wired two new homes, in addition to several agricultural buildings.

It is the customer service and attention to detail that Benson hopes sets Anson Electric, Inc., apart.

“Sure, they all go in a circle, they all have tires and gear boxes on them, but it’s the little things that matter,” Benson said.


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