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Dayton Ag Drainage changes hands

By Staff | Mar 21, 2013

THE?NEW?OWNER of Dayton Farm Drainage, Jon Christie, spraying tiling machine, is accompanied by Nick Gregory, operations manager, as prepare their equipment for spring tiling season.

DAYTON – Millions of acres of Iowa’s farmland has been tiled in order to help ensure proper drainage of water.

The art of tiling is something that farmers do not take lightly and trust someone to properly care for their land and to further their earning potential.

Jon Christie and Megan Kauffman-Christie, new owners of Dayton Farm Drainage, want their customers to know they are planning on carrying on the tradition and quality work done by the company.

“Dayton Farm Drainage is a very respected name in the industry,” said Jon Christie, “and we want to make sure we keep doing the same quality of work they have done over the years.”

The Christies are retaining all employees to take advantage of their backgrounds and experience. The previous owners, Les Vangilder and Dick Swanson are planning to stay with the company for the first year or so to assist, Christie said.

LES VANGILDER, left, and Dick Swanson, right, talk over maps with Jon Christie. Christie recently purchased Dayton Farm Drainage from Vangilder and Swanson.

“There is 80 years of experience in the tiling industry with Les and Dick combined,” Christie said.

Christie also brings years of experience with him to the company after working for Peterson Contractors Inc., of Reinbeck, for 10 years as a supervisor. He said it was a position that gave him experience with excavating and site preparation, which Dayton Farm Drainage offers.

“We felt that he was a good, qualified individual and thought he could carry on the rich heritage of Dayton Farm Drainage,” said Swanson.

Christie said the time was right for him and his family.

“I was on the road a lot and wanted to be close to home,” said Christie. “This was a good opportunity for me, with no travel and the time was right for Megan and me. No risk, no reward.”

Swanson and Vangilder had owned Dayton Farm Drainage since 1975 when they purchased the company from Wilmar Forsberg’s estate. They believe Forsberg had run the company since the 1940s.

Tiling jobs, in the initial stages, used clay tile, but the industry gradually made the conversion to plastic tile.

Swanson said there hasn’t been many change in the tiling industry, except for building terraces, due to changing environmental regulations.

In addition to tiling, Christie said his company offers excavation, demolition, tile repair, septic work, soil conservation and erosion control work, utilities, such as city sewer and water work, grading and site preparation.

Nick Gregory, operations manager for Dayton Farm Drainage, said the company uses up-to-date technologies and are able to handle “just about any job.”

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