Ready to serve farm clients
By CLAYTON RYE
CLEAR LAKE – Mike Booth was harvesting his crop in 2003 on his farm near New Hampton in Chickasaw County when his recently purchased Quantum dryer controller started working improperly.
The dealer where Booth bought the controller had no solutions to correct the problem.
“The dealership did not have the support I needed,” said Booth.
Booth called the factory and talked to an engineer about his malfunctioning controller.
The engineer drove to Booth’s farm, made some simple adjustments, and the controller functioned as it was designed.
The engineer explained how the controller worked to Booth.
As he listened, Mike Booth said, “I had an ah-ha moment.”
The engineer left and Booth returned to harvesting with the controller in good working order.
Later, he said, he started getting phone calls from other farmers having problems with their controllers.
As the calls kept coming in, Booth diagnosed their problems and assisted them at the end of each day’s harvest.
Booth learned that the engineer who helped him was passing Booth’s phone number to Quantum owners.
His service work on dryer controllers grew until one day his wife, Kim Booth, told him, while she was running the combine, it was time to make a decision between farming and service work.
Booth gave up farming in 2004 to pursue his love of technology, working for a grain system company in central Iowa until he decided he could do that work for himself.
Three years ago he started his own home-based business, south of Hampton.
A YouTube video on servicing the Quantum controller became a source for new customers as far away as Georgia and Alberta Canada, Booth said.
Much of his service work is done using the phone. They discuss the problem, and Booth talks customers through to the solutions.
A year ago Booth found a Clear Lake building that had sat empty for four years.
“The building was almost what we were looking for,” said Booth.
Moving his business – North Country Grain Systems – to Clear Lake, the Booths commute the 40-mile drive to Clear Lake.
Some remodeling has been done to the building – removing a few walls to enlarge the entry area, creating a large room for information kiosks and a large open area for meetings and seminars.
Booth said the meeting room will be available for other agricultural topics such as the principles of grain drying and applying for USDA grants.
NCGS offers an array of services from remodeling and updating grain systems, to a complete turnkey system on bare ground.
Serving as a general contractor, Booth works with concrete and electrical contractors, allowing him to quote a complete price.
Booth said 30 years of experience in production agriculture gives him additional insight in planning a grain system.
Earl Scearcy works in sales and service with 13 years of experience as a millwright.
Booth said he values Searcy’s insight.
“Earl has the same vision as I do as a family business with the customers as family,” Booth said.
NCGS’ building is progressing toward completion, and by next fall Booth is anticipating having six to eight employees ready for harvest season.
Plans are underway for an open house before next fall.
The product lineup includes Simes Systems, Superior, Harvest International, IntelliAir, Ripco Ltd., and everything related to grain handling – from augers, driers and controllers.
“I’ve always been an innovator,” said Booth. “I am always looking for the very best.”
Kim Booth described her husband saying, “He has such a passion for agriculture.”
North Country Grain Systems can be found on the internet at northcountrygrainsystems.com and on Facebook for more information.
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