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Valley Water Management: A Newcomer’s Perspective

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Written by Merritt McDougall |
Valley Water Management installation

Pivot point. Tower box. Drops.  LRDU. Rotators. Just some run-of-the-mill irrigation lingo. Elementary vocab for a kid who cut his teeth on an irrigated farm, right? That is, unless that farm is in the Grand Prairie region of Arkansas (or “home” as I like to call it). Where I grew up, the use of center pivots is about as common as, say, a rice field in central Nebraska.

Luckily for me, being a pivot expert wasn’t a requirement for coming onboard with Valley® Water Management in February of this year. My studies in irrigation pumping plant performance back in Arkansas paralleled our M.O. at VWM: get water where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, in the most efficient way possible. The difference of course being that we tend to like to send this water through our nice pretty center pivots at Valley. 

Sure, there were days on the job when my lack of center pivot irrigation expertise was frustrating. Well, who am I kidding, there are STILL days when I realize that I still have a lot to learn. But that’s been the beauty of starting my career with Valley Water Management. Having not come onboard with some pre-conceived notion of how things are ‘supposed to be done,’ I’ve been able to be a sponge around my awesome peers at VWM, picking up on what IS the right way to do things – whether it be in doing irrigation design, communicating with dealers and growers out in the field, or just the everyday ebb and flow of the workplace. Also, this has allowed me to have more of an open mind when brainstorming and designing pumping solutions across many different regions of the country.

Everybody remembers the arbitrary, “had to ask” questions you got from your friends and family when you first started your career, or maybe when you started a new job along the way. First, it’s, “You likin’ your new job?” “Yea.”  Then, “Well, what do you like about it?” I consider myself lucky to have a clear and consistent answer to that second cliché question. “No two days are the same, and I work with good people,” is always my answer. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and work with a large percentage of the Valley dealer network in the central and eastern parts of the country. All of these dealers cover areas that bring their own unique sets of challenges from both a sales and design standpoint, which keeps things fresh and constantly keeps me on my toes. This truly ensures that no two days are ever the same. 

Also, I don’t want to undermine the fact that they are just dang good people. Maybe it’s because that’s what I grew up around, but people who are connected with agriculture just seem to be usually bring an extra degree of good to the table. Working with our dealers and the rest of my peers at Valley Water Management and throughout Valmont has proved me right time and time again.

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