Jim Vantiger

Recount the life and legacy of 88-year-old Iowan farmer, James “Jim” Vantiger, who built a successful farming and grain broker business, played a crucial role in Fratco’s expansion to Iowa, and remains a respected figure in his community. Known for his industrious nature, innovative problem-solving, and commitment to community and family, Jim’s story reflects the enduring values of the agricultural sector.

The Perfect Fit

The town of Birmingham, Iowa doesn’t have the notoriety of the famous Alabama city that shares its name. Of course, that’s to be expected for a town that only boasts a few hundred residents—367, to be exact, according to the 2020 Census. But despite the size and population differences, Iowa’s Birmingham does have one thing that Alabama doesn’t: Lick Creek Enterprises, LLC.

Generations in the Making

Few can claim a closer connection to the excavation business than Rudy DeSabatine. Not only has Rudy spent his own professional life laying tile, he also grew up watching his father, Paul, do the same. Two of Rudy’s brothers, Bob and David, are old industry pros as well, and together, the family accounts for decades of industry knowledge.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

In 1821, Putnam County, Indiana, was formed. Located west of Indianapolis, the county was named after General Israel Putnam, who served during the Revolutionary War. It’s an area in rich with industry, agriculture and includes the community of Belle Union. It’s also where Devin Salsman, owner and operator of Salsman Drainage, Inc., calls home.

Family: The Foundation for Success

Although lawns do not require as much care in cooler months as they do in spring, summer and fall, winter weather doesn’t mean completely ignoring your yard. For grass that’s spring-time ready, here are a few steps you can take now to have the envy of the neighborhood yard later.

Sharing a Commitment to Service & Quality

In the mid-1980s, two brothers invested $2,700 in a tile machine and a dream. By 1990, they officially incorporated Johnston Land Improvement, which over the past three decades has grown into a booming business in Victoria, Illinois. Specializing in drainage systems for construction sites, the company is well-known in their community and in the region for providing an incredible level of service. Bryan Johnston, one of the brothers and current president of the company, says, “We’ve really got it good with our customers. Business has been good. It’s been fun.”

Sentimental Journey

Pennsylvania civic leader Dr. Benjamin Rush was a physician, politician, humanitarian, educator and one of the historymakers who helped pen then added his signature to the Declaration of Independence. Born in 1746, Dr. Rush was the figurehead Rush County and the town of Rushville, Indiana were named for. It’s also where you’ll find Hoeing Supply, Inc.

Growing Hometown Roots with Eads & Son Bulldozing

The Wabash River snakes through a series of towns and cities that generations of Midwestern families have called home. Where it branches into the Salamonie River, you’ll find Lagro, Indiana. Founded in 1835, Lagro is a cozy community made up of generations of residents who love their tight-knit hometown. It is also where you’ll find Eads & Son Bulldozing, owned by Fratco partners and cousins Tadd and Scott Eads.

Opportunity Knocks

Ty Sparrow learned at a young age that when opportunity knocks to quickly open the door before the moment might pass him by. Ty, the owner of Dirt Works Drainage & Excavation LLC, was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. As a young man, he launched his first business: lawn care and snow removal. Customers depended year-round on the grade-schooler to keep their yards and driveways pristine. Ty’s drive and passion to keep hustling and moving ahead in business are what led him to become the hardworking, self-made Fratco partner he is today.

Conquering Wide-Open Spaces: Maxwell Farm Drainage

When you consider the storied history of Bart Maxwell’s family, the slogan for his hometown of Crawfordsville, Indiana says it all: “Small City…Big Possibilities.” Forty-nine miles west of the state capital and home to Wabash College, Crawfordsville was founded in 1832 along the banks of Sugar Creek, a southern tributary of the Wabash River and named for then-U.S. Treasury Secretary, William H. Crawford. It’s also where you’ll find Maxwell Farm Drainage: a Fratco partner that prides itself as a company of value, integrity and relationship building.