Rob and Tara Hach have the energy of the wind - uplifting and powerful. What's also exciting, they have made the energy of the wind their job.
For the past several years, they have been promoting nature's energy with their testing equipment at Anemometry Specialists that determines if the wind can be a valuable resource in the form of an electricity-producing wind turbine.
Not all areas are ideal, for the turbines, Rob commented.
The Hachs and their growing company were recognized for their innovativeness Saturday by Iowa Farm Bureau and WHO Newsradio as Entrepreneur's of the Month for the Renew Rural Iowa program.
The Hachs had the opportunity to explain their business to the many visitors on hand for the award presentation.
"One of the critical parts of determining if a wind tower is feasible is testing," Rob said. The testing towers that Anemometery Specialists erect are nearly 200 feet tall and are grounded five feet into the earth.
Wind speed, temperatures and direction of the wind is recorded to a box and information can be retrieved through a cell phone or satellite. Reports are examined quarterly or sometimes annually. It takes one to five years of gathered information to determine if an area is fit for a wind turbine. The testing can cost the landowners or businesses that have requested the testing to be done up to $20,000 but is a much lesser price than putting up a turbine and then discovering the spot is not ideal.
The trained technicians transport the testing towers - broken into 16 pieces - to the location being tested and installed on site. The towers have been put up in 34 states, coast to coast, and in three countries. They have worked in all types of terrains - from cornfields to copper mines to mountaintops. All-terrain vehicles and even helicopters have been needed to get the At the end of the testing period, the towers are taken down and are reusable. The individual or group is left with the information. Anemometry Specialists does not put up the wind turbines.
There are 25 employees at Anemometery Specialists and that number is increasing. A marketing director will soon be hired and sales people for different locations in the country are also in the works.
Fifteen years ago, Rob said, he was "one of a dozen" who discovered the interest of testing the wind." The popularity of the use of wind turbines is growing by leaps and bounds as people see the "green" benefits of the energy producing system.
Anemometry Specialists has grown out of one building already and currently in the old Melanders building, has nearly outgrown it as well. Within two years, Rob said, a new building will need to house them.
Don't worry about them moving to another community. They are well-grounded in Alta. They have lived elsewhere in a large city but are quite satisfied with the small community life; Alta, afterall, is Tara's hometown. "We wouldn't trade the small town living for anything."
When they do outgrow the current building, it will provide more space for office space or other businesses to move in and that is a good deal for the community.
Anemometry Specialists have two warehouses in Alta, as well as one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Amarillo, Texas.
The business has drawn techs from other areas of the country as well. When families relocate to Alta, that means more numbers in the district; also a good thing.
Rob is convinced the popularity of the energy source will continue. "Green is where we are headed. We need to get away from disposable energy."
Ken Root, of WHO radio, said it is his pleasure to be a part of the Renew Rural Iowa awards.
"It gives us the chance to see businesses like yours that we didn't ever dream of. This, being a husband and wife business is even more interesting."
A half hour program highlighting the Hachs will be presented over WHO Newsradio 1040 on Jan. 29 at 11:30 a.m. If you miss the radio show, go to WHO's The Big Show website.
Root added that the Hachs and other award winners serve as an inspiration for others and show that they, too, can take their dreams and turn them into reality.
Rob credits Tara for her involvement in the business.
"I am the dreamer," Rob said, "and Tara keeps me grounded."
Also in attendance was Peter Hong of Laurens, a friend and CEO coach for the Hachs. "Peter is the person that has been there, done that," Rob said. "He helped get our business plan started." He added that Hong has a very successful business in Laurens (Positech).
Sandy Ehrig, Economic Development Administrator at Iowa Farm Renew Rural Iowa, on hand at the award presentation, said this was the first wind energy business to receive this award. The awards have been given out monthly for two years around the state.