Nathan Bailey grew up in Monticello, Ark. He is the founder and CEO of Waterbug Irrigation, LLC (Waterbug). He founded the business in January 2017, while he was also a full-time student at Arkansas State University.
“I started this business with $200, being a full-time student boot-strappin’ my way up,” said Waterbug owner Nathan Bailey. “In three short years we’ve grown to service over 300 farmers in four different states, all the way from southern Missouri, down to Talullah, Louisiana.”
Bailey invented The Bailey Patch and designed The Original Pink Polytube, two products that set Waterbug apart from the rest.
While in school, Bailey worked on a farm in Dumas where he helped with the irrigation system. He loved it, but he got tired of repairing blown out polypipe and knew there had to be a better way. As the son of two entrepreneurs, Bailey naturally began to work on an alternative solution.
“I designed this patch, and I started making some. I realized they worked and that I had something,” he said. “I found a plastic company that could make this polytubing, so I started selling it directly to farmers.”
By selling The Bailey Patch, Bailey is able to save farmers about 10 to 15% on something they have to buy, without sacrificing the quality. He also explored recycling options for the patch. Now, when the farmers are done with it, Bailey and his team go around and pick it up from each farm.
“The patch takes a job that would usually take 30 minutes of intensive labor and turns it into a minute or less than,” Bailey said.
Bailey says he’s grateful for the growers who have taken a chance on his product and helped him succeed. “Without them, we couldn’t be here,” he remarked.
Polypipe is one of the most demanding aspects of farming, requiring heavy, labor-intensive work. Bailey says many farmers are really enjoying The Original Pink Poly Pipe. According to Bailey, the pink pipe is a “bright spot” for farmers.
“I was a full-time college student at Arkansas State, as well as a full-time business owner. But I enjoyed it and made the most of it.”
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