Rodney Born is co-owner of Born Well Drilling in Waseeka, Minnesota, a third-generation, family-owned business that started in 1914. Born Well drilling specializes in installing and repairing water wells and pump systems for farms, light commercial, and residential properties in southern Minnesota.

Born’s grandfather started the business. Then his dad and uncle took over as co-owners. He grew up wanting to be just like his father, who regularly took him to jobsites. He officially started working alongside his dad and uncle at 14, during the summer months. After graduating high school, Born went on to vocational school to study sales and marketing.

“I pretty much knew the drilling end of it. But the business end; really didn’t know much about that,” Born said.

Born ultimately went on to work for his dad and uncle full time following vocational school. His cousin Dennis followed a similar track, pursuing a four-year degree in geology and working for his dad, also Rodney’s uncle.

When Born’s dad passed away in 2003, he became co-owner of Born Well Drilling with his uncle. Then, when his uncle retired around 2011, his cousin Dennis joined him as co-owner. They remain in business together today, tackling the business and field sides.   

Born has taken an active role in the water well industry, serving as president of the Minnesota Water Well Association in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions prevented the association from holding its annual convention, which is where well drillers receive continuing education credits. But they found a way.

“We talked with the National Groundwater Association and they have what they call this university and it’s an online course, so we were able to set up some courses with them so our members could get their credits through the National Ground Water Association, sponsored by the Minnesota Water Well Association. So it was pretty neat the way that all worked out.”

This episode covers:

  • Heading up the Minnesota Water Well Association in the midst of a pandemic.
  • Key objectives of the Minnesota Water Well Association today.
  • Co-owning a water well drilling business.
  • Drilling hundreds of wells for a gas company, from 500 to 1,500 feet deep, including exploration holes, production wells and observation wells.
  • How the industry has changed during Born’s career.
  • Leveraging industry associations for ongoing education.

Check out today’s episode to hear more. Watch the video here or listen to the audio version of our conversation at You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts. Search for Boring Conversations, then hit Follow.

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Born Well Drilling on the web:

Contact Rodney Born at