The company began in 1934 as an outfit that provided irrigation and sprinkling systems to farmers. Now, under CEO John Lake, J.P.'s father, Rain for Rent still pumps groundwater into fields, but also aids government agencies in responding to a variety of emergencies -- from oil spills to floods to broken pipelines. But the Rain for Rent name remains. "The company is 78 years old," J.P. Lake said. "The name has worked well for us." When a taconite plant in Hibbing nearly shut down in 2007 because of a drought that limited processing water needed for crushing ore, Rain for Rent installed a weather-resistant pumping system to provide a strong enough flow to keep the water from freezing. Rain for Rent personnel monitored the system constantly for five months. An estimated 500 jobs were saved. When droughts in 2007 that threatened crops and lake and river levels were followed by nearly 20 inches of rain from August through October, eroding soil in southeastern Minnesota, Rain for Rent teamed with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and several watershed districts to help control storm water and discharge routes.