Dad Started a Lawn Seeding Business in 1988

Dad started a lawn seeding business in 1988
With an old Massey Ferguson 165 and a new gill rake.

He had just subdivided his new farm in Dauphin county and asked his brother-in-law, Jake Fisher, to build a few houses along the road frontage. In time, Uncle Jake needed the lawn seeded for each home. Dad figured that since he could seed rye and alfalfa, being an Amish farmer all his life, he could easily seed grass. He shakes his head now, “Oh boy.”

Dad and his sister Sadie at the home farm in Leola

Dad constantly scoured the earth for improvements and has thousands of photos of ideas from the competition, friends, and trade shows. We had a Friday night ritual of dropping off two or three rolls of 35mm Kodak film at the Fruitville Pike K-mart. Sometimes he bought a “six pack” of those stale soft pretzels on the way out – mustard included.

I got to help seed lawns while school was out over the summer months. During the school year, Dad would often ask Mom to fetch me after school and take me to their job site to help finish it before dark. School was crossed off of my list as soon as 15 rolled around. I didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school, much less think about college. Finishing the school year at 15 WAS graduation.

Sometime around 19, the “Dad-is-stupid” spirit reared its head and I decided seeding lawns was just plumb dumb. I got a job interview at two companies, Esh Computer Center and Dienner’s Country Restaurant. My plan was to work part-time and go to college for a pre-med degree (Dr. Ben Carson was my hero). Esh Computer Center became my new job. A few years later I had enough of computers. The smell of freshly turned earth each spring jolted me back to reality.

Dad said “Yes” and I was back in the family business. That was a few months after my wife and I got married in 2001.

In 2003, I began to dabble with lawn fertilizer and weed controls and studied for my PA Pesticide License. Before we knew it, grass was getting greener all over the place! In 2008 we introduced the Unlimited Service Plan and trademarked Wisegrass.