Young people going into business often dream of making it big one day. Dreams are drivers, but few entrepreneurs have the drive that Garrett Faulkner had when he launched Down to Earth Landscaping right out of high school. Now, four years later, the 21-year-old owner says he would like to be one of the biggest landscape contracting companies in the country.
The other day I saw a truck leaving our factory. The thought flashed through my mind that the truck driver’s opportunity to have a job was in part due to the existence of Walker Manufacturing. A further thought was that the Walker operation creates many more jobs than just the 150 employees working under our roof. While economics is a complex subject, and I would not pretend to know all of the workings of an economic engine in creating jobs, it seems pretty clear that businesses like Walker do create jobs and opportunities that boost the economy and raise the standard of living for our citizens. At least it looks that way to me, a farm boy from Kansas.
Blueville Nursery in Manhattan, Kansas, is different from most nurseries around the country. Even though 30 of the company’s 45 acres are devoted to growing trees, evergreens, shrubs and sod, the nursery itself accounts for a small percentage of annual sales.
Two weeks out of the year, young soccer enthusiasts and college soccer coaches from around the country converge on Kalispell, Montana to attend Flathead Soccer Camp. What makes this non-residential and not-for-profit camp different from other such venues is its founder and operator, Mike Stebbins. The 66-year-old orthodontist started the camp 15 years ago primarily to give local youngsters a place to grow their soccer and life skills.
As an out front mower manufacturer, Walker Manufacturing is more than a little biased about the value of owning and operating a mower equipped with a frontmount deck. Over the years, the industry has been less receptive, thanks in part to the cost advantages afforded by less-expensive mid-mount mowers.