Transforming The Vision To Reality
I was once asked during a presentation I was giving in 2014, what I was personally doing to make a positive change for our environment.
Not my company, Dr. Earth, but me personally. I was caught off guard for the first time in my career because I thought I was the agent of change through my company’s success. I was changing people’s minds about organics and convincing them to choose organics over chemicals. So, I replied: “Melissa, I am changing hearts and minds through my company, and we are winning”! That was good enough for her, because she could not disagree about my life’s work as a positive force in this incredibly important transformational field of environmental change.
However, her question persisted in my mind for months because she had a point! What was I doing personally? My company and its success meant that every gardener that was buying an organic product, and not a chemical product, creates positive change to address global warming. I was doing more than 99% of companies in the gardening industry, but it was not good enough to meet my standards. I needed to set the example myself!
I was determined to challenge myself and all other “organic companies” selling organic products, because it’s their new “purpose” too! They claim they care and sell good products. Just look at all the companies that are now the agents of change! It’s easy to buy someone else’s commodity and package it under your own brand, but what does that truly accomplish? It’s a branding and marketing play that anyone can do. They were selling chemicals and sewage sludge just a few years ago, but now they claim to be “pure and good.” Please look at their labels. It says organic, even if it comes from chicken manure that comes from the cruel and inhumane conditions that those chickens are raised in.
I am the vehicle of change, and I can prove it.
I bought a retired Air Force Base in Northern California that consists of 160 acres and 4 parcels. It has 10 buildings on it, 4 missile silos and 142 acres of farm land. I put the farm land in a conservation easement so it could never be developed. That was step one.
Step two was to become the first owner of an organic consumer goods company that grew organic produce certified by one of the most credible farming agencies, the CCOF or “California Certified Organic Farmers”. Now we make organic products on the farm and in the factory. We use everything we make onsite – no trucking. No carbon emissions.
As the CEO of the company, I was able to convince our board that this is one of the most important things we can do as a company: to set the bar as high as possible and to force all other companies that claim compassion, and organic, to do the same thing. They need to change if they love the environment as much as they say they do on their labels. If they care, how can they support the cruelty of factory chicken farming? They should be ashamed of themselves by misleading unaware consumers who think everything that says organic must be good. It’s not!
I wanted to lead the charge globally for every company making money claiming to be organic, so I bought the land and military site. I converted it to an organic fertilizer, soil, and insecticide factory in separate buildings.
I can proudly say we have zero waste at our company because we are farmers. If we don’t sell it, we use it to grow certified organic food and raise livestock that graze in organic fields. Imagine this, whenever a product is returned to us by being damaged in shipping, we gladly accept it, because it automatically becomes an organic material for our farm to grow more organic food.
Not only do we make all-organic and sustainable products here on-site, but our success impacts the chemical suppliers, because there is far less demand for their products. Wherever we gain, they lose. We grow with our fertilizers and soils, and we kill insects organically too! All produced here on-site!
I am proud to say, I run the ONLY negative carbon company in the lawn and garden industry in the USA. We use our factory / farm to grow vegetables and grasses, and we use our products exclusively along with crop rotation and animals grazing in a truly bio-dynamic and balanced ecosystem.
I hope to meet Melissa again in person, so I can tell her about my progress and what I am personally doing to make a positive change. I want her to be proud of me and Dr. Earth because she changed my life that day, and I am a better steward to our earth because of her. Thank you, Melissa!