Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in farming but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Traci Dow-Wyatt, Owner of Central Iowa Organic Fertilizer, located in Indianola, IA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We have a commercial worm farm where we raise African Hybrid Night Crawlers. Our worms produce Organic Material Review Institute (OMRI) earthworm castings - worm poo! Castings are nature's perfect fertilizer and soil restorer containing no chemicals and are safe for everything that grows and anyone who uses it. At our facility, we grow worms from cocoons that contain eggs, feed the worms, separate the worms from the castings, package the castings and send them out to our retail and bulk customers.

Tell us about yourself

Our company is a family-owned business. It gives us the opportunity to work together for a common goal. We got into the earthworm castings business because we wanted to do something as a family that would produce a product that anyone and everyone could use a product that was good for people and the planet. Starting a business is no easy task, and starting one where we needed to educate the public about the advantages of our product provided not only the usual hurdles but a new set in that we had to educate the public about it. Knowing this was a long-term project, we kept talking to people, giving presentations and tours of our operation, and conducting cold calls at retail establishments. We keep going because we know that we have a quality product that actually works!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment has been going from having an excess of products to having a waitlist. We are now typically sold out and now have to put customers on a list for our castings.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing about being a business owner is the complete and total responsibility for each decision. This can impact making each customer happy to our bottom line.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Produce something you believe in. It's easier to sell something when you know it's worth it.
  2. Keep working. Keep selling. Keep your customer's satisfaction in mind.
  3. This is a piece of advice given to us by another entrepreneur: Stay in business. You can't be successful if you close up shop.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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