5 Questions: Dwight Bizzell

Dwight Bizzell (Photo: Lou Ferraro, Park South Photography)
Dwight Bizzell (Photo: Lou Ferraro, Park South Photography)
Dwight Bizzell (Photo: Lou Ferraro, Park South Photography)
Photo: Lou Ferraro, Park South Photography

Dwight Bizzell

Vice President
Bizzell Nursery Co.,  Sikeston, Mo.

1. Tell me about Bizzell Nursery Co. and how you got involved? I’m the third generation.

Bizzell Lawn Care was started by my grandfather, Walter, in the late ’60s, early ’70s. He worked three jobs — he worked for the post office during the day, delivering letters; he delivered flowers after he got off work; when he got done with that, he would go house to house trimming shrubs. In 1980, my dad started the nursery business. In 2014, I came back to Sikeston, and after a year or two of learning the business, I took over the spraying business. My grandfather passed away seven years ago. He wanted to work until he died, and he fulfilled that dream.

2. What do you and (wife) Sheila like to do for fun?

We like to travel, and we travel a lot. We like seeing our friends in southwest Missouri or traveling to see friends in Indiana, North Carolina, Florida … we’ve been to Jamaica … the moment we get off on Friday night, we’re on the go. My favorite place is the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s nothing better. The air is cleaner up there, and it’s so peaceful.

3. What do you foresee as an important trend in the industry that we should all be keeping our eyes on?

Obviously, it’s technology and how it’s making a huge jump. Any expo, any conference you go to, there’s a huge uproar in technology. It all circulates around people trying to pinpoint this efficiency problem with employees. We’re all struggling, in what is a blue-collar industry, getting people to hold a shovel, get in equipment, building things. We’re all struggling in the industry to find good, quality helpers. You can pay well, and they’re still not coming around as frequently as they did. I think a big thing that’s going to happen in the next five years is as many autonomous things as possible. From communication with customers to mowers, technology is making a huge leap in our industry and it’s crazy to me that it’s just now starting in the 21st century.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen while out working?

I was out spreading one day, and I came up on a tree row down this path. On the other side of the tree row was literally a pasture full of camels. I came upon some guy who was raising camels. We don’t have those kinds of animals out here; I didn’t know that they even liked our climate.

5. You’re a St. Louis Blues fan … how big of a fan are you, and did you ever think they’d win the Stanley Cup?

I’m not as big a fan as my lead technician. His room is blue, he has Blues stickers all over his truck, and I haven’t asked him, but I bet you he has a Blues tattoo somewhere. Over the past couple seasons, he’s turned me into a fan. And to answer your question, no, I never thought they’d win it all. It was a Cinderella story, from last place to first place! We’ve never had the big names in hockey … it was a true team effort. It was awesome. Missouri is very prideful in supporting its teams.

Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Seth Jones is is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. A graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Seth was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories.

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