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5 Questions: Kelly Elder

August 17, 2020 -  By
Rob (left) and Kelly Elder (Photo: Rob Elder)

Rob (left) and Kelly Elder (Photo: Rob Elder)

Kelly Elder

Owner, Omaha Organics, Omaha, Neb.

1. How do you describe Omaha Organics?

We’re a family-owned, environmentally friendly lawn care company based in the Omaha metropolitan area. We specialize in natural fertilizer. You can get the gist of what we are through our mission statement: We set out to be the new standard in lawn care by helping consumers enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, safe, sustainable and healthy lawn.

2. What trends in the industry are you seeing there in Omaha?

If I can be so bold, I’d say we are the trend in the area. Our business continues to grow, year over year. We do things a little bit differently. We look at lawn care — the approach, the products — differently than our competitors. People want to know they’re coming home to a lawn that is safe for their pets to be let out on right after we do a fertilizer application, that it’s safe for our pollinators, that it doesn’t harm our waterways. People are thinking that way. They’re planting grass that requires less water, adding landscapes that are beneficial to pollinators … just a more sustainable environment in each of our own little areas.

3. Tell me about your family and what you all like to do for fun.

Rob and I have two kids: Brayden just turned 11, and Ava is 8. When we’re not working, we’re spending our time with them. They’re into a lot of sports. Ava is a competitive gymnast, and we’ve enjoyed going to Bradyen’s baseball games this summer since that’s one of the things we’re allowed to do in this pandemic environment. When there’s not a pandemic, Rob and I like to go to concerts. You name it, and we’ll go. We have a couple big arenas here, and Lincoln (Neb.) has a big arena that gets some of the big names. I was just talking to Rob about it — this has to be the longest we’ve gone without going to a concert.

4. Have you explored alternative revenue streams as a result of the pandemic?

No, we stay with our core business. Fortunately, we haven’t seen a disruption in our business, so we haven’t had to explore different means. In addition to offering our own service to customers, we also have a do-it-yourself program. People are home more now, so some customers are opting for the DIY program where we deliver the fertilizer to your home at the right time it’s supposed to go down so there’s no guessing. Some people like that. They have more time, so they’re tending to their own yards and gardens more.

5. How do you reward the crew when they hit one out of the park?

Our crew shows up every day, they go above and beyond and they believe in what we’re doing. You can really feel it when you get the right people in the right positions. I can’t say enough about our staff. We’re a small family-owned business, so everyone has to wear different hats. We have an end-of-the-year party with everybody. Last year, we went to a nice dinner and then went ax-throwing — that was fun. We try to do something different every year. And, we try to have a couple cookouts throughout the year. Rob likes to grill, and he likes to smoke meats, so something along those lines. We’re so impressed with our crew every day — we couldn’t do it without them.

This article is tagged with , and posted in 0820, Five Questions
Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 19 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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