5 Questions: Will Haselbauer

June 13, 2022 -  By
Graphic: LM Staff

Graphic: LM Staff

Will Haselbauer

President, bioLawn, Minneapolis

1. Tell me about yourself and the company? 

I’ve been in the turf industry since I was 18. I started out on the golf course; then, I went to school for turf science at the University of Minnesota. Then I got my master’s degree at Tennessee in turf. I worked in the industry for a while, at different jobs — some equipment companies, some chemical companies. Then in 2016, Aaron (Johnsen) and I started talking and we decided to start a lawn care company. We focus primarily on the plant health side; no mowing, cutting or plowing. We’ve been growing, and now we have a full team. We’re running multiple trucks. It’s been a very fortunate six years.

2. What is a trend in the industry that you think will only grow in importance? 

I think employees are at the top of everybody’s mind. I think we’re doing a good job here, focusing on that work/life balance. It seems like the days of grinding it out for six, seven days a week are just not acceptable anymore. That’s one of our core values: a work/life balance. If people are here for too long, we tell them to go home. You’re just going to grind them into the ground, and it’s not acceptable. It’s been a huge focus for us, and it seems to be paying off — we’re fully staffed right now, which is great. 

3. Any products in the shop that you’re especially fond of? 

The last couple years, it’s been the ride-on aerators. They have made a huge difference. The XT8 from Turfco has a seeder on the front … it goes back to labor; it’s a huge labor savings not only with the ride-on aerator but with the addition of the seed box on the front. It seems like we cut our labor in half with the ride-on, and then with the seeding in the front, we cut our labor in half again. That’s been a game-changer.

4. Do you have a memorable day at work?

We had a barbecue last summer. We did the barbecue, we did a little drawing and we called out some wins for certain employees. Then I called out, ‘OK, that’s it, everyone can go home now.’ And everyone stuck around for another two hours, not clocked in. I went home that evening on cloud nine. When you have the rough days, those are the days I try to remember.

5. What are your sports teams, and do you have a favorite sports highlight?  

The classic Minnesota teams: the Vikings, the Gophers. I’m a huge tennis player, and for two summers, I went and worked at Wimbledon. I merged my two passions — turf and tennis. The fandom highlight, I was out on the courts with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. We were just setting up the nets, talking to them. Especially the week before the tournament, we were out there with them, excuse my French, shooting the (bull). I think that will be my lifetime highlight for sports fandom — I don’t think I can top that.  

This article is tagged with and posted in Featured, Five Questions, From the Magazine, May 2022
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 23 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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