Entrepreneur turns load of manure into cash cow

I love it.

By Mitchell Kline • THE TENNESSEAN • June 14, 2009

BRENTWOOD — Rick Morris was out of money and almost out of hope when a business idea got dumped on him.

Morris was a contractor who specialized in widening driveways but said he went broke after a client didn’t pay her bill. His only asset was a pickup with half a tank of gas. But that changed when a man he met at a Home Depot offered to give Morris something he could sell: 50 large truckloads of manure.

“At first I took it as an insult,” Morris said. “I thought my life was over at that point. Then I said maybe organic fertilizer would sell.”

He found a free place to store all that manure and went into business.

That was 1996. Now, 13 years later, Morris has a thriving business called The Compost Farm. He’s relocated to a 120-horse farm in Brentwood. He sells composted horse manure as soil, mulch and fertilizer to local gardeners. He said his one-man business has grown 200 percent in five years, and there are times he struggles to keep up with the demand for his product.

Morris is one of many local entrepreneurs looking to profit from the “save the environment” movement. Most of these business owners began with the notion that they could make a living while making the world a better place. They say Williamson County is ripe with homeowners who want organic, natural, recycled and otherwise sustainable stuff.

NP NowPublic

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