In the spring of 2003, Robert Heath had an idea. Always looking for new challenges and farming 500 acres in the heart of "sand country" in Central Wisconsin, he was convinced that he could produce a variety of sand grown sod that would be perfect for golf courses and athletic fields.
He and his daughter, Heidi, teamed up with Mark Grundman of Jacklin Seed and Rich Riggs of The Rettler Corporation to explore the seed blend that would be necessary to achieve this goal. Bob and Heidi then headed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss their plans with Dr. John Stier, Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture-Turfgrass Extension. Did Heath Farms have the ability to grow a successful product? Would there be a market for sand grown sod?
Dr Stier was a bit skeptical at first, but the longer he listened to Bob and Heidi's ideas, the more he thought they had the right combination to make it happen; center-pivot irrigation, acres and acres of sand based fields, an extraordinary pool of motivated employees and an unmatchable drive to succeed. So in the spring of 2003 they seeded their first 15 acres of Kentucky bluegrass.
When Wadsworth Development and Northern Bay Golf Resort asked Heath Farms/Central Wisconsin Sod & Landscaping, Inc. to be part of their multi-million dollar project in Arkdale, WI in the fall of 2003, they jumped at the opportunity. The project continued over the next 2 years, harvesting and laying several hundred thousand yards of sod. This exposure has led to the involvement with many other prestigious golf courses, such as Whistling Straits in Kohler, The Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells and Black Wolf Run, also in Kohler.
The Heath's found another professional ally in Dennis Robinson with Horst Distributing. Dennis has provided knowledge and networking that has taken Central Wisconsin Sod & Landscaping into many new projects, like the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Baseball Field in Appleton. Under his guidance, Central Wisconsin Sod and Landscaping was chosen to completely renovate the stadiums playing surface. It was stripped of its old sod and renewed with sand grown Kentucky bluegrass sod, grown on Robert Heath Farms.
Central Wisconsin Sod and Landscaping, Inc. provides a unique twist to the usual sod business. The sod is grown on irrigated sand. This provides excellent drainage, which is critical to athletic fields and golf courses that want no down time after heavy rains. The sand base allows players to return to the field much sooner than sods with heavy organic matter. The sod fields are maintained to perfection and harvested upon request. Because golf courses need grasses other than bluegrass, Central Wisconsin Sod & Landscaping also offers Low Mow Bluegrass, Fine Fescues and several varieties of Bent grass for fairways and Tee's.
Heath Farms currently has 120 acres of sod in production, all under center-pivot irrigation. With specialized equipment like the Magnum 420SR Big Roll Harvester and WMI Big Roll Installer, large scale jobs are tackled with ease. Our dedicated staff takes the greatest pride in their installation process. No shortcuts are taken and attention to detail is the highest priority. As Bob and Heidi continue to broaden their sod business, they are investigating the addition of laser leveling equipment in order to provide a complete field renovation capability, start to finish.
From golf courses, to baseball fields, to your own lawn, Heath Farms and Central Wisconsin Sod & Landscaping, Inc. provide the same high quality product to all projects. For more information please call Robert or Heidi Heath at 715-228-4106. Bob and Heidi Heath also farm 500 acres of produce, including peppers, pickles, zucchini and sweet corn. Over 40 greenhouses and a client base of more than 100 retail and landscape customers keep them busy in the spring.