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Hayward native takes over local business

HAYWARD — Colored pictures Taylor Matz, 24, once drew on barn walls have become faded and are just one memory he has of his earlier days at the farm outside of Hayward, where he now resides and runs his business, Black Gold Customs Custom Manure Applications.

“That was kind of my playground as a kid out here,” Matz said of the property, which was once owned by his grandparents.

His younger days introduced him to his grandparents’ garden and his dad’s hog barns, compelling him to come back home after graduating from the University of Minnesota.

“I was always into agriculture and loved the farm life,” Matz said.

As a result, he majored in precision agriculture with a minor in agribusiness during college.

It was by sheer happenstance that he decided to take over a manure business.

Having worked with precision instruments, Matz said he was curious to see what Shawn Linn used when he came to empty the manure pit from his father’s hog barn. Linn not only showed him, he offered to sell him his business. Matz accepted and bought the business in May 2016.

By all accounts, his work is seasonal.

“Spring and fall are our main times,” he said. “In the springtime we only work daylight hours, eight to nine hours a day.”

During the fall, if the weather is good, Matz and his crew will work in shifts, 24 hours a day.

“As long as it’s dry out, the tractor doesn’t shut off.”

Matz’s business provides a service to customers, not a product. Local farmers make arrangements with hog barn operators to buy manure from them and then hire Matz to transport and apply the liquid manure to their fields.

According to Matz, there are benefits to using the natural product over chemical applications, which typically only apply nitrous, phosphorus or potassium to the soil.

“There are a lot of benefits to chemical spraying — depending on what you’re using it for,” he said. “For us, with the liquid manure, it has a lot more micronutrients in it, which is better for the soil.”

Matz plans to grow his customer base in the area. He said he is willing to meet with farmers in advance or give them a quote over the phone.

Black Gold Customs Custom Manure Applications can be reached at 507-402-4549.