Like so many others in the green industry, Aaron Rodolph, president of Rodolph Brothers, based in Casper, Wyoming, got his start as a kid pushing a mower. He was 14 years old and borrowing his father’s mower to service 20 lawns around the city. He’d put the gas cans in the mower bag, balance the string trimmer on top of the mower and push it all with one hand while steering his mountain bike with the other.
One day his father told him he’d need to buy his own mower — and he agreed. But when he came home later that day there was an $1,100 commercial-grade mower and a $450 trimmer waiting for him. “My dad told me I’d be paying him back for his investment,” Rodolph remembers. “I could hardly believe a mower could possibly cost so much but my dad was helping me to recognize that my business would never thrive without high-quality equipment. It’s a lesson I’ve kept with me ever since.”
I actually began pursuing a law degree when I had an epiphany. I realized that the 5-year-old landscape business that I had started to get through college was what I was really supposed to be doing. I dropped out of college the next day and never looked back.
The landscape profession is God’s work. You get to create and tend to a giant forest. We were created to care for this giant urban garden — it’s at the core of our human nature to improve the land.
Living in the mountains of Wyoming a lot of my hobbies are mountain-related. I’m an avid mountain biker, back-country skier, fisherman and hunter. I also spend a lot of my time riding a skateboard in the city with my kids — Aden, age 7, and Madilyn, age 6 — while they ride their bikes.
Spending time in the very remote region of D.R. Congo last year was life changing for me. We — my wife, Nicole, of 15 years and our two kids — spent two months helping a doctor establish his missionary outpost there. It was good for us all to be unplugged and isolated in the jungle for a couple of months. We lived in a hut and immersed ourselves in their culture and language.
I believe that we exist to serve others. This motto shapes every client interaction we have with our 1,500 (and growing) base of clients. It’s at the heart of all we do.
I spent a lot of time cowboying at a ranch here in Wyoming throughout college. I could’ve stayed there forever — landscaping and being a cowboy have a lot in common, after all: dirt, beautiful country, unpredictable days, taking care of the land, and the joy of a hard day’s work every single day.