Photo of Rick and Julie Shafer

Freedom Creek Prairie Builds Beauty and Habitats in Nature

For almost 20 years, Rick and Julie Schafer of rural Prescott worked for “the other guy” before deciding to start a business and try it on their own.  The Schafer’s, Julie who was formerly a nurse and Rick who was employed in ag retail, had been interested in prairie land and working with prairie remnants for a long time.  They started doing some work seeding for landowners and in 2010, when Julie’s nursing position was eliminated, the Schafer’s “took a leap” and started Freedom Creek Prairie, a business focusing on prairie remnants and natural habitats.

Freedom Creek Prairie has a mission of promoting habitat as nature intended through the discovery and study of remnant prairie areas, thoughtful preservation, restoration, and reconstruction with local eco-type seed.  According to Rick, the business has really evolved to get to the point they are at today.

In early-2011, it was just an idea—a fresh floral business “for the times of your life.”  Now, after a lot of research, planning, and hard work, Teresa Cheers and Jay Buckles have brought their idea to fruition operating Teresa’s Fine Floral, a thriving business on the southeast edge of Creston.

Why the business? “This is something I’ve always wanted to do!” Cheers exclaimed.

Hayes Concrete

Dave McLaren and the South Central Iowa SBDC office have been there since the beginning of business for Jake and Debbie Hayes, owners of Hayes Concrete Construction in Afton.  According to Debbie, it was at the suggestion of their loan officer that they contacted McLaren in the first place.

When the Hayes’ connected with McLaren in 2008, development of a business plan was the first task at-hand.  Debbie said the creation of that plan enabled them to secure the financing necessary to start their business.  They appreciated receiving advice from McLaren on applying for tax ID numbers and alternative financing opportunities.  He helped them evaluate financial statements, gave them a list of resources to utilize when getting started, and even today continues to send them pertinent resources on a regular basis.