Mississippi Topsoils

Case Study Overview

Mississippi Topsoils is the entrepreneurial study of a composting business.  Located next door to its raw material source, a poultry processing plant, the company uses a carefully controlled process to compost plant waste with wood and yard waste that would otherwise be disposed of in local landfills.  After five years of operation the company has developed four products which it distributes at retail nursery locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The case study is presented in a multimedia (WEB/DVD) format.  Courses it is best for:

Entrepreneurship Education  --  highlights issues relating to:

  • characteristics of entrepreneurs
  • balancing of work and family for entrepreneurs
  • financing of the venture at different stages of development
  • marketing issues related to sales forecasting, pricing and product mix, advertising and promotion, and distribution

Environmental studies - illustrates a successful business model in an environmental industry (so-called ecopreneurship);  Provides background information for developing economic analysis of environmental industries and practices; illustrates principles of sustainable business practices.

Business ethics - illustrates how a new solution to an environmental issue becomes a business opportunity

Marketing  - highlights issues relating to:

  • target market selection
  • new product development
  • distribution strategy decisions
  • customer relations

with enough background that it can be used as the basis of an assignment to create public relations, public service or "eco-marketing"  campaigns. 

Agriculture (soil science) - learn about the means of using compost to improve soil structure.