David Taylor stands outside the first portal entry to the Live Earth mine of humic and fulvic shale.
The original building in Emery for Live Earth Products.
Live Earth Products of Emery is celebrating 20 years in business. Live Earth has grown from a one-man operation to a company that sells and ships products worldwide.
The company focuses on three main areas of production and distribution. Product is sold for agricultural uses for the crop land. Product is used as a supplement for animals and thirdly the product is produced for human consumption.
David Taylor is the founder of Live Earth Products and is assisted in the business by sons Russell and Keith.
Taylor started the company in 1986 under Miracle Rock Mining and Research. A family friend had done research on the product looking for an alternative to petroleum based fertilizer products. There had been much research done on this product, but it never made it out of the research phase until Taylor decided to develop the product. He began producing liquid fertilizer in an old bath tub. He discovered what works and what doesn't. The first customer was a company out of New York that bought the fertilizer. They specialized in organic lawn care. The product is very environmentally friendly. The mineral rich product adds nutrients to the soil and builds it up.
Taylor said when you watch the Rose Bowl football game this New Year's Day, then look at the turf on the football field. The Rose Bowl swears by Live Earth Products and uses it to maintain their field through the hard wear and tear of the football season. The announcer at last year's game said the turf on the Rose Bowl field compared to the Augusta golf course where he would be attending the Master's Golf tournament.
Live Earth Products can be compared to a very rich compost like matter. You can compare 1,500 pounds of compost to 50 pounds of Live Earth product. The product enables the plant to easily uptake the nutrients in the fertilizer.
In 1990, Taylor put together a deal with Emery Town and economic development to acquire land for their new building. Emery Town donated the land. Prior to building the new building the product was processed at the mine site.
Taylor mined the ore himself and on weekends his two sons who were 8 and 10 years old at the time, helped dig. Russ still lives in Emery and Keith lives in Ferron. Taylor is proud of the family business that has allowed him to raise his family out of the city. Taylor began adding employees after purchasing the building. "Morgan Hatch has been here since the beginning and he's really my right hand guy. We now have 12 employees and sales representatives all over the world. We have a number of trucks in and out of here each day. There's really not much competition in our industry. We are the Cadillac of our industry," said Taylor.
On this day, Bruce Steward from Indiana with REK Express was loading product bound for Minnesota to feed the pigs as a mineral feed supplement.
Steward said the pigs really thrive when the supplement is added to their regular diet.
Russ said, "A lot of our work is seasonal in the fall and in the spring is when the agricultural customers will add the fertilizer to their soils. We usually see about five trucks a day during this time. The product is bagged or bulk. Our product is shipped worldwide and it goes overseas, by ship or by air.
The building where the food grade products are produced has a bucket elevator on the outside where the product enters the building. It is then stored in a tank which holds 10 ton of product. Purified water is added to the product by a reverse osmosis process filtration system. The product sets for 24-48 hours and then is drained into large drums or smaller buckets of liquid product. This liquid product can be used to drink as a dietary supplement for the healthy minerals found within and the product is also used in beauty cremes and cosmetic products. A powdered version of the product is also used in cosmetics.
Russ said the human consumption part of the business is USDA inspected and regulated. The mining side of the business is regulated and inspected by MSHA. Many of the human consumption products are shipped to South Africa, Amsterdam, Poland and Taiwan. They use the product in drink form, or powdered capsules.
Russ described the product as humic and fulvic shale, which is an organic shale made up of plant materials 75 million years old. The products were deposited when the whole area was under a large lake which extended as far as the Grand Junction area. The product contains 72 trace minerals and micro and macro nutrients.
After a farmer has a soil composition test completed then Live Earth can recommend the best product for their needs. They will also mix their product with other products such as potassium sulfate to develop just the right formula to meet the farmers needs for their land.
Russ said it's a matter of farmers learning and understanding how the product works. The product really contributes to the soil. The product distribution runs between 250-400 pounds per acre depending on the soil in addition to your regular fertilizer schedule. The product breaks up nutrients in the soil and makes them more available for use by the soil. It also helps mitigate the affects of salt in the soil.
The product hasn't really caught on yet in Utah. Utah only accounts for one half of one percent of sales for Live Earth. Live Earth does sell to some local hay producers and a lot in Richfield. The product is becoming more popular as more and more people use it. Idaho and Iowa and the surrounding states use a lot of the product. Potato growers have found they produce more baking potatoes, number one grade with the use of the fertilizer. Live Earth products are certified organic.
David said in 1964, Dr. TL Sand researched the fertilizer and found it will increase the yield of a crop, but more importantly it increases the quality of the product and growers produce a higher quality product. If plants are healthier then they are more resistant to insects and disease.
On the human consumption and health use benefits of the product, health benefits and claims can't be made, because the product isn't a drug. But, the mineral water has been found to be very useful in the treatment of burns. Powdered product is used in many famous cosmetics including the Estee Lauder anti-aging creams. Diabetics have also used the product to regulate their blood sugars. Many symptoms and illnesses can be traced back to mineral and vitamin deficiencies. There is also a spray available which contains the dry powder. "It's a very versatile product and some people swear by it," said David. He told of a doctor in Malaysia who used the powder and made it into a spray and used it to treat baldness. Some people who start using the product said it restored their hair color and the grayness went away.
LiveEarth also produces organic beef on the side. They are the only organic beef producers in the state. This organic operation is made possible by use of the product both on the grazing pastures and as a nutritional supplement. The beef is sold to people in half or wholes and to high end restaurants. The Alta ski resort buys from the Taylors. The Taylors maintain a 30 head mother herd and irrigate 200 acres of pasture. There is an open container of the mineral supplement which the cattle can consume at any time.
Taylor told of a hog operation that mixes 2 percent product with their food and the hogs were raised medicine free and garnered a high dollar and were shipped to Japan. The meat is considered blue carcass and is 30 percent leaner than regular.
"I think everything just fell into place as we started this business and I am supposed to do this job. Russ and Keith are very involved in the business and they have been since the beginning. My employees are just magnificent and they are my greatest asset. I couldn't do it without them," said David.
David likes to fish and hunt when he isn't traveling for the business. LiveEarth is a big community supporter. They donate to baseball and every year they buy the fireworks for the Emery 24th celebration. One organization that David really supports has a deep personal meaning, he lost his wife Kellie to cancer six years ago. Each year he donates to the Relay for Life in Kellie's name.
David believes in offering good benefits to his employees and has health, dental and vision insurance for them.
"I am happy and content here and couldn't ask for a better life. I was raised in Salt Lake, but have been here in Emery County 34 years now. I wanted to get my family out of the city and I have been fortunate to keep everyone fed over the years. With our company I am able to give that same opportunity to my family. I think our greatest export in this county is our children. My sons are able to stay here with the company. My daughters have married and Jessica is a teacher in Fountain Green and Chantel is an RN in the emergency room in Grand Junction. I have eight grandkids.
I was a coal miner for 10 years at the Wilberg Mine and a welder/fabricator/electrician. I do miss my old friends from the coal mine.
"I really enjoy working now with my sons. We get along great, there isn't any arguing and it's great being part of a family business," said David.
He is leaving more of the overseas travel to his sons now so they can gain some experience and make those connections overseas. Keith is 34 now and Russ is 32. David is leaving shortly for a trade show in Michigan. He will help out companies at the trade show. There are eight companies in the Midwest that purchase 80 percent of what LiveEarth produces. These companies resell the product under their private labels which Taylor said doesn't bother him. He said an old timer once told him, it doesn't matter who's name is on the bag, it matters who's name is on the check.
The mineral was mined underground for 17 years under approximately 65 feet of cover. It was a drill and shoot, room and pillar mining operation. Taylor holds leases on 160 acres of SITLA land and has 124 acres leased privately near the dinosaur quarry. All the ore is brought into Emery to be processed. The ore is now being mined above ground.
Eight hundred thousand ton of liquid fertilizer is shipped annually. These are shipped by tanker and some smaller bottles are sold to golf courses.
Additional facts about LiveEarth.
Live Earth Products Maintain an Ideal Carbon/Nitrogen Balance.
Most traditional chemical fertilizers lack carbon, while containing higher levels of nitrogen than plants can process at application time, which leads to waste. The carbon in animal-based products is not only accompanied by too many salts and heavy metals, it's also not in the form of carbon chain sugars for maximum benefit. Live Earth products introduce a high-energy, carbon food source into plants, turf and soil that balances nitrogen levels, for efficient uptake of already-present nitrogen.
Live Earth's Organic Products Are Composed of Thoroughly Composed Matter.
Live Earth provides an organic mixture only found in completely decomposed, ancient plant life. While other products' sources are usually not entirely broken down, rendering them largely ineffective, Live Earth products contain only the purest plant matter such as humus, nutrients, enzymes, minerals, natural surfactants, bio-stimulants, and fulvic, ulmic and amino acids. Some companies offer fertilizers high in animal protein, or sometimes no protein at all, which may take years to break down; Live Earth products are rich in everything you need, ready to go now.
Live Earth Products Offer High Concentration of Pure Humates.
Many company's products don't contain humates, and nowhere will you find a purer source of high-grade humates than Live Earth. We use highly effective extraction methods to go after only the most mature and beneficial humates.
Live Earth Products Work Without High Levels of Salts.
Healthy microorganisms are essential to plant growth. Live Earth leaves out the high levels of salts and heavy metals. As a result, the microorganism population in the soil is allowed to thrive while effectively processing the soil to make nutrients more available to root systems. The benefit to you? Plants that are more stress-tolerant, respond to significantly lower levels of N-P-K fertilizers, and therefore cost much less to maintain.
Live Earth Products Provide Easier Uptake with Chelated, Complexed Fulvic Acid.
In contrast to traditional fertilizers, which contain EDTA or citric acids or no chelating agents at all, Live Earth products are rich in fulvic acid. This allows plants to easily assimilate those nutrients that are being introduced, as well as those already in the soil. The energy saved in this process is then redirected to enhanced growth, and production of proteins and carbohydrates. Chemical fertilizers have no positive effects on the soil. Live Earth humic acid products can improve the soil while adding nutrients to the soil. Our products increase the fertilizer and water holding capacity of the soil. Live Earth mines and manufactures humic and fulvic ingredients for agriculture, animal feeds, cosmetics, dietary supplements, bio-remediation, organic gardening, and lawn care.
Humic acids are becoming a significant bio-stimulant to mainstream agricultural practices because of the many benefits that it contributes to the soil. Currently a crop is removed from the field and no plant material is returned to the soil. The humification process is hindered if no material is added and as a result the soil has reduced levels of organic compounds that will transition into humic acid. This process creates soils low in organic matter that may lack sufficient levels of humic acids to maintain proper fertilizer retention. Adding humic acid to a fertilizer program may help increase nutrient availability and retain the nutrients in the root zone.