Extortion or altruism? This sunflower field brings plenty of smiles but for a fee

Shutterstock.com/ salajean

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There are many ways to make money in this world. While some make people struggle to sleep at night there are others that will make you go to sleep with a smile on your face. When you think of what you have contributed to the world, have you made it a worse or better place. Read on to hear the latest story of a businessman who made money by making people happy.

When you are old and nearing the end of your life and you look back on what you have done, how you have contributed to the world, will there be moments that you can call on that say, on that day, I did something good? If not it may be time to start thinking of some way to positively influence the world, especially considering the hard times that have taken place recently. Many people make excuses for not doing good. They say that if they had more money or more time they would use it to help but they are too busy working or can’t afford to help others. One local farmer named Scott Thompson has shown there are no excuses.

Scott Thompson comes from a long line of farmers. At present, he runs a strawberry farm in Kenosha County. The farm is a success and people travel from far and wide for his delicious strawberries. While he is glad that people like them he sat down one night and wondered if there was anything else he could do for his community. That was when he had a particularly bright idea. He decided to plant 2 million sunflower seeds.

The idea was simple – people love sunflowers. He knew that if he could offer his community a field of sunflowers it would make them happy. Scott is a shrewd businessman as well and he has seen the strange uptick in picturesque photos on Instagram and new that people would be in love with the idea of pictures in a sunflower field.
He chose a particular type of sunflowers that is a little shorter. This means that people aren’t lost in a sea of green stems in the photos but instead can be surrounded by the smiling yellow faces of the sunflower. While kindness was a key input in Scott’s decision, it wasn’t as altruistic as it sounds.

Scott charges $25 per person to enter the sunflower field. A pretty high entrance fee. This allows customers to enter the field, spend as much time as they want there, take as many photos as they wish, and even take one sunflower home. Scott says that he doesn’t want the joy to stop at the perimeter of the field and hopes every customer can bring a little bit of the sunflower field with them. Sunflowers are a popular flower in store too and when the time comes to harvest the flowers there is no doubt that Scott will make back a considerable amount of his investment then.

While the cynical among us may argue that Scott wasn’t doing anything motivated by kindness – that he was simply a farmer planting a crop that people wanted. Consider for a moment the different ways that people make money around the world. The sad truth is that money is required today and if Scott has found a way to make money that also makes people smile, then he is doing a fine job.

The Thompson family farm has been famous for its strawberries for years but it is famous for the sunflower farm too. People have traveled great distances to lay in the sunflower field and anyone who has paid the entrance fee has left happy in the end. What are your thoughts? Are Scott and his sunflower field an example of shrewd business, love, and kindness or a little of both?

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