Leo and Eleanor DeBuck were married in 1943, and started their life together as vegetable farmers. In 1956, with five children already at home, they were surprised to give birth to twins. Eleanor told Leo he would have to find a way to replace her in the fields. They had just moved into a home that had a large front yard that needed grass. Leo was surprised at the price for bluegrass seed at the local grain elevator, but impressed with how the grass turned out. He harvested that front lawn as his first sod crop and gave the money to Eleanor for Christmas.
From their eight children, the five boys all owned and operated independent sod farms: Marvin in Macomb, MI; Norman in Belleville, MI; Alan in Davison, MI; David in Delavan, WI; and Leonard in Pine Island, NY. Four of those farms are now transitioning to the third-generation as Leo and Eleanor’s grandchildren work to preserve their legacy.
Our sod farm in Davison, MI, has been operational since 1966, with Alan taking over the business from Leo in the 1980’s. Alan and his wife Dawn continued growing the business with the DeBuck ethic of hard-work and sacrifice. They raised their three children in the house that Leo and Eleanor built on the sod farm, and both their son Kevin and daughter Diane are involved in the business. Diane and her husband Greg are transitioning to ownership and Kevin is the Farm Operator. Diane and Greg now live in the homestead with their three children; a good place to watch over the sod farm and raise the next generation of sod farmers.