NEWTON GROVE — Maximilian and Nadine Schafer’s roots are in Germany. But the couple’s business, EvoAktiv, is blooming in northern Sampson County.
Maximilian serves as the CEO and his wife, Nadine, is the founder. For a few years, their headquarters were located in New Jersey and was moved to Newton Grove in March 2016 because it was the place to be, he said in regards to the agricultural environment.
EvoAktiv, a family owned company, offers German products with a goal of producing profits for its clients through green technology. Some of the products aid the farming industry, water treatment plants and sports fields.
One of the major professional products is EvoHerba, which stimulates soil life to help the health and vitality of plants. According to EvoAktiv, aerobic bacteria and soil microorganism are stimulated to provide nutrients for plants.
“North Carolina has sandy soil and sometimes when I drive through the state and see the sandy soil, I’m really surprised how the farmers make something grow on those fields,” Maximilian said.
He said several things are missing when it comes to soil nutrients.
“We’re treating the soil to bring nutrients without adding artificial bacteria,” he said.
He added that the bacteria tells the plants to grow because bacteria and the roots in the soil are communicating.
“They like each other and so they’re growing much quicker and more healthier,” Maximilian said about producing more crop yields without extra fertilizer.
Another essential EvoAktiv product is EvoActivate-M, which is used to assist with the decaying process in manure through aerobic bacteria. After the product is pumped into lagoons, smells are reduced and sludge at the bottom gets dissolved. In return, the good bacteria remains in the manure, which may be spread on the fields.
“What’s really good in our program is that we get paid for results,” he said. “If it dissolves the sludge in the lagoons, the farmer is paying us. If it doesn’t reduce the sludge, the farmer is not paying us.”
With the bad smell leaving, Maximilian said the hogs are able to enjoy their environment more, which results in a healthier pig.
EvoAktiv also produces nutritional feed for hog, cattle and poultry.
“We’re doing pretty good with the products that we’re having, we can exchange and act on different situations in the lagoons and the farms,” Schafer said.
Maximilian grew up on a family farm in Munich, Germany and was raised by his father, Maximilian Schafer II and mother, Renate. For 20 years, Schafer was in the commodity business and recycling industry. He traded materials such as aluminum, copper and lead. Although he was successful, he wanted to do something different. And his choice brought him back to agriculture, particularly the food industry.
“Food consumption gets higher and higher as we get more people in this world,” Maximilian said. “It’s time to introduce people to a different way of treatment. It helps, it’s good and it’s safe, easy to use and it’s not expensive.”
In addition to professional agriculture products EvoAktiv also produces for home pets and gardens. The Hobby Horse product contains 100 percent natural ingredients to balance the immune systems in horses. He said it’s a top-selling product in Germany.
“Germany is pretty good in horse racing and horse riding,” Maximilian said about the product, which is considered organic in Europe. “The current world champions use that stuff.”
Currently, 50 hog lagoons are served by EvoAktiv in North Carolina. The couple wants to expand operations by hiring more people. In the meantime, they will enjoy calling Sampson County home and the friendliness it provides.
“Living here in Newton Grove, it’s amazing how the hospitality is,” he said.
He brought up moments when they received invitations to dinner and were helped in fixing up their home. Together, they have one child, 3-year-old Annabelle, and are expecting another child.
“We’re very thankful and thank the Lord the people are so good to us and supporting us,” Maximilian said. “We feel very, very welcomed in Newton Grove.”
EvoAktiv recently joined the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce. The organization scheduled a ribbon cutting activity for their business. Newton Grove Mayor Gerald Darden recently visited the business and is glad to have EvoAktiv and the family operators in the community.
“I hope they prosper and do well,” Darden said. “We’re happy to have them.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.