Ginseng sales take root in the heart of Wisconsin

With Amazon, Dairyland Management transforms a cash crop into a consumer blockbuster.

3 min
May 6, 2024

The minute his foot could reach the clutch, Adam Waldvogel began driving tractors in his family’s Wisconsin ginseng fields. By the fifth grade, he was the “happiest little kid in the world,” waving to friends across the street from the elementary school as he cultivated the soil. Twenty years later, life wasn’t so simple: Waldvogel held a corporate job and was miserable, answering work calls on nights, weekends and while on vacation with his family.

In 2018, he made a life-altering change. Waldvogel repurposed the ginseng that was once his family’s commodity crop into a consumer product, launching a small business out of a little room in his one-story house. He sold ginseng seeds, roots, capsules, powder, extract and tea globally in the Amazon store. In his first full year, Waldvogel’s sales were $140,000. Five years later, that number has ballooned to almost $1 million. Today, Amazon is an important part of Dairyland Management’s overall success and is the foundation of its thriving business.

Waldvogel’s great-grandfather started his central Wisconsin dairy farm in the 1950s, adding ginseng as a cash crop when it gained popularity in the 1970s. The farm eventually employed Waldvogel’s grandfather, father and six uncles. Waldvogel grew up immersed in the family-run enterprise and his grandmother’s local pharmacy. Being a small business owner was part of his family’s culture.


When Waldvogel went to start his own small business, he immediately turned to Amazon, knowing it would provide a fast, easy way to get his products in front of millions of potential customers. Right off the bat, he took advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which allows Dairyland Management to outsource its order fulfillment to Amazon specialists who pack and ship orders directly to customers. Waldvogel appreciates how quickly and efficiently FBA ships his products across the country. This program is especially valuable to Waldvogel, given his location and the fact that the majority of his customers are located on the East and West Coasts. Without FBA, he said, “we couldn’t reach them in a timely fashion because we are here in the middle of Wisconsin, where it’s still going to take five days to get something to California or New York.”

FBA gives Waldvogel something else of immeasurable value: time. He wouldn’t be able to handle packing 80-100 Amazon orders each day. “That’s all we’d be doing all day long if we didn’t have FBA.” But it’s not just FBA, Waldvogel said, it’s the combination of Amazon’s tools and services that contribute to his success. “I now have this flexibility to spend more time with my family. That wouldn’t be possible without FBA and the other systems set in place by Amazon.

In the meantime, Dairyland Management’s Amazon profits have continued to rise each year since its founding in 2019. In addition to a steady boost from the Subscribe and Save Program, Waldvogel was thrilled by his recent participation in Amazon Prime Day 2023 (July 11-12.). During that event, Dairyland Management ran a 15% discount and its sales were “off the charts,” totaling $8,500 in two days, a figure that represents three times his average daily sales. Waldvogel is looking forward to beating those figures on Prime Day 2024 and plans to run a “huge promotion” for the occasion.

Waldvogel is ambitious when it comes to his plans for Dairyland Management’s expansion. His goal is a minimum of 20% growth on Amazon year over year—a goal he’s shattered every year for the past five. He wants to reach more than $2 million in orders in 2024.

Waldvogel’s just built a brand-new 6,000-square-foot in-house processing facility on 10 acres of his family’s land and plans to expand in the coming years. He explained, “We were able to build that facility because of the success we have had in the Amazon store.” Waldvogel’s biggest dream going forward is to leverage Dairyland Management’s success with Amazon to break into nationwide brick-and-mortar retail and drug stores.

Tags and related tags:
Launch & build a brand