At NG Turf, we are proud of our expert staff who help us grow, sell and deliver the best sod in Georgia. Our team boasts many Certified Turfgrass Professionals, who have successfully completed a program from the University of Georgia in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals. These certified employees are experts in turfgrass establishment, growth, maintenance and troubleshooting, and in the coming months, we’ll introduce you to each of them.
Jutt Howard Vice President of Business Operations
Q: How did you get started in the industry?
A: I have been in the landscaping business since I was old enough to run a weed eater. I ran my own company in high school, and while I was in college, I worked for a retail garden center, which also had a small sod farm.
Q: When did you first join NG Turf?
A: I started fresh out of college in 2010 doing outside sales, calling on landscapers in the Atlanta area. Then I helped manage the sales staff for a period of time.
Q: How did you get involved with production?
A: I began to focus more on the production side when I set out to learn the entire business. Before I took on the VP role, I was farm manager in Whitesburg for a few years. I managed production, oversaw the shop and purchases.
Q: What led you to become a Certified Turfgrass Professional?
A: When I joined the NG Turf sales staff, a few team members were already certified, and completing the course just seemed essential to my turf education. I believe if you’re going to be in sales, you better know what you’re talking about. Our team strives to deliver great customer service before, during and after the sale. Therefore, it’s critical to have knowledge of the different turf species, their maintenance needs and recommended pest management. Receiving my certification gave me the expertise to help our customers feel confident in their purchase and to offer them a resource for technical advice, even years down the road.
Q: So as VP how do you spend your time?
A: The majority of my time now is spent managing the sales and business staff. I pursued a business degree in school, so that’s really what I have a passion for. I’m heavily involved in the company’s financial planning, product pricing and sales staff training.
Q: Do you spend any time outside these days?
A: I still spend about 30 percent of my time outside helping our management staff, and I love that I can step outside my office door and be on the farm. In the sod business, you’ve got to understand the challenges of the production team outside to be able to make good financial decisions inside.