Kayla Huffmaster: Certified Turfgrass Professional
Kayla became a Certified Turfgrass Professional to better serve NG Turf customers. Like several other members on our team, she completed a comprehensive program from the University of Georgia in partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Now she’s a valuable resource for information on turfgrass establishment, growth, maintenance and troubleshooting. Previously we introduced you to Jutt Howard and Amanda Becher. Now meet Kayla Huffmaster, sales representative and Certified Turfgrass Professional.
Q: How did you get started in the industry?
A: NG Turf got me into the sod industry, but I have a farming background. My husband farms for a living. He does row crops — cotton, soy beans, peanuts. I’ve been involved in everything that goes along with that. I started with NG Turf back in February 2016. I’ve been the office manager for our Fort Valley location, but I’m moving into sales full time.
Q: Are you excited about going into sales?
A: Yes, I’ve done a little bit here and there for NG Turf, and I’ve also done sales for a past employer, selling landscape contracts. I’m definitely excited about selling sod, something I’m more accustomed to and comfortable with.
Q: What led you to get your certification?
A: During the first year I was here, I wanted to get more knowledge about what I was selling and to get more confidence — just to learn more about the product and to help the customers with technical questions. When they call in, I didn’t want to have to go find a farm manager or somebody and ask them.
Q: Did you enjoy the process?
A: Yes. I received a humongous textbook that I was able to keep. I often go back and reference it depending on what a customer needs. A lot of times I’ll go back to it just to make sure I’m comfortable with how I respond to a question. You have to take two tests. You work at your own pace, study half the book and test and then the other half and test. I passed both the first time, but it was not an easy test at all. I had to do a lot of studying for it. It gets pretty technical on how to identify grasses, watering and irrigation. The hardest part of the test for me was on disease and fungus, identifying them and knowing what the common treatments are. It was really in depth.
Q: Were your coworkers supportive?
A: I have a huge support system. I had a lot of help from everybody here at the farm. They’re willing to let me learn, and they’re willing to help. If I have questions, I can always call them. [Kayla chuckled.] Our manager is very detailed, so if I ask him, it’s going to take a while for him to answer.
Q: How does the certification help you in your position?
A: I like to be able to help customers right away rather instead of putting them on hold or having to call them back. Also, I think it feels good from their standpoint to have somebody qualified who’s answering the phone, so they can ask all their questions and get the answers they need as well.
Sometimes customers ask questions, like when it’s the best time to sprig or lay sod. I can get more technical with them about the timing and then go into the details of fertilization, how to treat it and how to prepare for it, and about irrigating new sod.
We advertise our Certified Turfgrass Professionals, and I think it says a lot about NG Turf. Having the confidence behind what we’re talking about makes the customers feel comfortable with the product and the service they’re getting from us.
To get your questions answered by Kayla or one of our other Certified Turfgrass Professionals, give us a call at 770.832.8606 or email info@NGTurf.com.