Backstory: John Puryear

November 10, 2016 -  By


John Puryear

Puryear Farms
Gallatin, Tenn.


Friendship Christian High School
Lebanon, Tenn.
Class of 1984

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn.
Bachelors of Science in Ornamental Horticulture + Landscape Design, minor in Business
Class of 1989

Work Experience

J&W Custom Landscaping
Sales & Design
Gallatin, Tenn.

“It was a very small company with under 10 people. I brought professional design skills to the table and helped to grow that business.”

Puryear Farms
Gallatin, Tenn.

“In 2014, I made the decision to step away from design and focus on working on the business rather than in it. I had to give up what I loved the most in order to create the best future for everyone in my organization.”

Planning Commissioner
City of Gallatin, Tenn.

Puryear spends 25 percent of his time serving on local boards and committees
and volunteering. “That desire to serve the community has become a part of the company culture we’ve built here at Puryear Farms,” he says.

Municipal Board of Zoning Appeals Member
City of Gallatin, Tenn.

Did you know?


“In addition to landscaping, I wanted to farm the land that’s been in our family for almost 100 years. We planted our first crop of tree and shrub liners in 1991. The deer harvested much of it a month later, but we kept at it.”


The Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association named Puryear Farms its 2016 Landscape Contractor of the Year. Puryear says it’s an honor for the company, which marks its 25th anniversary in 2016.


“I am involved with the local historical society … My daughter, Anna Lee Puryear, and I performed a speaking role in the annual candlelight cemetery tour.”

© pearleyeAn avid walker, Puryear logs about 20 miles per week.

Words of Wisdom

“Understand your purpose. Everyone knows what they do, and most understand how they do it. But few really understand why they do what they do (to quote Simon Sinek). You should communicate your purpose and vision to everyone in your organization and attract those who share the same core values and vision.”

“The primary responsibility of a good leader is to be a servant to those you wish to lead. A good leader is a coach and a mentor and one who genuinely wants to see people grow and develop into the best they can be.”

“Growth is a tool to provide opportunities for success among every member of your organization.”

Photos: John Puryear; © pearleye

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Marisa Palmieri

About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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