Editor’s note: Reflecting on 2019


Photo: Seth Jones

It’s been a hectic few weeks for the Joneses, as we recently moved. After 10 years of living in a small town of 6,000, we up and moved the family to the country. To give you an idea of what I mean when I say “country,” a neighbor literally rode his horse from the prairieland across the road into my driveway to introduce himself and welcome me to “the neighborhood.”

It was surreal speaking to someone up so high on his horse (and now I know where the saying comes from) but also very cool. And good news: everyone is so nice out here. The neighbor invited me to bring our two kids over to see his horses whenever convenient. We have quickly adapted to the quiet of the country … even the lack of cellphone reception.

But I do think the move, and 2019 in general, aged me. I recently spent time working on the yard — raking leaves, picking up branches, burning the pile — and I sat there on the tailgate of the truck and smoked a cigar while I watched it burn. I came inside, smelling terrible, and looked in the mirror. I was shocked at how old I looked. I complained out loud, and my wife said the sweetest thing: “Maybe it’s the mirror.”

I can promise you it is not the mirror. But it is the end of 2019, and it’s a good time to reflect on the year that was.

We had a lot of to celebrate at Landscape Management this year. On the personal level, we welcomed a new addition to the family (Senior Editor Abby Hart and her husband, Chris, welcomed baby Leo in August), and two staffers, Jake Goodman and Clara McHugh (née Richter) married Katie and Joe, respectively. We welcomed a new digital content producer, Tyler Gunter, to the team in June and added Christina Herrick, a talented new editor, to the magazine in September.

Beyond the exciting developments with the staff, on the professional level, the magazine had a successful year, thanks to our loyal readers and advertising partners. As each issue was produced, there were victories for the team. For example, our December issue includes the Industry Pulse report, sponsored by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), as well as the Battery-Powered Equipment Guide — two sections that we can hold in our hands and look at with a sense of pride.

And there are also things we can’t hold in our hands but still look at with a sense of pride — like our weekly e-newsletter, LMDirect!, and the many videos we produce for our website. Creating all of this content takes time, and I thank my team for their hard work to make Landscape Management the brand that it is.

We also hosted the eighth annual LM Growth Summit in November, taking us out of our normal roles of making a valuable magazine and instead making a valuable meeting. And the team traveled the country in 2019, covering myriad industry events. The events were diverse in size and scope, but the commonality was that each event included passionate people eager to share knowledge and advance themselves and the industry. I took something valuable away from every meeting I attended, and I’m sure the team did as well.

Sometimes it’s hard to step back and appreciate everything that is happening around you when you’re still so heavily involved in the day-to-day process of getting the job done. The end of the year allows us a moment to pause and appreciate not only the good work that we did, but also the amount of work that we did. I hope you can also take a moment and appreciate the year that was before looking to 2020 and the challenges that lie ahead.

Reflecting on 2019, it was a great year … even if the reflection in the mirror didn’t look so great. And one goal for 2020 is an easy one — cutting out those cigars.

Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Seth Jones is is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. A graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Seth was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories.

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