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Seth’s Cut: Awesome, outdoors and essential

May 8, 2020 -  By
Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

If you could see me right now, you’d chuckle at the irony of the name of my column. It shouldn’t be called “Seth’s Cut.” It should be called “Seth Needs a Cut.” I haven’t been this shaggy since I depended on Dad to drive me to the barbershop.

But you can see me right now (and please forgive the hair) in our new video series called Landscape Management: At Home Edition, where the team at LM interviews people online via Zoom from our home offices. In these interviews, we’ve been talking to landscape and lawn care professionals about what the market is like in their regions; how they’re keeping everyone safe at work; and their projections on how the coronavirus will impact their business in the long term. The nice thing about these videos is we post them to to our website quickly, so the information is current.

It’s been quite the roller coaster ride covering the industry since the last issue. We were thankful that our industry was deemed essential in so many states. And we watched closely to see what would happen in Michigan and Minnesota and were happy to see those states granted essential status. In this month’s cover story, we include reports from around the country that detail many of the positive stories we’ve heard throughout the month of April: companies that are busier than ever, companies that are gaining an influx of available labor as a result of the pandemic and companies doing their part to help out their fellow man during the pandemic.

As we prepared this issue to send to the printer, we asked many of these experts what kind of information we should include in this issue. We got a lot of good feedback. In my At Home Edition interview with Marty Grunder, his message to the industry was:

“The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth. If you feel like you’re in a rut, stop digging! If the people you’re talking to are these people on Facebook who type out all these things that everybody’s terrible? Get away from that. Get around other positive, forward-thinking people who have some fight in them, who want to talk about solutions and want to talk about being a part of the solution.”

LM Senior Editor Abby Hart had an excellent At Home Edition interview with our friends Britt Wood and Andrew Bray at the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). Bray has been getting well deserved praise from the industry for his successful lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C., to keep landscaping and lawn care essential. His message was a reminder that we must stay safe:

“We have fought tooth and nail to educate policymakers about the essential nature of our industry, and one of the key things that policymakers want to ensure is that what we’re doing is safe,” Bray says.

I asked Jeffrey Scott — who has been posting weekly videos to since the pandemic broke out — what he would write about. He talked to me about how he had been worrying about the U.S. economy, until he recently took a different approach.

“I think we can’t respond to the economy. We’re the backbone of this country. We have to make the economy.”

This issue features plenty of perspectives from green industry experts, as well as articles on weed control, mower engines, irrigation ideas and even one sweet Camaro. One page is sadly missing — our LM Gallery where we would share pictures of all the people we’d seen when we were out covering industry events — but we’ve gained a new appreciation of how exciting it is to cover an industry that is awesome, essential and operates in the great outdoors.

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 0520, COVID-19, Editor's Note
Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 19 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at

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