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Seth’s Cut: Looking at 2022 and beyond

December 31, 2021 -  By

It’s a great feeling to put a bow on the 2021 season by wrapping up the December issue of LM. I hope you and your families and your crews were able to celebrate the holidays and appreciate each other, and the hard work that everyone put in to making 2021 a success.

(Photo: Chyun / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

(Photo: Chyun / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images)

Here at the Jones household, we welcomed almost 20 people to our home for a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner. The weather was abnormally warm so most of the guys stayed outside and watched football while the kids chased each other around the yard shooting Nerf dart guns at each other. It was just about perfect.

Then it was back to reality and we got to cranking on the magazine you hold in your hands (or perhaps read on your screen). The team and I utilized a broad range of industry experts to assemble this issue. We needed a big group because we set out on a big project: we wanted to write about the year that was, the year that is upcoming and also what the industry might look like in 10 years, in 2032.

This idea was inspired by our friend Michael Bedell, owner of Bedell Property Management, Milford, Mich. He mentioned to our editor, Christina Herrick, that he had been pondering what the industry might look like in 10 years, and that made him think of us. He said our network of sources, columnists and our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) would make for some interesting reading when posed the question, “what will the industry look like in 10 years?”

And you know what? He was right. We asked our EAB to tell us something that we won’t be doing in 5 to 10 years. We also asked our columnists and our multiple sources to take a longer view into the future. The vision of 2032 is sprinkled throughout this issue.

At the Accountability Creates Excellence (ACE) Discovery Event in Beaver Creek, Colo., I posed this question to a few unsuspecting attendees. I remember when I asked Jim Cali, co-founder of executive coaching firm McFarlin Stanford, this question, his first response was a simple, “wow.” And then of course he went into an insightful answer, so good that I used it as the closer of our cover story, “Won’t back down.” (Thank you, Jim, for letting me put you on the spot.)

Since I put so many readers on the spot, it would only be fair to do the same thing to myself (albeit without the element of surprise) and make some predictions myself. Here are three things I foresee for the industry, trying my best not to borrow from what our readers and experts already told me:

  • Just when we think we’ve got it all figured out, we’ll have to adjust to the needs of a younger generation. In 10 years my kids and their friends won’t just be kids anymore, they’ll also be your customers. What will be the desires of today’s high school kids when it comes to greenspaces and how they achieve them?
  • We’ll still be feeling the effects of “The Great Resignation.” There are a whole lot of people who aren’t interested in getting their hands dirty and many of them have figured out how to sustain that lifestyle. As they get older, they’re not going to be too motivated to work harder.
  • We’ll still be making these magazines each month for you, in print and everywhere else. Business owners will still be hungry for a magazine that reports on the specific niche they work in. As the industry evolves, it will be as important as ever to keep track of the trends and new products available now and in the future.

2032 is a ways away but it was a fun journey pondering it with our readers. If you’d like to share your predictions with us or critique the predictions in this issue, my email address sjones@northcoastmedia.net. We welcome the feedback.

Happy New Year. Thanks for reading in 2021. See you in 2022, and beyond!

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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 sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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