12 key messages from the 2022 LM Growth Summit

February 21, 2023 -  By
Recently, 36 lawn care professionals from 26 companies across the country joined us at the 2022 LM Growth Summit, held at Reunion Resort near Orlando. (Photo: LM Staff)

Recently, 36 lawn care professionals from 26 companies across the country joined us at the 2022 LM Growth Summit, held at Reunion Resort near Orlando. (Photo: LM Staff)

To kick off the 2022 LM Growth Summit event, representatives from our 12 partners gave a quick 10-minute snapshot of their company.

Over the next day and a half, each lawn care company met one-on-one with each LM Growth Summit partner. 

What they discussed in those one-on-one meetings will remain between the attendees and the partners. But what was said in those boardroom presentations? We share an excerpt from each here:

All of Turfco’s equipment has one or two patents on them, says Turfco President George Kinkead. (Photo: LM Staff)

All of Turfco’s equipment has one or two patents on them, says Turfco President George Kinkead. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Turfco

Who: George Kinkead, president

What They said: “We celebrated our 100th anniversary in 2019. My grandfather started the business in 1919 when he returned from World War I. We have over 38 patents, with a focus on renovation equipment. We’re focused on how to make machinery that is highly productive and easy to train your employees on. One thing we’ve seen is that keeping employees is harder than it’s ever been. We continually find that the people you are hiring don’t even mow their own yards. We have to adapt to this environment. You have to make these employees incredibly productive; they need to know how to operate all your equipment. We need to make up for the fact that someone is going to call off because they need to stay home with their cat, stuff you never thought was possible. If it’s easier to train, it’s easier to retain.”

The company: Quali-Pro

Who: Jeff Rampino, territory manager

What they said: “We are a division of Control Solutions Inc., which is a member of the Adama Group, a large multinational company. We have a 250,000-square-foot facility in Pasadena, Texas. If you’re ever in Houston, let us know, we’d love to show it to you. We have five unique and differentiated product lines. Most of you know that we’re a post-patent company. What you might not know is that we are moving into formulating unique chemistries. This is a really exciting time for us; we’re almost becoming a (basic) manufacturer. We have eight area managers in the United States, over 70 SKUs, 56 products and 38 active ingredients. In herbicides, we have 22 products, 15 active ingredients and two unique products — Fahrenheit and Negate. For fungicides, we have 16 in that line-up, 11 active ingredients and one unique with Enclave. We have eight active ingredients and two unique products for insecticides. We’re really excited about our new product Suprado. It’s our first active in that chemistry class, and it’s actually its own chemistry class in the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee group.” 

The company: Anuvia

Who: John Fowler, vice president of sales

What they said: “We’re not going to wear you out with data. Anuvia has been around since 2016. We take organic waste and turn it into fertilizer. We’ve had a tremendous amount of success in this space. One thing that has changed this year is that we had a hard time getting products to market with a limited distribution model. Now we have distributors across the country that will have our product. Today we have blenders that have Barricade, Dimension, Acelepryn, Merit, bifenthrin and Ronstar; it doesn’t matter — whatever chemistry you use for fertilizer, we can now put on GreenTRX, which is a huge advantage for us. The other thing is, with rail, we can ship with rail over truck. Few fertilizers have decreased in price year over year, but GreenTRX is one of them.”  

The company: Real Green

Who: Brian Wareck, software sales team lead

What they said: “We’re known as a marketing company; we’re known for helping you grow your business. We’re very efficient with what we do. We’ve been around since 1984 and are on the fifth generation of our software. We cater to the biggest lawn care companies in the world, all the way down to the mom-and-pop shops. It’s a great story, our founder, Joe Kucik’s father, was in the lawn care business as a fertilizer guy, and his brother was a programmer, and they needed software. That’s where it started from, and it’s grown. I was employee No. 8, and now we have over 3,000 companies nationwide, in Canada and the U.K. We can help you get the low-hanging fruit, with routing and scheduling. We can get you four more stops a day, that is what our customers average. If you can even get one more stop a day, think about how that helps your business. There’s just so much that we do at Real Green. We’re a one-stop shop.”

John Perry, founder of Greene County Fertilizer Co., chats with Matt VanNoord, owner of Weed and Feed Lawn Care. (Photo: LM Staff)

John Perry, founder of Greene County Fertilizer Co., chats with Matt VanNoord, owner of Weed and Feed Lawn Care. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: FMC

Who: Kent Turner, market specialist

What they said: FMC is a large agricultural science company. We’re going to talk to you about how you can use our products to increase your business. How many people want to add on sedge control? We’re going to talk to you about Dismiss NXT. How many people do mosquito control? If your hand is not up, you are throwing money away. We’ll tell you how you can spend $15 (on Scion), and you can charge $300, and we can give you 75 days of mosquito control with one product, rain or shine; it’s that good. True Champions is our awards program; it’s like going to the grocery store and scanning your card to get benefits. We have rebates, but we also offer 1st Friday webinars every month, where you can get continuing education credit and train your employees.”  

The company: Greene County Fertilizer Co.

Who: John Perry, founder

What they said: “We’re a liquid fertilizer company out of Greensboro, Ga. We’ve had our home there for almost 10 years. We go direct to consumer; that’s one of the things that has set us apart. But now, as things are changing, we are going to distribution, so you can pick our stuff up at different suppliers, which is nice. Our mission is to establish good personal relationships with our customers and continue to partner with them as time progresses. We want to help others in the industry grow; that’s the fun part. Here’s the sketchy part. The fertilizer business sort of sucks right now. Prices are crazy. It’s hard to have stability. For the next little while, it’s still going to be rough. As long as there is conflict across the pond, it won’t be easy. Not doom and gloom, but it is best to be prepared.”    

The Steel Green SGXL is the company’s largest spreader with a 120-gallon spray capacity, a 100-foot hose reel and a hillside assist system. (Photo: LM Staff)

The Steel Green SGXL is the company’s largest spreader with a 120-gallon spray capacity, a 100-foot hose reel and a hillside assist system. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Steel Green Manufacturing

Who: Caleb Myers, demo rep

What they said: “We’re based in Lebanon, Ind. We just celebrated our fourth anniversary. At Equip Expo (in October), we launched two new products; the SG54, which mixes our stand-on units and the SGXL. (The SG54) a 100-gallon, 12-foot boom machine with a belt-driven pump that runs 45 to 50 gallons per minute. The idea behind this is to take the place of the hopper with a 35-gallon tank. Instead of doing that, you can have a 100-gallon tank with a true agitation system. It also comes standard with a pressure control system, hillside assist and a 100-foot hose reel. We also unveiled at Equip an all-new electric unit. We are very early in the stages of this. We don’t anticipate this to be out for another year or more. The idea behind this unit is to meet California’s emission laws. We’re getting enough interest in California that we’re going that route. We also have companies that want it just because it is quieter.”  

The company: FieldRoutes

Who: Bob McElhannon, account executive manager

What they said: “There’s been a lot of confusion with what’s going on with our company. ServiceTitan is our parent company; they are big in plumbing, electrical and HVAC. We work with lawn care to give you the best solutions we can. We are new in the lawn world. It’s been a little over a year. We want to have one software platform that will knock your socks off. We have a lot of real-time reporting. The platform has all the office functionalities you need and a lot of automation. For example, if you have a customer who is 30 days past due, a trigger is set up, and that customer automatically gets an email, text, call or all three. Or, after a service is complete, your technician can set the trigger so your customers can get an alert. The good thing is that you don’t need the internet with our mobile app. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, where the internet is spotty, it saves it locally on the techs’ phone.”

The company: Nufarm

Who: Jamie Heydinger, lawn care segment lead, and Rod Marquardt, lawn care warm-season market manager

What they said: “We’re building a new synthesis plant here in the U.S. that will come online in the next three to four years. Right now, no matter who you talk to, they’re bringing in products from China or India. With this plant, we can make our phenoxy herbicides from the ground up here in the U.S.” — Marquardt

“There’s plenty of investment going on; plenty of products are in the pipeline. (Allstar herbicide) is one that we should have available to you in 2023. This year we have plenty of material, so the complexion of our supplies is considerably better than it was a year ago. We have the material to meet your needs.” — Heydinger

Because seeing is believing, the WorkWave team gives a live demo of Slingshot. (Photo: LM Staff)

Because seeing is believing, the WorkWave team gives a live demo of Slingshot. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Slingshot by WorkWave

Who: Robin Kellagher, director of solutions sales, and Christie Semmer, enterprise account executive

What they said: A potential customer or sale calls, or emails or uses live chat on your website, and our agents are there to answer the phone for you instead of having somebody in your office take that call. Once the agent captures all of the information (from the customer), we can measure and price out for you with your pricing and service matrix.” — Kellagher

“If you are a Real Green customer, we can work directly with your CRM, so there’s no need for double entry. If you don’t use Real Green, we handle those calls for you and take copious notes, and you will see those in your central Slingshot inbox, where you can do whatever you want with that information. Live chat is also a way to take advantage of all the money you’ve spent on your website. We don’t do sales over a live (web) chat, but our agents will call the customer and try to collect the sale there for you.” — Semmer

The company: Prime Source

Who: Mike Daugherty, Midwest territory manager

What they said: “Albaugh purchased Prime Source. The global headquarters is in Ankney, Iowa. We’re the largest agrochemical company based in the United States. Our manufacturing facility is in St. Joseph, Mo., near Kansas City. Dennis Albaugh owns 80-percent of the company. Albaugh got its start in the post-patent world, but since then, we’ve got a lot of new, proprietary, differentiated products that we’re bringing to the market right now. Coming from the agricultural world, they’re using a lot of new formulation technologies. It’s a way to get their products into the plant better. They’re bringing that into our world now. When you see ‘H value technology,’ that’s a technology to get into the plant better. It’s a formulation process that Albaugh has patented.”

The company: The Andersons

Who: Alan Hollen, territory manager

What They said: “People ask us what is going on in the industry. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to impact nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Although, right now, the markets are settling. Urea is down from where it was, but it is still elevated from two, three years ago. Where it is now is where we think it’ll be in the spring. There have been pressures on chemistries as well. One thing to keep an eye on is that we’re relatively dry. How those barges move up and down the Mississippi River could be a black swan (event). On to the company, what is The Andersons? We like to stay on the edge of technology. We have a lot of patents. We have a really good research and development department. We have an agronomist we just brought in, Ben Pease, Ph.D. There’s a science behind what we do.”

Interested in attending our LM Growth Summit? Learn more about the event by visiting LMGrowthSummit.com to see if you’re qualified.

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