Brotherly love (Nov 18)

Mark Grigg, president of Grigg Brothers, has seen his share of golf industry shows nationally. He sat down with us for a few minutes before heading off to the show floor to give his thoughts on why Grigg Brothers supports the Carolinas.

Why support the Carolinas?

Well, the Carolinas show is probably the second biggest show in the U.S. and it’s a very important market for us, and we do a tremendous amount of business in the Southeast, and we’ve actually added a distributor in the area, Cardinal Chemicals, along with Eastern Turf Equipment, Corbin Turf & Ornamental and Trinity Turf. We just do a lot of business here and I wanted to support them as well as we could. We get a lot of support from their customers and users, and it’s a tremendous market for us, so we want to give back to the industry, like we always have.

How does this show compare to past shows so far?

So far it seems to be as busy or busier than other shows I’ve been to. It’s been about three years since I was here, but so far, there seems to be a lot of people here. The first couple days are about seeing your friends in the industry and talking with them. It looks like a large show, larger than the last time I was here. There’s a wider variety of distributors and manufacturers out there, converse to some of the other shows in the country. But maybe we’ll see that across the country with the economy bouncing back a bit.

Do you have a favorite memory from the show?

Not particularly. Just the times we’ve had with our distributors and the hospitality, and the camaraderie we’ve been able to have together. I really enjoy the people down here. It’s important to show up and support the distributors and keep our name out there.

What are some of the new agronomic trends you’re seeing, and how does Griggs fit in?

I think one of the trends we’ve seen in the last couple of years is with the dyes and paints, especially if you’re a superintendent in California where they don’t have any water. I think the trend toward some of the colorants has been the one I’ve noticed everyone seems to be coming out with something as an alternative to overseeding. And in California, people are spraying their lawns – hopefully they’ll get some water this year. If they don’t, they’re going to be in big trouble. I’ve been down in Fresno a couple times and it’s just sawdust down there. The first thing you notice flying in there’s no water in the canals.

The colorants would be one way, and we can try to continue to try to improve plant defenses through plant health, which we’ve preached for 15 years now, and chemical companies are starting to jump on that bandwagon. Healthy turf is not different than a person. If the turf’s healthy it’ll resist disease itself. Healthy turf is like a healthy body. We continue to work on plant health technologies.

What are you most excited about for 2015?

Retirement. [laughs] No, I’m not retiring.

We’re excited about our new opportunities with our new owner Brandt Consolidated and the technologies and distribution possibilities they bring to the table.

We’re also excited about our international growth. We’ve been growing pretty rapidly, and in the U.S. we’ve been adding some new distribution. We’ve added Australia now and we’re adding Thailand, we’re basically over from New Zealand to China, Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia and those countries. We’re seeing a lot of international growth. It’s getting to be about 15 to 20 percent of the business, especially if you count Canada.


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