Meet TurfBreed’s new manager of services – Nathan Tovey the man behind servicing resellers and landscapers across the Country. Nathan has spent his past working life in the turf industry, from working for turf growers in Victoria, landscapers, managing school sporting grounds and heading up a key safety program aimed at the turf sector.
To say Nathan is passionate about turf is an understatement. Key previous roles include epar, Trinity Grammar School and Landscape Solutions. His knowledge, drive and contacts across the Country’s turf sector have all played a key role in TurfBreed making further inroads into the important specifier market. Katie Fisher speaks to Nathan about his turf life before TurfBreed and how that has helped lay a strong foundation for what he is doing today.
How did you become involved with the turf sector?
Cricket: playing a lot of turf cricket as a youngster I wanted to know how the grass on the oval was so well looked after and how the turf wickets were made. Having played on some well-known and wonderful grounds around Victoria, I wanted to know how was the ‘grass‘ grown so short that we could play sport on it.
You have been involved in the turf industry for all of your working career – what has drawn you to stay in the industry?
Learning and wanting to help. It’s the best office in the World. Being able to walk across various sports fields, landscapes, golf courses, turf farms etc…, what better way to spend a day. I am very passionate about education and sharing knowledge. I want to help and pass on any knowledge I have to others. I have been fortunate to work alongside some real characters and well-educated people in this industry and am very happy to pass on any bit of knowledge I have to others, young and old if we think it may assist.
Previously you were at epar – before your role as manager services – how has that helped you in this new role?
Listening and learning – two key aspects I don’t think that are done enough. We can always learn something from someone else and you can do that just by listening. With the role in safety being a very bland subject you also learnt the value of being one of the team and this is very important with Turf Breed in building relationships and positive outcomes for our growers and network.
What about the other roles you have had in the industry – how have they stood you in good stead for this new position?
A broad range of skills developed working in various aspects of the industry has allowed me to hold conversations and understand what others are going through. Empathy and hard work. Having worked on the tools, laid thousands of metres of turf over the years and project managing different tasks along the way have assisted in providing me with a good understanding of what we do and how we want to achieve it as a team.
What do you want to achieve in order to better service our specifier sector?
To have our grass varieties be the ones people talk about first!
What has stood out for you since joining TurfBreed in terms of your role as manager services?
The amount of supporting information we have for our growers and resellers. I often say I wish this library of information was available when I was installing, it would have been gold! Most importantly though is the team and how we all work towards a common goal. Supportive and respecting each one’s skill sets to deliver quality outcomes for our customers.
What are you hoping growers/resellers/specifiers will “gain” from having a dedicated manager services?
A central point of contact that has lived and breathed the industry. Some one who is looking at developing a relationship with specifiers and landscapers and who is at the forefront when discussing which grasses should be used. To see our vast range of marketing and supporting documentation utilised to its fullest extent.
How do you see the turf sector developing as an industry moving ahead? What are our biggest challenges?
Climate. This is the biggest challenge we face. The importance of a naturally grassed surface and what it brings our communities. Skilled staff is also a major concern. Across the greater industry, lower wages forces some to seek alternate industries to make a living. It would be great to see some of the larger sporting associations support the turf industry in keeping this great industry prosperous for many years to come.