This month marks the 20th anniversary of Turf. Twenty years ago this month, a couple of guys started a little magazine in the northern region of the country that brought the various sectors of the turfgrass industry together: lawn care, landscaping, golf, sports fields, sod, college and university programs—the whole thing.
The magazine struggled as it developed into a single publication with four regional editions. The first four or five years were tough (so I’m told by Elizabeth Brown, our CFO and the only employee who has been here for the entire 20 years), but Turf slowly grew its audience and ad client base. That one magazine eventually evolved into what is now Moose River Media, with eight magazines, an annual product source book, 10 Web sites, four online communities, custom publishing, e-newsletters and on and on.
Instead of doing a big story about ourselves, we asked several writers to look back, and look forward, 20 years in the industry and give us a sense of where we all have been, and where we might be going.
What else was going on 20 years ago?
Summer Olympic games were held in Seoul. The winter games were held in Calgary (at the time, summer and winter games were held in the same year).
Mikhail Gorbachev was named the head of the Supreme Soviet (for those of you not old enough to remember the Soviet Union, go look it up). His perestroika reforms would lead to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The media for the first time reported something about a “worm” on something called the “Internet.”
A terrorist’s bomb explodes aboard Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270.
George H.W. Bush wins the presidential election, defeating former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
There was no World Wide Web.
The Berlin Wall was still up.
South Africa was still operated under the aparthied system and Nelson Mandela celebrated his 70th birthday in jail.
The Dow Jones average fell 140.5 points, to close at 1911.3 in what was called a “mini crash.”
Seems like just yesterday.
I’ve been here for 13 of those 20 years. Back then, we still had only one magazine, and we were housed in a derelict (and disgusting) old building down by the railroad tracks. When I walk through our building today and see all of the people who have helped get us to where we are, I have to admit I’m proud of what we’ve built, here in a little town in Vermont.
And thank you all—readers and advertisers—for giving us the opportunity to build it.