ATA Turf Times – ATA Member Spotlight
Mr. Page grew up in a small community in Franklin County, AL. He attended Auburn for three years studying agriculture. During his third year he came home to help his father on the farm. During that time, the high school principal suffered a serious injury and asked David to run his farm, tending and harvesting the crops. By end of the season the educator sold the farm to him. “I farmed three years and went broke. We lost the cotton crop because of early snow. We didn’t even take our pickers in the field.”
Mr. Page was fortunate to be hired at Brown’s Ferry Nuclear Plant as an inspector of steel beams in Quality Control. “I was hired at Brown’s Ferry because I took one course in Terracing and Drainage at Auburn. I was taught how to use transits, levels and other devices, and we learned to use dynamite to create field drainage at Auburn. That one course secured my job at Brown’s Ferry. An important component at TVA was transit work and leveling, and they were short of people who had training. I worked there 22 years before retiring.”
Working at Brown’s Ferry gave Mr. Page time to do other things, so he got into the landscaping business. David says, “In 1984 folks had trouble getting Zoysia in North Alabama. I planted my first field of Zoysia in 1984. Later I ended up purchasing this farm. I’ve been growing sod 35 years We’re the only sod farm in a 50-mile radius of Decatur, Athens and Huntsville. Our niche is homeowners. I give God credit for placing me here on this land. I was able to buy this acreage because it flooded. I needed water, and floods don’t damage turfgrass as they do row crops.”
Mr. Page is 77 ½ years old. “If I go out of business, my customer base won’t have anywhere to get a pallet of sod without shopping 50 miles away. Everything I have earned in my life has been through my customers. I am so appreciative of them and will be loyal by passing on this farm in the family.”
Steve Page will take over the farm in a few years. Steve attended Auburn and has plenty of experience in landscape design and with sod. For most of his career Steve maintained the ball fields for the City of Decatur. Lately, the city leased the ball fields, and promoted Steve to supervising school ground maintenance.
Todd Page, David’s other son, is part owner of Panciera Design Advertising and Marketing Firm. He works in graphic design and marketing as well as web site design and development. Todd enjoys hunting and fishing on the farm.
David is married to Brenda Page. He has one grandson, Steve’s son, Pasha. Pasha is the third generation of Pages devoted to the farm and works there during summers and weekends. Steve also has a daughter named Sophi.
Mr. Page still works most every day. His mobility is limited because of a bad ankle from farm injuries and playing basketball. Still, as long as he can sit in a tractor, he can “pull an 8- to 12-hour day as needed.”
“A farm boy that worked until 3:30 in the afternoon had half a day left in summer. That’s how I started in landscaping. I still follow the same path. I stay on the farm continuously. I do all the dirt work. I love the smell of diesel and the smell of fresh earth. I love to work! Daylight is the time to work and dark is the time to rest. Sunday’s time to go to Church. I’m happy and I believe that Jesus Christ and God directed me to this piece of property.”
Thank you, Mr. Page for all you do for our industry! We appreciate your previous service on the Alabama Turfgrass Board of Directors!READ THE ISSUE