About Simpson Sod
Simpson Sod founder Jim Simpson grew up on a farm in Houston Mississippi, not far from Memphis, Tennessee. The family grew sweet potatoes, cotton, raise cattle and ran a dairy farm – not all at once, according to Jim, but when one failed they would move on to another.
Along with his twin brother Jack, Jim enrolled at The University of Mississippi with the intent to study business. He completed his first year, but his interest in getting back into farming led Jim to transfer to Mississippi State to General Agriculture. An elective course in turf grass his junior year introduced him to the concept of a sod farm, something he had never heard of. Encouraged by his professor, he completed his degree program and was considered the first Turf Graduate at Mississippi State.
Degree in hand and determined to start his own sod farm in Northern Mississippi, Jim borrowed then-fiancée Bettye’s car and drove to Alabama to see sod farms. There he met Martin Beck, a pioneer in the sod business who was the first to raise Zoysia grass in the U.S. Beck’s motto was that every piece would be a perfect piece of grass and even bet the whole load that there would not be a single weed.
Beck was interested in starting a sod farm in the New Orleans area. Together, they started a farm just outside of Abita Springs called Mid South Turf. The 50-acre farm grew Tifway Bermuda, Emerald Zoysia, Tifgreen Bermuda and Centipede. After a few years in operation, they sold the farm to TL James.
Jim continued to manage Mid South Turf, though he had the itch to start his own farm. In 1972, he founded Simpson Sod in Covington, off Bootlegger Road and Highway 1077. Simpson Sod began as a 100 acre farm, mostly growing Centipede, along with some Tifgreen Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses.
Jim continued to uphold Martin Beck’s belief in quality at Simpson Sod, and he also made service and accountability priorities in the business. He divided up the business into departments and made all departments accountable to a positive bottom line. The influence of Alex, a good friend in the oil business, and the hard work of Darla, the Simpson Sod Office Manager, were also keys to building a strong foundation at Simpson Sod. Jim also instituted “instant service,” different from his former partner’s booking loads two weeks in advance.
Soon after founding Simpson Sod, Jim read a book titled “God Owns My Business,” which profoundly impacted his life. He became a believer, accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Bible study was held regularly at the farm, and Jim Simpson strove to teach and model integrity in his business. Honesty was important.
One year, Jim overseeded the Centipede field with a fescue grass which proved devastating. Springtime came and the time came for the Centipede grass to come out of dormancy and start greening up. Darla came to Jim in tears as yard after yard of Centipedegrass failed to green up. It was the integrity of Jim Simpson and Simpson Sod that replaced the many yards of grass that year at their own expense. In the end, God blessed them, for when all was said and done Simpson Sod realized a financial profit on the year.
Many good employees attributed to the growth and success of Simpson Sod over the years, including Tommy White, Mike Taylor (who could stack a perfect pallet), Paul Huther (who could fix just about anything), Kirk Triplett (who became a student of growing sod and displayed a persistence in learning), among others. This trend continues to this day as our employees leave their own mark on our business.
Our goal today is the same as it was when our founder Jim Simpson opened the doors to Simpson Sod in 1972: to provide top quality sod and excellent service exceeding our customer’s expectations for all of your residential, commercial and athletic field turf grass needs.
We are proud to offer a large selection of high-quality turf-grass, locally grown and cut fresh daily for your needs. We also offer mulch landscaping rock as well as lawn and garden care product.
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