North Georgia Turf RhinoAg

North Georgia Turf built on quality and service

Testimonial provided by RhinoAg

A competitive spirit has always been part of Aaron McWhorter’s DNA. It has driven him to be competitive on the basketball court and in the world of business as well.

“I played basketball in high school, a little in college but I played in several men’s leagues until I was 50 years old,” said McWhorter. “It takes a ‘team’ mentality to be successful on the hard court and I’ve carried that mentality over into my professional life.”

Growing up on a family dairy farm in Heard County, Georgia, he was no stranger to being up before the sun each morning and putting in long days of hard work. The farm engrained a deep-seated work ethic in McWhorter that led him to West Georgia College where, in 1969, he earned his BA in history. That same year, he accepted a teaching position at Lamar County High School and was tapped for the head coaching position of the school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. He also served as the assistant coach for the school’s football team. By 1972, he returned to the family farm.

He furthered his education in 1993 by earning his Master of Education from West Georgia College, while at the same time serving on the school’s board of directors. While working on the farm one day, a landscaper stopped by to buy some wheat straw and said something that would forever change McWhorter’s life.

“He suggested I consider starting a sod business. We had center pivot irrigation systems in place, so it seemed like a logical idea,” said McWhorter. “In 1985, when the business of agriculture was in dire straits, we managed to purchase enough equipment to plant 20 acres of certified bermudagrass we harvested a year later. It was a family effort and established an inroad into our future.”

Not more than five years later, the family farm was shut down and McWhorter’s full attention was focused on expanding the sod operation. Looking back, he admits the move was a fruitful one as NG Turf has managed to expand production almost every year since those early days on that farm near Atlanta where the Chattahoochee River flows.

Today, McWhorter, wife Linda, son Mark and daughter Merrit are the nucleus that together oversee 100 employees who are collectively committed to preserving the positive company reputation built through fervent customer service and delivering high-quality sod.

The lion’s share of NG Turf’s business is providing sod to small mom-and-pop commercial and residential landscaping companies. In 1991, McWhorter established Sports Turf Company, Inc. It continues to see growth meeting the expanding athletic field construction business across the Peach State.

“We have provided our service to the Atlanta Falcons for their training facility in Flowery, Georgia; the 1996 Olympic Softball Facility in Columbus, Georgia; and multiple projects for Mississippi State, Auburn University, the University of Alabama and the University of Mississippi,” said McWhorter. “Our business has grown steadily, and we are truly blessed to have a loyal customer base that keeps expanding.”

As president, McWhorter is involved with most of the financial decisions and responsibilities. They sell nearly 40% of their total square footage each year, but make it a point to never run out of grass. That means working more than 2,000 acres of sod with a variety of equipment from tractors to planters and sod cutters to mowers. One of the latest equipment purchases was from RhinoAg.

“What initially piqued my interest in these machines was the fact they use a drive shaft to move the blades, not belts and pulleys,” said McWhorter, who eventually purchased three RhinoAg X2411 Roller Mowers. “Anything mechanical will eventually wear out or require maintenance, but downtime adjusting belts and pulleys is time we could be using to do something more productive. We would all love to have machines that reduce our downtime and lower our maintenance costs. The RhinoAg X Series took belts and pulleys out of the equation for us. They have held up well and are dependable.”

RhinoAg X Series mowers are made with high-performance Strenx 700MC structural steel, have a heavy-duty tow hitch, and have blades produced from one-fourth inch sprung steel.

“We even changed the blades from one type to another and it does really well. The accuracy, consistency and uniformity of the cut is good, and I like the fact it has a narrow transport width when it is folded up,” said McWhorter.