Stillwater, New York
Laurie Griffen owns and operates Saratoga Sod Farm with her husband, Steve, in Stillwater, New York.
Saratoga Sod Farm started on just 50 acres in the mid-1980s. Today, the business has grown to nearly 600 acres and has expanded into garden soil products as well.
A variety of products for a variety of clients
Laurie and her team at Saratoga Sod Farm produce many varieties of turfgrass sod, including Kentucky bluegrass, Fine Fescue/bluegrass blends and Turf Type Tall Fescue. They harvest mature sod after two years of well-managed care in either standard palletized rolls or big rolls for larger projects, such as golf courses and athletic fields.
Saratoga Sod serves a broad customer base ranging from landscapers, builders, garden centers and golf courses, to schools, sports fields, colleges, towns and individual homeowners. And they sell their products to clients across New England.
“We’re proud of our quality and how sod instantly transforms each location,” Laurie said. “Some prominent jobs have included the National Baseball Hall of Fame fields, the State Capital, Saratoga National Golf Course and the practice field for the Buffalo Bills.”
The latest addition to the Saratoga Sod Farm product line is their Big Yellow Bags of Black Garden Soil, which blends locally sourced compost with peat loam right on the farm. Designed to add nutrients and organic matter to vegetable gardens and flower beds, this product also improves the health of lawns established on sandy or inferior soils.
A complex job
Laurie’s role on the farm includes managing the operation’s finances, as well as customer relations, scheduling and ordering. While she loves her work with the farm business, she has never been interested in doing payroll.
That’s why Laurie decided, years ago, to partner with Farm Credit East for financial service support. Once a week, Noel visits to the farm to handle all of Laurie’s payroll.
With all the other moving parts that make up Laurie’s job, she feels relieved that she doesn’t have to worry about payroll on top of everything else. “I don’t have to worry about changes in the taxes and I know my payroll is handled by a professional,” she said. In a business as complex as Saratoga Sod Farms, the support from Farm Credit is an important part of Laurie’s business plan.
In addition to her work on the family farm, Laurie also serves as chair of the Farm Credit East board of directors.