John and Nell Cobb are the proud owners
of Mississippi Grass Nursery since purchasing the operation in 1992 from Mississippi's
first professional turfgrass farmer, Leo Klarr. They employ a staff of dedicated and
experienced employees and you can meet them all here:
John Cobb, Owner
John M. (Red) Cobb
worked for Gulf/Chevron Oil Company for 12 years after completing his 1980 BS in
Industrial Management from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). He spent ten
years in the Gulf of Mexico as Lease Operator on Production platforms, and was working in
Cabinda, Angola on the west coast of Africa when he retired from the petroleum industry.
After purchasing Mississippi Grass Nursery in 1992, he
enrolled at Mississippi State University (MSU) where he attended classes during the winter
months and worked on the farm during the spring and summer months. He obtained his
BS in Agronomy/Turfgrass Management from MSU in 1995 and was inducted into Gamma Sigma
Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture.
Since finishing his latest degree, he has been busy planting
his fine quality turf all over the Gulf South and spends his winter months speaking at
conferences and seminars as well as consulting for new sod farmers and other turf
Nell Cobb, Owner
Nell Klarr Cobb received a BS degree in Business Administration from the University of
Southern Mississippi in 1979. After graduation, Nell and John married, and
though she was given a full fellowship for MBA studies, she left graduate school after two
semesters to raise their children, Sara Nell and John Russell. Nell worked off and
on at the grass farm all her life: she became full time Office Manager in 1985 and was
Operations Manager at the time she and John bought the operation from her father in 1992.
She has spent the past 15 years attending
conferences, seminars and short courses promoting Mississippi Grass Nursery and adding to
her knowledge of the turfgrass industry.
Nell is a charter member and President of
the Mississippi Sod Producers Association, a growers cooperative formed to produce and
market three Improved Bermudagrasses which were developed and released under patent by
MSU. She is also a Past-President of the Mississippi Turfgrass Association and a
former recipient of that organization's Turf Professional of the Year Award..
Thad Keys has been with the farm for over 30 years. For over twenty years he
has been our primary driver for sod or sprig deliveries, and recently has served as
planting operator on golf courses and athletic fields. Thad has a fine eye for
detail and does almost all of the seedbed preparation on our turf fields.
Wiley Magee has been a loyal employee since before this was a grass farm. He
helped Leo raise soybeans and oats before the switch to turfgrass in the early 1960s.
Wiley is our sod harvester operator, and he works tirelessly at any job he is asked
to do, no matter what time or day it is.
John Russell Cobb
John Russell Cobb has helped on the turf farm since he was 13 years old , and has
become the primary greens planter on the golf courses we sprig. He has also begun to
plant athletic fields and, hopefully, will take over planting in the next few years.
He is very determined and responsible and won top scholastic awards in school.