Who's Who of Top Executives

L. Darwin McKay

Title: Owner, President
Location: Meridian, Idaho, United States

L. Darwin McKay, Owner and President, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in agriculture.

Mr. McKay grew up on a farm, which naturally inspired his interest in agriculture. Deciding to pursue a career in the field, he attended the University of Idaho. There, he earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural education and food science and then a Master’s in agricultural education and food science while enrolled in the ROTC. He subsequently served for 10 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. In 1973, he began his career as a high school teacher at Nampa High School. Mr. McKay remained there until 1980.

Since 1980, Mr. McKay has continued to excel as the president of The Turf Company, a position in which he has helped to spearhead major applications of the genetics of turf grass in the United States. As such, he has been able to sell such lauded proprietary turf innovations as “Xerilawn” and “Enduraturf.” Since 2000, Mr. McKay has also achieved much success as the founder and president of High Desert Turf in Nevada.

Outside of his primary pursuits, Mr. McKay is active with Turf Producers International, having been appointed as a board member and president in recent years, as well as the American Sod Producers Association, for which he currently sits on the board of directors. Moreover, he was a member of the advisory council of the horticulture department at Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho for 35 years. Active as an advisory board member for the Veritas Group, Mr. McKay was a board member for the Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, California from 2006 until 2013 . As a testament to his success while teaching vocational agriculture at Nampa High School, he was named as the Teacher of the Year for Agriculture for the Eleven Western States by the American Vocational Association in 1980. Attributing his success to the personal and professional support he received from his loving wife, Betty R. McKay, Mr. McKay was likewise featured in Who’s Who in America, and accepted the 2020 Gold Medal of Horticulture Award for his stellar efforts in Idaho.

Looking toward the future, Mr. McKay sees himself selling his company to a new owner and dedicating himself to completing more service work. He has plans to connect with future growers of the industry and teach them the lessons that he learned along the way. Though he is considering retirement in the future, Mr. McKay would be happy to continue consulting with prominent turf companies. In his spare time, he enjoys quality time with his partner and fishing.

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