John Kavanaugh is a 1975 graduate of Louisiana Tech, holding a B.S. degree in horticulture and landscape design. He was born and raised in Ruston. As a Tech student, John enjoyed transformative experience and gained a valuable mentor while serving as an intern for Fred Hoogland at Hoogland’s Nursery in Ruston. Upon graduation in 1975, John spent time managing greenhouse and landscaping programs at Pinecrest State School (Pineville) and Ruston State School. He began his own part-time nursery operation during that time, and by 1983 had turned it into a full-time business as an independent landscape contractor for residential and light commercial clients. In the 1990s John added irrigation to his company’s portfolio. Located just outside Ruston in the community of Clay, Kavanaugh Landscaping & Irrigation has now been in business for over four decades.
John is an active leader in his profession. He is a long-time member of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association, serving on its board for two terms, and has served as President of the Louisiana Irrigation Association. He’s a proud Louisiana Tech alumnus, a long-time member of the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association, and an advocate and model for Tech students seeking to pursue a similar career path. He’s a regular guest speaker and field trip host for Plant Sciences classes, where he speaks effectively to students about his educational experiences at Tech and how those were leveraged into a successful career.