Tennessee Turfgrass - October / November 2012

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From the TTA Presid ent

Bob McCurdy

We Need

Charlie Y

ou’ve probably seen the Charlie commercials. Farm Bureau Insurance has done a good job portraying farmers as having all the right answers. Charlie has knowledge and wisdom about any situation. I’m proof that being a farmer does not bequeath any special mental abilities. But I’ll also admit that working with Mother Nature can present a lot of situations where we have to figure things out. The other day, I was visiting with a fellow turfgrass manager, and we started sharing stories about our workday. We compared notes on some of the many questions we get throughout the day. Questions like what to spray for insects, diseases or some vaguely described weed. Others about shade, traffic, water or getting rid of moles. People expect us to know about things such as sand sizes, tire pressures, blade tip speeds and how big an average-sized yard is. They ask things like, “When should I mow my yard?” and “How much water does my hose put out?” and “Is grass making my dog sneeze?” We need to know about so much more than grass. We need to know what kind of grubs we have, how long an armyworm’s life cycle is, how to tell if pH is high or low and how many square feet are in an acre. Being a golf manager, my friend commented that he needed to know things like how many dimples are on a golf ball, what the proper mowing height for an ultradwarf is and

how many carts are needed for next week’s tournament. He also needs to know how to handle every personality on his board and how to keep the membership in awe of his ability. There’s just so much to learn about soils, pests, construction and even the weather. How do we go about keeping up with all of this? Actually, lots of information sources are available. Turf conferences (like TTA’s 47th Annual Conference & Tradeshow, January 7–9), universities, the internet, printed material and company reps are all valuable resources. My dad has always told me that experience is the best teacher, but that it is also the most expensive. But what if we share our experiences with each other? Our successes, as well as our failures, can be a huge benefit to those facing similar circumstances. That is why I think it is important to get involved in trade associations like Tennessee Turfgrass. We need to share with others in our profession. Register today for our January conference in Franklin. It probably won’t make you as smart as Charlie, but you could get close.

Bob McCurdy 2012 TTA President


TENNESSEE TURFGRASS October/November 2012 Email TTA at: tnturfgrassassn@aol.com

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