Page 1

news

VOL 1

|

ISSUE 1

SUMMER 2021

NOTES

A PUBLICATION FOR THE TURFGRASS PROFESSIONAL


WHERE THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER…

Spartan Turf. CANR.MSU.EDU/TURFGRASS

Learn from our world-class turfgrass pros 2

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

2016 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame inductee Joe Vargas, PhD, has worked to improve turf quality on every global continent except Antarctica. An MSU Distinguished Faculty member, Vargas has advised master’s and doctoral students and served as faculty coordinator of the MSU Turfgrass Research Center while working with industry for more than 50 years.

www.michiganturfgrass.org


TABLE OF CONTENTS

5 6

President’s Message Research News — x

Turfgrass Nutrition and Winterkill Research Update

x Soil water content and ethylene effects on annual bluegrass winterkill

14

Industry News —

x

17 20 21 22 23 24 27 30

31 32 35

Members in the Field, Jay Eccleton, CGCS

TT4T Event Recap Michigan Turfgrass Conference Michigan Turfgrass Membership Application GAM Initiative 2021 Scholarship Winners TGIF at Work 2021 LaFontaine Golf Outing The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Welcomes Paul Kahuna to Board of Directors Meritorious Service Award MTF Board Announces Endowed Chair Position Executive Director’s Report

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

3


MTF Executive Committee PRESIDENT Mr. Curt Boak

PRESIDENT EMERITUS Mr. Doug Johanningmeier

VICE PRESIDENT Mr. Dan Mausolf

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Mr. Carey Mitchelson

TREASURER Mr. Dan Mausolf

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY Ms. Britney VanderKodde

SECRETARY Mr. Scott Rettmann

MTF Board of Directors

It’s funny how you go through the year day by day but nothing changes, then when you look back, everything’s different. – Ritu Ghatourey

TERMS TO EXPIRE ANNUAL MEETING 2022

Mr. Eric Davey

Mr. Paul Kuhna

Prestwick Village Golf Club REPRESENTING: Greater Detroit District

Lansing Lugnuts REPRESENTING: Sports or Institutional Turf

Elected: 2016, 2019

Elected: 2019

Mr. Curt Boak

Mr. Robert Steger CGCS

Lawn Tech REPRESENTING: Lawn Applicator

Red Run Golf Club REPRESENTING: Mid Michigan District

Elected: 2016, 2019

Appt/Wildeman - July 2020

TERMS TO EXPIRE ANNUAL MEETING 2023

Mr. Doug Johanningsmeier

Mr. Brad Lazroff

Harrell’s LLC REPRESENTING: Commercial Turfgrass Supplier

Huron Meadows Golf Course REPRESENTING: At Large

Elected: 2014, 2017, 2020

Elected: 2017, 2020

Mr. Matt Gaver

Mr. Dan Mausolf LIC, CSP, ASM

REPRESENTING: Western Michigan District

Stine Turf & Snow REPRESENTING: Lawn & Maintenance

Elected: 2017, 2020

Elected: 2017, 2020 TERMS TO EXPIRE ANNUAL MEETING 2024

Mr. Craig Moore

Mr. Jeff Holmes CGCS

Marquette Golf Club REPRESENTING: At Large

Egypt Valley Country Club REPRESENTING: At Large

Elected: 2018, 2021

Elected: 2018, 2021

Mr. Dan Lucas

Mr. Scott Rettmann

Kingsley Club REPRESENTING: Northern Michigan District

Walnut Creek Country Club REPRESENTING: At Large

Elected: 2015, 2018, 2021

Elected: 2018, 2021

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation P.O. Box 27156 Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: +1-517-392-5003 miturfgrass@gmail.com

Mission Statement The mission of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation is to work in partnership with Michigan State University, supporting ongoing programs in research, education, and extension in the area of professional turfgrass management that will benefit all individuals who manage turfgrasses or derive pleasure from the results of such management.

4

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Welcome back to News Notes! News Notes was a regular publication, years back, for the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation (MTF) with information on past events, current news and events, and Turf Team reports. We plan on bringing back that same information and more! This will be the first of two issues you will receive this year, with the second issue being published in the Fall. The Fall issue will focus on The Conference, which is being held at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing on January 5, 6, and 7, 2022. The year has been busy with bringing back News Notes, Tee Times 4 Turf in April, the Gam Initiative, and the Lafontaine Golf Outing. All the events had a great turnout and helped raise money to support the Graduate Assistant Fund and to continue with turf research. At the Lafontaine Golf Outing, it was announced that Joe Vargas will be retiring in two years. We will miss Joe, he was a very big part of the MSU Turf Program. His dedication, hard work and success will be honored with the creation of the Joe Vargus Endowment. Having this endowment will ensure that the MSU Turf Program will continue to grow and be here for years to come. For more information on this, check out the article on page 27. “Let’s Go Nuts” as we welcome our newest board member, Paul Kahuna, Head Groundskeeper for the Lansing Lugnuts. Paul will be taking over Kelly Rensel’s position as the Sports Turf representative. Thank you, Kelly, for your time and commitment serving as an MTF board member. In each issue of News Notes, we will be highlighting the success of our members, and the impact the MTF had on them. You will find these articles under News Notes newest section, Members in the Field. If you would like to nominate a member, please reach out to us-we would love to hear from you! Over the past six years as a board member, I have seen many positive changes that have made our foundation what it is today. We are constantly evolving and progressing to benefit the members, and I must give that credit to the outstanding board we have. We have an enthusiastic, diligent and reliable Board of Directors that are dedicated to the turf industry, and to you. Thank you for your continued support and loyalty to the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation! Curt Boak MTF President

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

5


RESEARCH NEWS

Turfgrass Nutrition and

Winterkill Research By Dr. Kevin W. Frank, Jackie Guevara, and Eric Galbraith

Evaluating the effects of soil test philosophies recommendations on creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass

T

his research is the Masters thesis of Jackie Guevara. The research evaluates two methods of soil test interpretation and fertilizer recommendations, Sufficiency Level of Available Nutrients (SLAN) and Minimum Levels for Sustainable Nutrition (MLSN). SLAN is an established method for determining fertilizer recommendations based on soil test results. MLSN is a more recent method for determining fertilizer recommendations and when compared to SLAN generally recommends lower application rates of phosphorus and potassium.

6

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


Update Soils were sampled in the spring of 2020. Mehlich 3 soil test extractant was used to determine soil nutrient levels and nutrient recommendations were made according to the formulas used by the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab for the SLAN method and MLSN nutrient recommendations were determined from published MLSN formulas. The study has three treatments: (1) phosphorus and potassium applied according to MLSN guidelines; (2) phosphorus and potassium applied according to SLAN guidelines; and (3) nitrogen only treatment with no phosphorus or potassium added. These treatments were applied to creeping bentgrass and an annual bluegrass putting green. The nitrogen source for all treatments is liquid urea. Treatments were applied on two blocks: Penn A-4 bentgrass and mix of Penncross creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass. Half of the plots are trafficked three times a week. Data such as normalized difference vegetation index, turf color and quality are collected biweekly. Soils will be sampled in April 2021 and the third year of treatment applications will commence in May 2021. Results after two years of treatments indicate few differences in turfgrass quality between the two soil testing theories. Research will continue for at least 1 more year.

Winterkill Sensor Research

I

n the autumn of 2020, the MTF Founders Society funded the purchase of six sensor packages to monitor winter conditions on golf course putting greens in Michigan. The sensor package was developed by scientists at the University of Minnesota that we’ve been working with as part of a large multi-university grant proposal to study winterkill. Many superintendents have written letters of support for this grant and several participated in monitoring winter conditions on putting greens at their golf courses this past winter. We are submitting this grant to the United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant program again this spring with hopes that our 3rd time will be the charm. The full title of our proposal is “WinterTurf: A holistic approach to understanding the mechanisms and mitigating the effects of winter stress on turfgrasses in northern climates.” The winterkill sensors we installed at 6 golf courses in Michigan last winter was part of the process of collecting preliminary data to support this grant. The sensor package included: soil temperature and moisture sensors at 3 depths, and oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors. Data collection from the sensors was powered by a solar panel and data was transmitted via real time via a cell signal. We are still in the process of downloading all the data from this past winter and troubleshooting issues with some of the sensor packages we installed.

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

7


RESEARCH NEWS

The objectives of this research are:

1

Determine if the sensors reliably record and transmit data throughout the winter

2

Develop a model that could notify superintendents when conditions are likely to cause winterkill. This could be from soil gas, temperature, moisture data or perhaps a combination of all. Ultimately to develop a model we will need to monitor conditions on putting greens when winterkill occurs. This didn’t happen at our locations in Michigan last winter but sensors were also installed in Minnesota and Norway. Our hope is that with enough locations over enough years we will find conditions that cause kill.

3

By Dr. Emily (Merewitz) Holm

Soil water content and ethylene effects on

annual bluegrass winterkill

Project Duration: 2019-2022 Project Funding: O.J. Noer Foundation

(now a part of GCSAA) and the MTF

Make the sensor package commercially available to superintendents.

I would like to thank the following superintendents for hosting sensor packages this past winter. Jeff Holmes, Egypt Valley CC Doug Hoeh, Treetops Resort Scott Pulaski, Walloon Lake CC Jim Bluck, Arcadia Bluffs Ryan Moore, Forest Lake CC Eric Davey, Prestwick Village Golf Club

8

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


W

interkill damage to annual bluegrass putting greens and fairways is a significant issue in the turfgrass industry, costing millions of dollars annually in northern temperate areas. Turfgrass managers have expressed a large need for scientifically based management strategies that can reduce winter damage associated with ice encasement and other stresses. Covers and other current management strategies often result in inconsistent protection or are not feasible on large areas. Our research aims to identify chemical management strategies to improve annual bluegrass survival of winter conditions that can be applied broadly and cost effectively. The goals of this study are to better understand annual bluegrass acclimation and overwintering in response to varied levels of soil moisture, plant protective products, and plant growth regulators. The methods will include field-based treatments of chemicals and natural acclimation during the fall followed by turfgrass plugs being transferred into controlled environment low temperature growth chambers to evaluate for low temperature and ice encasement survival.

Methods: Plant material and experimental design. A twoyear combined field and growth chamber study of annual bluegrass maintained at putting green height will be conducted. The field is a native soil putting green with approximately an inch of sand topdressing in the profile.

Chemical field treatments will include 2 to 3 rates of 2 ethylene inhibitors (AVG and Retain) at varying rates and frequencies compared to other plant growth regulators implemented late summer through fall based on previous research Laskowski et al (2018). Retain is a commercially available plant growth regulator that is used typically for tree fruit and AVG is the active ingredient within Retain that regulates ethylene. If these treatments are effective for winter preparation, chemistries or products could be developed and marketed for use on turfgrass species. Treatment 1) Civitas (Petro-Canada) will be applied at a label rate of 40.6 L ha-1, 2) mefluidide (Embark T&O, PBI-Gordon Corp.) at a rate of 1.6 L ha-1, 3), propiconazole (Banner Maxx, Syngenta Crop Protection) at a rate of 6.4 L ha-1; 4) ethephon (Proxy, Bayer Environmental Science) at a rate of 7.96 L ha-1, 5) a commercially available ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor containing AVG (ReTain, Valent BioSciences Corporation, Libertyville, IL at a rate of 226 g ha-1 and 6) 350 g ha-1 7) the pure form of AVG (Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis, MO) at a rate of 50 µM and 8) control untreated. Therefore, a total of 8 chemical treatments will be used. All products will be applied weekly for roughly 6 weeks, beginning in early Oct. Representatives from each company will be consulted to ensure adequacy of treatment rates and frequencies. The field will be covered with a static 32 x 70 ft rainout shelter to allow for experimental control of water inputs. The shelter does not significantly impact light, humidity, or air circulation. Watering treatments

Ice encasement damage to annual bluegrass at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center in East Lansing, MI. Photo credit: Kevin Laskowski

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

9


RESEARCH NEWS will be implemented by hand and will be based on previous research Laskowski (2017). Soil moisture content will be maintained at 20% (overwatered), 12% (optimal) and 8% (dry) during the onset of fall and acclimation via manual monitoring using a soil moisture meter using time domain reflectometry at a 3.8 cm depth. With 6 chemical treatments and 3 moisture level treatments and 4 replicate plots, a total of 72 plots will be used for the study.

Measurements Field evaluations. Turfgrass quality, normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI), canopy height, root length, and root biomass will be measured in plots on a weekly basis starting in the late summer, through fall treatments, and in the spring for winter survival ratings. NDVI will be measured with a turf color meter and a multispectral radiometer. Root length and biomass will be measured by taking 1 inch in diameter plugs of turf on a biweekly basis. Turf plugs 4 inch in diameter will be taken from each plot in mid-November prior to soil freezing and brought into a low temperature growth chamber (-4°C). They will be exposed to light conditions typical of a Michigan overcast winter day. Canopy temperature depression will also be monitored weekly and weather conditions will be recorded daily. Crown hydration or relative water content of crown tissues will be taken on a weekly basis from 1 inch plug samples.

Growth chamber methods. For ice treatment, plugs will be taken from the field to include enough plugs for multiple time point samplings. Sod plugs will be planted in 4 inch pots and will be transferred to a low temperature growth chamber. When ready for ice treatment, plants will be misted under low temperature to develop an ice layer of 1.27 cm depth. Plants will be exposed to two ice treatments 1) no ice 2) ice cover (1.27 cm deep). Plants will be sampled at 0, 40, and 80 days of ice cover from select rates of each inhibitor based on turf performance measurements

10

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

throughout the fall. Lights in the chamber will be set to simulate an overcast winter day in Michigan (200 µmol m-2 s -1 with 10 h day length). Thus, approximately 300 turf plugs will be taken to accommodate 2 ice treatments and 3 sampling dates. On a given sampling day, turfgrass plugs will then be cut in half. Half of the plugs will go towards a regrowth assay in a greenhouse (plants will be de-acclimated for one week in a refrigerator prior to transferring to the greenhouse) and percent regrowth will be documented weekly or on an as needed basis. Half of the turfgrass plug will be used for ice stress tolerance characteristics.

Ice tolerance measurements. This will include a determination of antifreeze protein content, total nonstructural carbohydrate content (TNC), fructans, and fatty acid profiles. Plants will be separated into leaf, crown, and root tissue for each analysis. Method for antifreeze proteins will be the same as in Yu et al 2001. TNC will be performed by the methods of Huang and Gao (2000). Fatty acid profiles will be evaluated as in Xu et al. (2011). Expected results – We expect to see significant differences in acclimation and recovery due to chemical treatment and water content of the soil. The results will offer new knowledge regarding ramifications of wet fall conditions and acclimation, new insight into biochemical responses associated with these stresses, and new winter preparatory management strategies. Understanding the potential of plant growth regulators to rescue turfgrass from overly wet fall seasons is an expected outcome of this research. Benefit Group – The benefit groups include turfgrass scientists, golf course managers, athletic field facilities, home lawn industry, and others since the project outcomes are new knowledge of turfgrass resistance mechanisms to stress. Specifically, the use of annual bluegrass here makes this directly apply to the golf turf industry.

www.michiganturfgrass.org


Characterization of turfgrass plant induced defenses in response to

bluegrass weevil (ABW) feeding Project Duration: 2021-2023 Project Funding: USGA and the MTF

T

his study is in collaboration with Dr. Ben McGraw from Penn State. We will assess induced defense mechanisms in turfgrasses in response to insect herbivory by the annual bluegrass weevil (ABW) at various life stages. Plants being immobile organisms are highly vulnerable to abiotic and biotic stressors throughout their life. Our understanding of how plants protect themselves from insect attack is improving, yet studies in turfgrass are lacking. We will investigate grass hormone and protein responses, which will aid in distinguishing insect defense responses from general mechanical damage. The proposed project would not only improve our knowledge of the turfgrassinsect pest interactions but may identify opportunities for enhancing tolerance within existing turfgrass stands (i.e. priming the stand) or identify desirable plant traits that could be selected for in new cultivars, and thereby reducing the need or amount of insecticide applications and reducing potential insect resistance to pesticides. Currently, turfgrass managers are interseeding CBG into ABW-infestations in hopes of reducing populations over time. This project would provide information as to whether this is a sustainable approach, identify potential resistance/ tolerance mechanisms, and cultivars that would be the

most effective candidates for defense against ABW. Additionally, the findings of the project would inform management of other turfgrass insect pests with a similar feeding habit or life cycle.

Methods: We will screen six creeping bentgrass cultivars (Penncross, Declaration, 007, Penn A1/A4, L-93, and Pure Distinction) and annual bluegrass for potential differences in response to ABW. Turfgrass tolerance assays, insect infestation, and insect collection will be conducted at PennState. Frozen plant tissue samples will be sent to our laboratory at MSU for plant response evaluation including phytohormone and proteome extraction and analysis at each extraction time and for each species [2 turf species x 2 insect treatments x 3 insect life stages x 2 plant tissue types (leaves, roots) x 4 replications = 96]. Expected results – Based on previous observations, we expect to find significant variation in CBG and ABG responses to ABW. The intra-and interspecies responses will be useful in identifying hormonal responses that can directly be used for applied management strategies, such as by using plant growth regulators or applications of hormones to alter turfgrass tolerance to insect pests. The hormone combined with proteomic responses will be useful to inform breeding programs about potential markers that could be used to develop insect tolerant germplasm. Benefit Group – The benefit groups include turfgrass scientists, golf course managers, athletic field facilities, home lawn industry, and others since the project outcomes are new knowledge of turfgrass resistance mechanisms to pests. Specifically, the use of creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass here makes this directly apply to the golf turf industry.

Additional Research Plans As restrictions due to the pandemic ease and research ramps back up, more research projects will be initiated and shared!

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

11


RESEARCH NEWS

MTF Dollars and sense:

why ask

why? By Thomas A. Nikolai, PhD Michigan State University

S

ir Robert Blyth Greig (23 March 1874 – 29 November 1947) was a Scottish agriculturalist that served as Chairman of the Scottish Board of Agriculture from 1921 to 1928 and was Secretary to the Department of Agriculture for all Great Britain from 1928 to 1934. Sir Robert was also an ardent golfer, rightfully proud of its Scottish origin, and therefore understandably agitated that the USGA was leading the world in turfgrass research. In February of 1929 he wrote the article, Research Work Planned in Great Britain, for an issue of Golf Illustrated (London) which advocated the benefits of research and he noted, “Times have changed, and a good player wants now to have a reasonable chance to hole a 10-foot putt, a feat which would have been pure fluke in earlier days.” That quote indicates how research can quickly benefit the game especially when one considers The Old Course at St Andrews was over 350-years old at the time. Reputable turfgrass research takes a minimum of 2-years to reproduce results that can be used for recommendations with expected outcomes. However, studies can continue for decades to determine “why” the results are produced. Knowing why can be just as important, if not more so, than the result itself. I am certain that statement is somewhat

12

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

confusing, so let me give some examples of MTF funded research that has impacted our industry nationwide. In 1995 I initiated putting green research with the express purpose of documenting the impact lightweight rolling had on turfgrass pests. By the fall of 1996 it was apparent frequent rolling decreased localized dry spot and the disease dollar spot, so the question became, “Why the decrease in the disease”? For years numerous theories persisted but it was not until 2010 that masters student Paul Giordano found that numerous bacteria populations were increased by frequent rolling which decreases the disease that is caused by a fungus. Additionally, it is apparent the increase in bacteria is corelated with an increase in soil moisture. In 2011 Nancy Dykema initiated a 3-year masters study focused on the impact of turfgrass irrigation on disease. Nancie’s treatments included irrigation applied daily at 10 pm, applied daily at 5 am, and applied 2 times per week at 10 pm. Among her results, irrigating at 10 pm resulted in the least amount of disease and irrigating infrequently resulted in the most disease. Tying it all together, my results proved it was not only safe to frequently roll putting greens, but it was beneficial by decreasing dollar spot and localized dry spot. Paul’s research verified my findings that rolling decreased disease by increasing soil moisture holding capacity which correlated with an increase in bacteria. Nancie’s research helped verify Paul’s results because among her treatments it is clear irrigating at 10 pm daily resulted in the greatest soil moisture holding capacity which also resulted in the least amount of dollar spot.

www.michiganturfgrass.org


Along those same lines, in 1989 Dr. Rieke and Dr. Branham initiated proactive leaf mulching studies because the disposal of yard waste in landfills would be eliminated when the solid waste management act became effective in 1995. Concerns included mulching tree leaves into the turfgrass canopy could suffocate the turfgrass over winter or increase the C/N ratio that would result in the need for more fertilizer. However, results indicated no negatives from the practice and a surprising benefit which included that maple leaves decreased dandelion and crabgrass populations. Results from those studies changed the way tree leaves are disposed of while sparing the budgets of numerous municipalities and businesses, however, the question of “why” maple leaves suppress dandelion growth remain, but perhaps that is about to change using the skill set of Dr. Eric Patterson and his lab. Eric took a position at MSU in the fall of 2019, and we immediately began to confer. He has been working with indaziflam resistance in Poa annua and has earned a Project GREEEN grant due, in part, to support from MTF Executive Director Carrie Michelson. I recently gave Eric several bags of tree leaves and with a portion of my annual funding from the MTF we are attempting to isolate the compound in tree leaves that suppresses dandelion germination. Imagine the possibilities of knowing “why” a naturally occurring compound can suppress weed growth. Other studies I am performing with the aid of MTF funding this year include: n Efficacy of Corn Gluten Meal and Fiesta Herbicide (a BMP study) n Crabgrass application timing study (I doubt current GDD models are of any effective use) n Triplex mower/walk behind green mower quality of cut study (a labor shortage customer satisfaction study)

n Triplex ring study (see above) n PGR impact on accelerating green speed study (BTW, the first type study of this kind was performed by myself and Dr. Rogers in 1992 which was also funded by the MTF) n Lawn/rough height of cut study (a BMP study that I believe can have tremendous benefits to some LCO and homeowners) With that I would like to thank the MTF for their support but close with how I started, with quotes by Sir Robert Blyth Greig about the importance of research that I believe are as true today as when he published them in 1929. “A considerable body of knowledge has been built up by the Golfers’ Research Association of America (USGA). . . The first problem then is to get together the knowledge that does exist and make it available to all. The second problem is by scientific research to add to the existing knowledge and fill up the blanks in our ignorance. This is an operation that shall never cease, but there is no reason why it should never begin. Judging from the success of the American Golfers’ Research Association, the small subscriptions required of each club will be many times repaid by the additional pleasure which the game will give when played under better conditions. But golfers must be patient. They must not expect quick returns. Research is slow, but it is very sure, and it pays not in fives and tens but ultimately in hundreds and thousands per cent.” Now please consider the following, Sir Robert was writing in 1929 about the USGA Green section which initiated there turfgrass research in 1920, however, 40 years prior turfgrass species and mixture evaluation studies were initiated around 1880 at the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station by the noted botanist W.J. Beal. I don’t think there is any need to ask “why” I am proud of these facts.

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

13


INDUSTRY NEWS

Members

in The Field

Jay Eccleton, CGCS

14

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


M

ichigan Turfgrass Foundation member, Jay Eccleton, CGCS has been involved in golf his entire life. At the age of three, his parents purchased a nine hole golf course in Stockbridge, Michigan. He spent his childhood working at the course and learning many of the lessons needed later in a career in golf. 1995

Michigan State University — Bachelor of Arts in Crop and Soil Sciences

1995-2000

Assistant Superintendent — Travis Pointe CC, Ann Arbor, MI

2000-2006

Superintendent — The Emerald St. Johns, MI

2011 & 2012

MiGCSA President

2006-2015

Director of Golf Course Operations — The Emerald St. Johns, MI

2015- Present Site Manager — North Central Research Station, Agroliquid St.Johns, MI After graduating High School in 1990, Jay enrolled at Ferris State University’s Professional Golf Management program. It did not take Jay long to realize a career on the “inside looking out” was not where he wanted to be. He made the decision to leave Ferris State University in 1992 and enrolled at Saginaw Valley State University for a semester while working on a small family golf course in

Saginaw.. In 1993 he transferred to Michigan State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Crop and Soil Science, with an emphasis in Turfgrass in 1995. During his last year at MSU, Jay accepted a position as the Assistant Superintendent at Travis Pointe Country Club, working under John Seefeldt, CGCS. “John was and always will be my mentor. He has taught me a ton about quality playing conditions as well as life itself. “ In 2000, Jay accepted the position as the Golf Course Superintendent at The Emerald Golf Course in St. Johns, Michigan. Six years later, Jay was offered the Director of Operations position where he assumed responsibilities of the entire Emerald operation as a whole. His connections and relationships that he built throughout the years provided him an opportunity in 2015 to apply for a position with a nearby company, a liquid fertilizer supplier, AgroLiquid. “I had been watching for 15 years watch this local company grow right in front of my eyes, I saw what this company was positioned to be, and their company culture was everything you could want in an employer. I knew I wanted to be a part of that team. I just started reaching out.” Eccleton believes the possibilities are limitless with a degree in Crop and Soil Sciences. “In the world of Agriculture, there are so many opportunities. What made me a good fit here at AgroLiquid wasn’t my knowledge of how to grow crops, it was having basic knowledge of agronomics,

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

15


INDUSTRY NEWS

knowing nutrients, knowing soil, things I had learned at Michigan State. Another trait the turf industry has afforded me is the opportunity to lead people and work with outstanding team members. To be successful in any business, Eccleton believes you have to be quality driven and customer focused. Like any successful business you have opportunity windows to succeed. With crop production, you only get a few opportunities to produce quality yield. If you miss an opportunity, make a mistake, or miss certain details, you’re going to have less than desirable results when it comes to yield. Having the right people in place and getting them the resources they need to make it happen is paramount.”

Even with the success in his new position, Eccleton still has a passion for golf and still manages to find time for the game and industry he grew up in. “My long standing relationship with the ownership team at the Emerald, gave me an opportunity to stay on in an oversight capacity working with the existing crew that was in place.”

“We’ve got one of the best Golf Course superintendents in Troy Looney, who also is a MTF member as well as a graduate of Michigan State University in Crop and Soil Sciences. Eccleton also encourages his wife, Director of Golf Operations & Event Planning at the Emerald, Katie Eccleton. “I fit in wherever they need me and I try to stay out of their way. I am fortunate to experience the best of both worlds. I’ve Jay’s primary responsibility at Agroliquid is the oversight got a great career with a of an 1100 acre research facility that provides support “Being a part of the progressive company to sales and marketing and their efforts around the Michigan Turfgrass in AgroLiquid and country. Foundation can keep my passion has certainly helped pave the way alive assisting at the through their support and afforded me Emerald with the the opportunity to grow professionally experience I have through networking of peers and there. industry professionals. Building my confidence to explore new career paths and increasing my skill set.”

This is the first in a series of articles we are hoping to continue as a way to highlight the success and impact of members of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation in our industry. If you would like to share a success story for our Members in The Field series, or if you would like to nominate another member, please reach out to us at miturfgrass@gmail.com.

16

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


O

ur TT4Turf online auction of golf this year had tremendous response from both donors and bidders. This year’s version has exceeded our expectations and the results are credited to all of you who agreed to participate and support the MSU Turf Program. Michigan can be counted on as one of most dedicated group of superintendents to support Turf Research and the MTF thanks all of you who took the time and effort to support our Turf Team and Turf Program. TT4Turf Committee – Scott Rettmann and Eric Davey worked diligently and endlessly to recruit courses and their hard work paid off. This year’s event exceeded expectations and we thank all courses who participated. At the conclusion of the Auction we had a total of 187 items to bid on. 309 Bidders registered. Auction revenue at close was $45,616.00. Complete reconciliation has not yet been performed, but it will clearly be our most successful event. Our first TT4Turf auction was accomplished with the hard work of our MSU Turf Team in 2010. The Turf Team coordinated this event during its infancy, and we greatly appreciate the ground work they laid for what has become an important part of our fundraising efforts.

TT4Turf Donors Item Title

Item Title

A-Ga-Ming A. John Harvey - Course Review/Architecture, 1/2 Day Visit! Alpena Golf Club American Dunes Golf Club - Grand Haven, Michigan Golden Passbook to Michigan Golf - NORTH Golden Passbook to Michigan Golf - WEST Golden Passbook to Michigan Golf - EAST Antrim Dells Apple Mountain Golf Course Atlas Valley Country Club Atlas Valley Country Club Barton Hills Country Club

Battle Creek Country Club Bay Pointe Golf Club Beacon Hill Golf Course Bedford Valley Golf Club Bellaire Centenial Golf Club Bellaire Centenial Golf Club Belvedere Golf Club Birchwood Farms Golf & Country Club Blythefield Country Club Boulder Creek Golf Club Boulder Pointe Boyne Resorts - Hills, Ross or The Moor Course Brookshire Inn & Golf Course

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

17


TT4Turf Donors — Continued

18

Item Title

Item Title

Bucks Run Golf Club Burning Tree Golf and Country Club Burning Tree Golf and Country Club Calderone Golf Club Canadian Lakes Royal Golf Course Cascade Hills Country Club Cattails Golf Course Chandler Park Golf Course Cherry Creek Golf Course City Of Livonia Golf Division, Fox Creek, Idyl Wyld or Whispering Willows City Of Livonia Golf Division, Idyl Wyld, Fox Creek or Whispering Willows City Of Livonia Golf Division, Whispering Willows Fox Creek or Idyl Wyld College Fields Golf Club Country Club of Jackson Coyote Golf Club Coyote Preserve Golf Club Crystal Mountain - Betsie Valley Course Davison Country Club Davison Country Club Dearborn Country Club Detroit Golf Club Dunmaglas Golf Course Dunham Hills Country Club Eagle Eye Golf Course Edgewood Country Club Egypt Valley Country Club - Ridge Course Egypt Valley Country Club - Valley Course Farmington Hills Golf Club Farmington Hills Golf Club Fellows Creek Fieldstone Golf Club Flint Elks Country Club Flint Golf Club Flint Golf Club Forest Lake Country Club Forest Akers West Golf Course Gaylord Golf Club Gaylord Golf Club Goodrich Country Club

Goodrich Country Club Grandview Golf Club Grayling Country Club Grayling Country Club Great Oaks Country Club Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club Gull Lake View - EAST Gull Lake View - WEST Harbor Shores Resort - STAY & PLAY! Hawk Hollow Golf Course Hidden River Golf & Casting Club Highland Meadows Golf Club - Sylvania, Ohio! Hilltop Golf Course Huntmore Golf Club Huron Hills Golf Course Indian Run Golf Club Indian Trails Golf Course Indianwood Golf & Country Club Inkster Valley Island Hills Golf Club Kalamazoo Country Club Kent Country Club Kingsley Club Knollwood Country Club Knollwood Country Club - Lake County, ILLINOIS! Lakelands Golf and Country Club Lakes of Taylor Golf Course Leland Country Club Leslie Park Golf Course Lincoln Golf Club Links at Crystal Lake Links at Gateway Links of Novi Lochmoor Club Macatawa Legends Manistee National Golf & Resort Marquette Golf Club - Greywalls/Heritage Meadowbrook Country Club Midland Country Club Mystic Creek Northern Michigan University Golf Course Northville Hills Golf Club

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


Item Title

Item Title

Oak Pointe Country Club Championship Course Oak Pointe Country Club - Honors Course Oakhurst Golf & Country Club Oakland University Sharf Golf Course Petoskey-Bay View Country Club Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club - 18 Hole Twosome Pilgrim’s Run Golf Club - 18 Hole Twosome Pine Trace Golf Club Pineview Highlands Plum Hollow PohlCat Golf Course Polo Fields Country Club - Ann Arbor Prestwick Village Golf Club Rackham Golf Course Radrick Farms Golf Course Railside Golf Club Ravines Golf Club Red Hawk Golf Club Red Run Golf Club Rouge Park Golf Course Saginaw Country Club Salem Hills Golf Club Scenic Golf & Country Club Scott Lake Country Club Shanty Creek Shanty Creek Spring Meadows Country Club St. Clair Golf Club St. Ives Golf Club at Tullymore Golf Resort Stonehedge North Stonehedge South Stonycroft Hills Club Stoatin Brae Golf Club Sugar Loaf “The Old Course” Sunnybrook Country Club Sycamore Hills Golf Club Tam O’Shanter C.C. Taylor Meadows Golf Club The Bear or The Wolverine @ Grand Traverse Resort & Spa The Chief Golf Course

The Chief Golf Course The Classic Fox The Dream The Dunes Club The Emerald Golf Course The Emerald Golf Course The Falls at Baber Creek The Fortress The Golden Fox The Heathers Club The Inn @ St. Johns Golf & Conference Center The Majestic at Lake Walden The Meadows Golf Club The Medalist The Moors Golf Club The Nightmare The Orchards Golf Club The Quest Golf Course The Tamaracks Golf Course & Estates The Tamaracks Golf Course & Estates The Strategic Fox Thornapple Pointe Timber Ridge Timber Wolf Golf Club Timber Wolf Golf Club Toledo Country Club TPC of Michigan Traverse City Golf & CC Treetops Resort Tullymore Golf Resort Twin Lakes Golf & Swim Club Walnut Creek Country Club Warren Valley Golf Course Warren Valley Golf Course Wawashkamo Golf Club Western Golf Club Westshore Golf & Country Club Whitmore Lake Golf Links Whitmore Lake Golf Links Wuskowhan Players Club

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

19


The conference will be held on the beautiful campus of Michigan State University (MSU), home of the Spartans, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center January 5-7, 2022. The MTF and MSU are planning on delivering a very informative and rewarding education package offering CEU’s from MDARD as well as the GCSAA. There will be three days of education and our goal is to increase awareness, education, and interest in the Turfgrass Industry while at the same time supporting our world renown MSU Turfgrass Program and its Professors who play such an integral role in informing, improving, and sustaining the Turfgrass Professional’s knowledge, skills and career.

CONFERENCE HOTEL: Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center 219 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 Phone: 517-432-4000 Website: kelloggcenter.com Please contact the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center for Hotel Reservations Phone: 800-875-5090

www.michiganturfgrass.org/Michigan-Turfgrass-Conference 20

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

21


GAM Initiative

L

ast year was to be the kickoff of an initiative with the GAM to encourage clubs to support the MSU Turf Program with a donation from their respective clubs. The shutdown of all events in the early spring of 2020 prevented this initiative from being introduced at the 2020 GAM Annual Meeting. However, this years GAM Annual Meeting – although virtual – was held in May and allowed the MTF to introduce the concept of registering your club online to participate as a MSU Turf Program Supporter. The levels of participation are designed for all clubs to have a donation that fits their budget and range from $250 to $5,000 and over. For this year, the MTF has established a goal of having 21 clubs join the effort and become Course Supporters. At one time, course support was one of the key elements to funding research. 20 – 30 clubs at various levels donated on an annual basis. Over time and with various economic issues many clubs were forced to make financial decisions that impacted items that were not considered crucial. There has certainly been a recovery for those days and we encourage courses to once again consider a single annual donation to the Foundation. Our website allows for direct invoicing and can be found on our pull down screen by clicking “Opportunities for Giving” – Listed under “Golf Course Research Support” you will see a description of our initiative and examples of how funding is used. Our list of donors for this fiscal year is listed below. As indicated earlier 21 courses is our goal, help us achieve that level between now and Oct 1.

22

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


2021 Scholarship winners are: Norman W. Kramer SCHOLAR AWARD

Payton Perkinson (4 year Turf Program)

Merit

AWARD

Clayton Hoekwater (2 year Sports and Commercial Turf Program)

Kenyon Payne

Merit

AWARD

AWARD

Colin King

Spencer Cole

(2 year Turf Program)

(4 year Turf Program)

Sports and Commercial Turf AWARD

Keith Koch

(2 year Sports and Commercial Turf Program)

Are you someone who saves every

magazine?

W

e could use your help! We are trying to complete the archives of our News Notes Magazine and we have a few gaps to fill. Its important for us to have the complete archive, so we are reaching out to anyone that might have some of the missing copies, or anyone who might know someone that might have saved the magazines. Thank you in advance for contacting Michigan Turfgrass Foundation President, Curt Boak (cmb@lawntechofmi.com) with any possible leads.

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

23


TGIF at work Does

documentation matter? Who said what and when?

W

hen you’re in one of those situations where you want (or need) to know more about an issue or practice or pest or the actual research that determined something in the turf world (and just in the turf world) – where do you go? One option – and one that is available 24/7 – is the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database, built right here at Michigan State. TGIF is a huge online library on your laptop or mobile device or desktop. It’s a tool for you to use. It’s the only thing like it in the world. Like any other tool, you can guess how to use it, or you can learn a bit about it to use it more effectively. TGIF isn’t designed to ‘give you answers’ necessarily. It might do that indirectly, but it’s designed to help

24

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

By Pete Cookingham – Michigan State University Libraries

you understand a turf-related issue and what’s been documented about it. One of the defining components of a ‘profession’ is the existence of an identifiable and discrete body-of-knowledge associated with that profession. TGIF does that for turfgrass science and the management of turf-based facilities. As a professional, you still have to evaluate the credibility of the source, the applicability to your situation, and even the legality of an action in your location, etc. -- just as you would for any other source of information that you rely on. One of the other differentiating features of TGIF is that we don’t use information about who you are or what you’ve done in the past or what your friends liked or who paid to be featured in processing your search request – unlike many (or even most…) search engines these days. Everyone gets the same result when they search TGIF, if they search the same thing. All of this isn’t to say that how you search in TGIF doesn’t matter -- on the contrary it matters a lot. As in most things, think a bit about what you’re trying to do before you do it. Get your search down to a series of concise ‘words’ that might read or look a bit foolish but will search effectively. Ignore the niceties and shrink it down. Remember that you’re ‘talking’ to a piece of software, not another person. And a key factor is that unlike, say,

www.michiganturfgrass.org


Google’s assumptions when you search -- the more words you search the more results you get -- with TGIF it’s the opposite – the more words you search the less results you get. So you can control the exact precision of a search by building it up or tearing it down. Add more words to your search and it focuses in – take words away and the search opens up. As with a camera, do you want a telephoto or a wide-angle lens? Extra or more precise search terms = telephoto. Less or more general search terms = wide angle. Here are some examples of effective TGIF ‘Basic Search’ searches: n annual bluegrass seedhead suppres n drip irrig n fraiz mow fairway n glyphosate alternat n tree remov n wetting agent dry spot

Notice here that we have: n ignored punctuation and meaningless words n ignored tense and plurals, etc. – instead we’ve used root forms of nouns and verbs – (but not less than 4 letters!) n not searched “turf” or “turfgrass” n not used quotation marks or plus or minus signs Certainly you could type more complete phrases into TGIF, and they would work. But not quite as effectively – and sometimes that 5 or 10% difference can have real consequence. The turf world is a very big one and TGIF tries to shrink that world a bit – both in time and space. You can use what was documented in the past or in another place to your advantage. Make it a competitive advantage –for your facility, or your business – or yourself!

Turfgrass Information File

TGIF

Start at: http://tic.msu.edu Here’s a video to help you start using this tool: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRQ4xIw2QDk

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

25


2021 LaFontaine

GOLF OUTING

SPONSORS Breakfast:

Corporate:

Tee Sponsors:

Paul Rieke

Herman and Associates

John & Justin Kirtland Gift Sponsor:

26

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


2021 LaFontaine

Golf Outing

T

he 2021 LaFontaine Golf Outing was held on Wednesday, June 23rd at Coyote Preserve Golf Club in Fenton, Michigan. 27 teams participated and over 15 sponsors helped to make it one of our most successful outings to date. Proceeds from the LaFontaine Golf Outing are used to benefit Turfgrass research at MSU and the Graduate Student Assistantship Fund to provide the MSU Turf Team with Graduate Assistantships.

TEAM WINNERS 1st Place Team: -13 (58) Yoder, Wright, Lacroix, Szabelski

FENTON, MICHIGAN

(MiGCSA President Doug Ware accepts the first place trophy from MTF Executive Director, Carey Mitchelson on behalf of the winning team from the City of Livonia)

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

27


2021 LaFontaine Golf Outing — Continued

2nd Place Team: -12 (59) Plaskey, Albanese, Poley, McMasters 3rd Place Team: -11 (60) Wojtyniak Team

28

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

Longest Drive: Max Carlson Closest to the Pin (17) Greg Mischel Closest to the Pin (14) Matt LaMarre

Closest to the Pin (12) Brent Wojtyniak Closest to the Pin (8) Lindsay Matthews Closest to the Pin (6) Kristen Szabelski

Complete photo gallery at https://michiganturfgrassfoundation.wildapricot.org/LaFontaine-Golf-Outing

www.michiganturfgrass.org


MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

29


The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Welcomes

Paul Kahuna to Board of Directors

Home town: Grosse Pointe, Michigan How did you get interested in turf? “My parents had season tickets to the Detroit Tigers, so I went to about 20 or 30 games a season growing up. So I really just like being at the ballpark a lot, being around the field, running the bases after games, when I was a little kid I thought that was awesome.

PAUL KUHNA Head Groundskeeper - Lansing Lugnuts (Oakland Athletics High A Affiliate) Representing: Sports or Institutional Turf

What made you decide to attend Michigan State University? “Michigan State has a great turf program, but I would have gone there for anything. My dad went there, uncles went there, I grew up a Spartan fan my whole life. I grew up going to games there, baseball, football, basketball. There was no other school I was looking to go to.

How did you end up with the Lansing Lugnuts? “I started an internship with the Detroit Tigers my junior year. I actually had to miss a semester of college, because the internship went from March all the way through November, so I had to take an extra semester to do that. That helped me be able to start here with the Lugnuts the following spring as the Assistant Greenskeeper in 2017. I really like being in Lansing, so when the Head Groundskeeper job opened up, I applied and was excited to get the job and be able to come back here! What are your thoughts on being a board member with the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation? “I’m really excited to be a part of it. While attending Michigan State I learned about the foundation, but to be a part of it, I’m really excited. I’m excited to learn from some great colleagues in all parts of the industry.

30

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


MERITORIOUS Service Award

T

he 2021 Meritorious Service Award was postponed due to Covid 19. At the Board of Directors virtual meeting it was decided that this award deserves in-person presentation and should include as many family, friends and peers as possible to show their appreciation. Presentation of a 2022 award is currently on schedule and will be presented at the January Annual Conference. Our last Award was presented in January 2020 to Fritz McMullen, retired Superintendent at Forest Lake Country Club. If there is anyone who would like to make a nomination of a deserving candidate for the award, please contact MTF Scholarship and Awards Committee Chairman Dan Lucas at dlucas1662@gmail.com. We would like to continue recognizing the many people who have made huge contributions to the Turf Industry in Michigan.

MTF NEWS NOTES

Fritz

McMullen | SUMMER 2021

31


The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Board of Directors Announces Proposed

Endowed Chair Position

32

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

www.michiganturfgrass.org


T

he Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Board of Directors are pleased to announce the initiation of a proposed Endowed Chair position in the name of Dr. Joe Vargas. After several months of fact finding and research regarding the feasibility of such an endeavor the proposed measure was discussed by the Board of Directors on May 20, 2021. Board Meeting held at the Holiday Inn, Okemos MI. Instrumental in the formation of the process is MTF past president and long- time Executive Director Gordie LaFontaine. Mr. LaFontaine has served a distinctive career in the success of the MTF and its support of the MSU Turf Program. This undertaking may prove to be one of the most significant by the MTF in its long history of supporting the MSU Turf Program. Official public announcement of the proposal was made during the LaFontaine Golf Benefit for Graduate Assistantships on June 23rd at the Coyote Preserve Golf Club. At the conclusion of the golf event, Gordie was able to introduce Dr. Vargas and inform the attendees that the MTF will be engaging with MSU to develop “The Joe Vargas Chair in Molecular and Turf Pathology.” The timing of preparing for this Endowed Chair coincides with Dr. Vargas’s announcement to the attendees that he will be retiring from his position at MSU in 2 years. This timeline has been approved by Plant, Soils and Microbial Sciences Chair, Dr. Brian Horgan. Dr. Horgan oversees the Turf Team in PSMS and as a MSU Turf Alumni has great respect of Dr. Vargas and his service to MSU. Dr. Horgan has been involved with the many discussions that have been taking place with this concentrated effort and will be instramental in its development. Horgan believes an Endowed Chair position in Dr. Vargas’s name is attainable and respectful to the 53 years of teaching, research and influence of thousands of individuals in the world of turf that Joe Vargas has contributed. Many will ask what the importance of such a position, why is it needed and how will it be formulated.

What does an Endowed Faculty Position provide? As the MTF and MSU work together to provide this position the language and documents required will be significant. MSU is excited of the possibilities the Endowed chair for the Turf Program and early assessment have already been developed. The MSU stated importance is below.

“MSU - THE IMPORTANCE OF

ENDOWED FACULTY” “The Joe Vargas Chair in Molecular and Turf Pathology will ensure that a strong and robust program is possible in perpetuity, and that MSU’s land-grant tradition of linking research to our region’s needs continues to advance the economic development, environmental stewardship, and improved quality of life in Michigan and around the world.”

Why is it needed? Funding an Endowed position will ensure the Turf Program at MSU will exist despite the ups and downs of any economy or unforeseen issues that may occur over time. An Endowed Chair position is of tremendous importance to the University, and it is reflection of the Turf Industry and its commitment to the Turf Program. How is it funded? The MTF will provide significant funding to promote the initiative. It will form a committee to seek advice and opportunities from other sources. More information on the process and how to be involved will be available soon.

MTF NEWS NOTES

| SUMMER 2021

33


How much funding will be required? Final financial figures are being coordinated. Early estimates have been stated to be 4 to 5 million dollars. Operational funding of an Endowed Position on an annual basis is the goal and calculating those needed values is a part of the process. Is this attainable? The MTF believes it is. It will require coordinated efforts of individuals and industry partners who support and believe in the MSU Turf Program and want it continue and sustain as significant part of the Turf World. Is the importance of an Endowed Chair critical to the Turf Program? MSU has had input to this issue already – to quote:

“MSU - What holds true for successful businesses holds true for universities: we live in a competitive world. In academia, we compete for the best students, we compete for funds to fuel our research programs, and we compete for the best faculty. Endowed positions offer a huge competitive advantage when recruiting faculty, as they are one of the most pivotal factors in deciding between offers as candidates consider their options.”

Graduate Assistantship – Lends advantages as well

5 years ago the MTF developed the MTF Graduate Assistantship Fund. This Fund was a product of distributing available funding from the Founders Society Endowment and the LaFontaine Endowment to produce an invested fund that combines with the Rieke Endowment (now held by MSU) to provide for Graduate Assistantships on an annual basis for the Turf Team. When combined with an Endowed Chair position and

34

VOL 1

| ISSUE 1

funding for graduate assistantships – MSU can consider itself at a competitive advantage for talented individuals interested in turf research. Finally, we all are aware of the influence Dr. Vargas has had on the turf industry and his impact on thousands of students. Many feel he is part of the triumvirate that established the MSU Turf Program for generations – Dr. James Beard, Dr. Paul Rieke and Dr. Joe Vargas. Turf programs throughout the world respect those who have led MSU then and continue to do so now. The MTF would like to do its part to see this program into the future. Dr. Vargas and his list of accomplishments are more numerous to list, but some of the noteworthy: MSU Distinguished Faculty Award 2019, Michigan Golf Hall of Fame 2016,More than 53 years turfgrass industry, over 200 articles on Turfgrass disease, over 1,000 conference presentations, written leading textbook on turfgrass management, World leader Turfgrass pathology, Voluntary capacities at MSU, State, National and international levels, Advises masters and doctoral students severed on promotion and tenure committees, Coordinates the MSU Diagnostic Lab and faculty coordinator at the MSU Turfgrass Research Center since 1970 and has served at many levels to the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, Member of the Turf and Ornamental Committee and the Archives Committee of the American Phytopathological Society….and much more. The MTF is fortunate to have had Dr. Vargas as one of the finest representatives of turf in the world. We look forward to placing his name on the Turf Program and this would be a respectful way of saying thank you. The Foundation will be updating its membership of the activities involved with this undertaking and looks forward to any support or questions you may have. Thank you, MTF Board of Directors

www.michiganturfgrass.org


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT CAREY MITCHELSON

The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation would like to welcome our supporters “If I go to hotels, they always say, ‘Welcome back,’ even when I’ve never to the renewed edition of News Notes – for those been there before.” – Geena Davis who have never heard of News Notes you now have something in common with the Thelma and Loiise star Geena Davis. For those of you who remember...we hope you enjoy our return to updating our membership with activities of the MTF and ongoing research at Michigan State University and the MSU Turf Team. The Board of Directors lead by President Curt Boak have taken a step PRESIDENT’S back ...to go further foward. They believe the magazine encouraged turf industry individuals and companies to join one of the foremost Turf Foundations in the world and link with the MSU Turf Team and Turf Program – both with strong ties to many of you. We look forward to once again providing information in a physical format and hope you also enjoy taking a moment from daily activities to browse each edition…scheduled currently for twice a year. The renewal of this form of communication was discussed by the Board of Directors and the reasoning is simple. It was determined that improving our communication is important and our supporters deserved another source of information and event our Wild that Apricot Membership Software system and social t isupdates. with Although great pleasure the Michigan Turfgrass media interaction have been useful and ouragain data collection a need toTurfgrass connect Foundation once is ablehas toimproved presentthere our isAnnual better. It was felt that putting something in writing that can be placed where others may observe, and Conference. The decision four years ago to return to East notice may be helpful and useful for all. It may be old fashioned for some and that is understandable Lansing make thepart emphasis on education hasover proven – others indicated that having aand tangible, visible of our industry at hand to gloss when time thefitcorrect speaker line-up is once again wellallows might betoa be better for some.choice. We hopeOur you find our upcoming issues relevant and interesting.

MESSAGE

I

rounded and the topics for your consideration have been planned Parent: What you learn today? fordid months. A great deal of debate regarding what our attendees Student: Apparently not enough! We havetakes to goplace backand tomorrow! may be interested in always the goal is to anticipate the priorities of the attendees. Your input on topics during the We all learn in different ways and retaining information isn’t always Conference and throughout the year is always welcome and wethe back To me, life is like easy. The best are never ashamed to go back and learn again….or forward to any thoughts you hopeinyou golf.find Sometimes you admit mistakes.look When dealing with turf there seems to be amay neverhave. We nine play better on the Conference suitedmoving to your expectations you will let back nine. ending need tothe retreat and review before forward. We hope and trust You may not be stronger, that information that we provide in the upcoming issues and years us know your opinions on where we may improve and if we have may provide connections to others, solutions to turf issues or simple but hopefully you’re wiser. effectively planned your time as well.

articles that may seem entertaining. In the very least it will have a And if you keep most of your place to go forMany referencepeople when unforeseen items may need solutions. marbles intact, you can add a are involved with the planning process of the As we begin to offer content we are certain others will be willing to note of wisdom Conference and it starts the day after the last session ends. Theto the coming offer suggestions and we look forward to those thoughts and ideas. catalystusofback theand event is our current Vice-Presidentgeneration. Amy Fouty. She We hope you welcome offer up any items of interest. – Clint Eastwood

has set the tone the last three years and always strives to enhance and improve each day of the sessions. Fellow Board members Mark Wildeman and Curt Boak have been under her wing this past year and they will be chairing theMTF Conference for the upcoming NEWS NOTES | SUMMER 2021 years. Many thanks to all of them as they continue to provide a conference that we all enjoy and learn from.

35


P.O. Box 27156 Lansing, MI 48909-7156

www.michiganturfgrass.org

Phone: 517-392-5003 miturfgrass@gmail.com