Conference Pocket Guide 2024

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January 9-11, 2024

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Why Support the

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation? Not to be confused with trade organizations, membership in the MTF is direct support for research at the Turfgrass Research Program at MSU.

The MTF Mission Statement:

“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 turfgrass or derive pleasure from the results of such management.”

TABLE OF CONTENTS 4 Resort Map 6 What You Need to Know 7

2024 Conference Sponsors


Conference Speaker Spotlight

13 Conference Schedule 20 MTF Executive Committee & Board Members 22 MSU Turf Team 24 Vendor Halftime Show List 26 The Importance To Your Organization

Your membership dues fund a significant portion of the research that the MSU Turf Team conducts each year. Thank you for supporting Turfgrass Research and continuing research education at MSU. Sincerely, MTF Board of Directors



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

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Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

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What You Need to


Conference Hotel: Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858 Phone: (989) 775-5777 Website:




MSFMA Sports Turf Speaker Track US Golf Cars / Ladd’s Vargas Reception Food/Drink

MTF Annual Meeting – Wednesday, January 10 12:00pm -12:30pm in the Ojibway Room Vendor Show & Silent Auction – Tuesday, January 9 4:00pm-7:00pm in the Entertainment Hall 2024 Scholarship Awards – Tuesday January 9 3:00pm-4:00pm in the Three Fires Room • Michigan Turfgrass Foundation • Michigan State University • Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association • Michigan Sports Field Managers Association • Golf Course Superintendents Association of America • Samuel I. Russell Foundation • Trans - Miss Golf Association • Ray W. Bausick Green Industry Memorial Scholarship

Target Specialty Products Vargas Reception Food/Drink Advanced Turf Solutions Lunch Advanced Turf Solutions Coffee C.W. Golf Architecture Vargas Reception Food/Drink DeBuck’s Sod Farm Inc. Speakers Dinner Rhino Seed Vargas Reception Food/Drink Harrell’s LLC Coffee Banner Sales & Consulting, Inc Lawn Care Speaker Track Lanyard Plastomer Corporation Vargas Reception Food/Drink Helena Coffee Cup MiGCSA Golf Speaker Track MTESP Coffee Stine Turf & Snow, Inc. MSU Student Scholarship Banner



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation



Michigan Turfgrass

Conference Speaker Spotlight

Dr. Paul Giordano

Dr. Bruce Branham

Dr. Phil Dwyer


University of Illinois

Turf NanoTech

Dr. Giordano is a Director of Agronomy for Harrell’s LLC, managing research & development functions as well as providing technical sales support for the Golf, Sports Turf, and Lawn & Landscape businesses. Dr. Giordano has worked in the turfgrass industry for over 20 years holding positions at both public and private golf courses, and gaining experience in both applied and basic turfgrass research. A three-time Spartan, Paul earned a B.S. in Crop and Soil Sciences, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Michigan State University. He currently resides in Canton, Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

Dr. Branham earned a PhD in horticulture from the University of Illinois in 1983. Beginning in 1983, he developed a research and teaching program in turfgrass management at Michigan State University. Dr. Branham returned to the University of Illinois in 1995 where he continues to conduct research and teach undergraduate and graduate students. His research focuses on nitrogen fate and dynamics, Poa annua control, and general weed control.

As a turfgrass researcher and product developer, Dr. Dwyer is the General Manager at Turf NanoTech where he works to bring new nano-based products to the professional turfgrass market for improving nutrient and chemistry uptake. His entire career — and much of his life — has focused on turfgrass management, and he has previously worked as a Researcher, an Educator, and new product Innovation lead. While studying at Michigan State University he received a BS in Crop & Soil Science/ Turfgrass Management, and both an MS and Ph.D. in Turfgrass Pathology studying under Professor Joe Vargas.



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

Dr. William L. Berndt Dr. William L. Berndt is a professional agronomist and consultant specializing in turfgrass management, golf course operations, and rendering expert witness opinions related to golf courses and golf operations. He is a graduate of MSUs Two-year Turfgrass Management program, and he obtained a Masters Degree in Crop and Soil Sciences at MSU, and received his PhD in Botany and Plant Pathology also from MSU.



Michigan Turfgrass

Conference Speaker Spotlight

Mr. Bruce Williams Brandt Consolidated, Inc. Bruce Williams has been making presentations to golf and turf groups for over 50 years. Born and raised on a golf course he is the son of a renowned golf course superintendent, Bob Williams. Bruce is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College and also Michigan State University in the Turfgrass Management Program. While at MSU he served as President of the Turf Club and was recognized as the Outstanding Student. He spent 21 years as the golf course superintendent at Bob O’Link Golf Club in Highland Park, IL. His last 14 years as a superintendent were spent as Director of Golf Courses and Grounds at The Los Angeles



Country Club. Bruce has been involved in leadership positions for 4 decades in golf and turf. He has been the president of the following chapters: Midwest, Chicagoland, Southern California and California. In 1996 he was the President of the GCSAA as was his father in 1958. Currently Bruce serves as a Director for the California Alliance for Golf and Director of the Asia Golf Industry Federation. He is International Marketing Manager for GRIGG and Brandt in the specialty fertilizer group. Bruce operates several successful businesses with Executive Golf Search, Inc. and Bruce Williams Golf Consulting. He considers his biggest accomplishment as having trained 164 men and women who went on to be superintendents or that obtained their PhD’s in the industry.

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

Dr. Rob Golembiewski

Dr. Brandon Horvath

Atticus, LLC

University of Tennessee

Dr. Rob “G11” Golembiewski is Director of Technical Services at Atticus. Previously, he served as a Green Solutions Specialist with Bayer/Envu for 11+ years providing technical expertise for the golf and landscape markets. Rob received his B.S and M.S. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Rob’s career has included positions with Montana State University, Dow AgroSciences, Paramount Landscape, University of Minnesota and Oregon State University.

Dr. Brandon Horvath is a professor of turfgrass pathology in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of Tennessee where he’s been since May 2009. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. in turfgrass pathology from Michigan State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in agronomy with a minor in plant pathology. He has worked at several championship golf courses and conducts research in the area of turfgrass disease epidemiology that enables turfgrass managers to maintain healthier turfgrass stands with fewer chemical inputs.



Michigan Turfgrass

Conference Speaker Spotlight



(Black River Room) 3 MDARD Credits, 0.40 GCSAA Education Points, 3A, 3B, 6 Moderator: Rob Pylar - ENVU

Dr. Karl Danneberger

Dr. Dave Roberts

The Ohio State University

The Plant Doctor, LLC

Dr Karl Danneberger is a Professor of Turfgrass Science at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His research activities have focused in the area of turfgrass ecology and physiology. A few of his research accomplishments include developing some of the first turfgrass disease prediction models, determined the genetic flow of Poa annua among golf course greens, and fairways; and evaluated the effectiveness of intraseeding new creeping bentgrass cultivars into existing bentgrass greens using molecular techniques. He has published over 60 scientific articles and 700 trade magazine articles. Karl has spoken at numerous turfgrass conferences and seminars nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of the Fred Grau Turfgrass Science award and holder of a Fulbright Senior Specialists Award.

Dr. Roberts retired from Michigan State University in 2018 after committing over four decades to advancing MSU’s Land Grant Mission. He received his B.S. (1975) and M.S (1977) from The Ohio State University and his Ph.D from Michigan State University. Over the decades, Dr. Roberts has published 100’s of articles and has taught 100’s of lectures and workshops. He has researched many issues in Michigan’s plant industry, including Dutch Elm Disease, Diplodia Tip Blight of Pines, along with variety of cultural problems such as plant nutrition and herbicide toxicity. Dr. Roberts has worked on Oak Wilt for 40 years, inventing several new and innovative remediation techniques. In the early 2000’s, his research on Ash Decline in Southeast Michigan led to the discovery of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in North America. In his retirement, Dr. Roberts intends to remain active with the Arboriculture/ Landscape/Nursery Industries while hoping to have more time for his hobbies. Dr. Roberts is President, CEO and CBW (Chief Bottle Washer) of The Plant Doctor, LLC…aka The Tree Doctor.

12 10 «« Michigan MichiganTurfgrass TurfgrassFoundation Foundation

12:00 PM MSU Turf Team and Michigan Turfgrass

Foundation Conference Welcome and Update – Dr. Kevin Frank and Carey Mitchelson, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

12:30 PM Turfgrass Pathology Research Update – Dr. Joe Vargas, MSU

1:00 PM The Magic and Myths of Turfgrass Microbes – Dr. Phil Dwyer, Turf NanoTech

2:00 PM The ABC’s of ABW: Biology and Control of the Annual Bluegrass Weevil – Dr. Paul Giordano, Harrells

3:00 PM Heavy Metal Speed and Weed – Dr. Thom Nikolai, MSU

3:30 PM On Par with Registered Apprenticeship – Jada Paisley, Michigan Golf Course Association

4:00-7:00 PM Trade Show –

Entertainment Hall, Free Entry

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TUESDAY, January 9

WEDNESDAY, January 10



(Swan Creek Room) 3 MDARD Credits, 3A, 3B, 6 Moderator: Frank Figurski

(Black River Room) 5 MDARD Credits, 0.60 GCSAA Education Points, 3A, 3B, 6, & Core Moderator: Zac Kelly

12:00 PM Herbicide Toxicity to Trees in Turf

8:00 AM Fungicides, Diseases and Resistance,

and Landscapes – Dr. Dave Roberts, The Plant Doctor, LLC

1:00 PM Pest Control Options: Pesticides and Cultural Practices – Dr. Rob Golembiewski, Atticus, LLC

2:00 PM Herbicide Recommendations for

Tough to Control Weeds – Dr. Bruce Branham, University of Illinois

3:00 PM Light: How it impacts turfgrass growth and development – Dr. Karl Danneberger, The Ohio State University

4:00-7:00 PM Trade Show –

Entertainment Hall, Free Entry

Oh My – Dr. Rob Golembiewski, Atticus, LLC

8:30 AM 50 Years: Tips, Tricks, and Lessions

Learned – Bruce Williams, Brandt Consolidated, Inc.

9:00 AM PGRs: Where are we and where have we come from – Dr. Karl Danneberger, The Ohio State University

10:00 AM Perception vs. Reality: How can Science

Help to Dispel Commen Turfgrass and Agricultural Miscoceptions? – Dr. Paul Giordano, Harrels

11:00 AM Best managament practices for black layer – Dr. Lee Berndt

11:30 PM Nanotechnology for Turfgrass

Applications – Dr. Phil Dwyer, Turf Nanotech

12:00-1:00 PM LUNCH

Entertainment Hall

Moderator: Anthony LaLonde

1:00 PM Controlling Poa annual and/or creeping bentgrass – Dr. Bruce Branham, University of Illinois

2:00 PM Poa doesn’t die in the heat! – Dr. Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee

3:00 PM Turfgrass Pathologist Career: I did it my way – Dr. Joe Vargas

4:00-7:00 PM Dr. Joe Vargas Retirement

Reception – Saginaw Room, Ticket Event - $50



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation





WEDNESDAY, January 10

WEDNESDAY, January 10



(Swan Creek Room) 5 MDARD Credits, 3A, 3B, 6, & Core Moderator: Alex Wilson

(Three Fires Room) 5 MDARD Credits, 3A, 3B, 6, & Core Moderator: Tristian Ziola

8:00 AM Impediments to water movement in

8:00 AM Robotic mowers on Athletic Fields –

turfgrasses: salts, soils, and bacteria – Dr. Lee Berndt

9:00 AM Review of Federal and State Pesticide Rules ands Regulations – John Stone, MSU

10:00 AM Substainable/organic turfgrass

management – Dr. Bruce Branham, University of Illinois

11:00 AM Disease managemnent: how fungicides and cultural practices can be used to minimize disease pressure – Dr. Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee

Wes Ganobcik, Field Source

9:00 AM Budget for Show, Manage Turf for (Less) Dough – Ryan DeMay, Field Source

10:00 AM World Cup 2023 Research Update – Ryan Bearrs, MSU

10:30 AM Sod on Plastic Turfgrass Establishment – Jackie Guevara

11:00 AM Hybrid Turfgrass Systems: It’s Coming – Evan Rogers, Ryan Bearrs, and Jackie Guevara

11:30 AM Research and Estension Update in Mexico – Jake Kiby and Evan Rogers

12:00-1:00 PM LUNCH

Entertainment Hall

Moderator: Mark Frever

Entertainment Hall

1:00 PM Recognition and Management of Oak Wilt –

1:00 PM Sports Turf Math 101: Pesticide and

2:00 PM Rehabbing Troubled Lawns – Dr. Rob

2:00 PM The ABCs of PGR’s for Sports Turf –

3:00 PM Turfgrass Pathologist Career: I did it my

3:00 PM Turfgrass Pathologist Career: I did it my

Dr. Dave Roberts, The Plant Doctor, LLC

Golembiewski, Atticus

way – Dr. Joe Vargas, MSU (Black River Room)

4:00-7:00 PM Dr. Joe Vargas Retirement

Reception – Saginaw Room, Ticket Event - $50


12:00 PM LUNCH


Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

Fertilizer Calculations – Dr. Nikolai, MSU

Aaron Hathaway, NuFarm

way – Dr. Joe Vargas, MSU (Black River Room)

4:00-7:00 PM Dr. Joe Vargas Retirement

Reception – Saginaw Room, Ticket Event - $50





THURSDAY, January 11

THURSDAY, January 11


(Black River Room) 0.40 GCSAA Education Points Moderator: Tyler Hild

8:00 AM Comparing Variable Depth and

Capillary Hydroponic System Rootzones for Sustainable Putting Green Management – Mike Rabe, MSU

8:30 AM GCSAA Programs Update – Steve

Hammon, Traverse City CC, and Adam Ikamas, MiGCSA

9:00 AM Using golf performance data to make data driven agronomic decisions – Dr. Brandon Horvath, University of Tennessee

SCHEDULE SPORTS FIELDS, LAWNS, AND GROUNDS (Swan Creek Room) Moderator: Logan Complo

8:00 AM Seed Market Update –

Wayne Horman, Landmark Seed

9:00 AM Are you getting the most out of your

infields? – Geoff VanBerkel, Eco Green Supply

10:00 AM Roundtable Discussion 11:00 AM Setting your multipurpose fields up for

success – Brian Hall, Sylvania Recreation District


9:30 AM Reclaiming the Former Walnut Hills CC – Mark Collins, C-More Green, Inc.

10:00 AM Negotiating Tactics for the Superintendent – Bruce Williams

10:30 AM Drought and Winterkill Research Update – Dr. Emily Holm, MSU

11:00 AM Turfgrass Reestablishment Following Winterkill – Payton Perkinson, MSU

11:30 AM Turfgrass Operations - Lessons from Augusta National – Dr. Phil Dwyer, Turf NanoTech



Conference January 7-9 SOARING EAGLE Casino & Resort



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation



BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr. Curt Boak, Lawn Tech Representing: Turfgrass Services Mr. Dan Mausolf LIC, CSP, ASM, Stine Turf & Snow Representing: Lawn & Maintenance Mr. Brad Lazroff, Huron Meadows Golf Course Representing: Cemetery, Park, or Sod


Mr. Curt Boak



Mr. Brad Lazroff


Mr. Scott Rettmann



Mr. Adam Palmatier, Helena Representing: Commercial Turfgrass Supplier Mr. Mitch Hooten, West Michigan Whitecaps Representing: Sports or Institutional Turf Mr. Craig Moore, Marquette Golf Club Representing: Northern Michigan District - MiGCSA Mr. Jeff Holmes CGCS, Egypt Valley Country Club Representing: Western Michigan District - MiGCSA Mr. Eric Davey, Prestwick Village Golf Club Representing: Greater Detroit District - MiGCSA Mr. Christian Koval, Lakelands Golf and Country Club Representing: Mid-Michigan District - MiGCSA Mr. Scott Rettmann, Walnut Creek Country Club Representing: At Large Mr. Chris Wilcznski, CW Golf Architecture Representing: At Large Mr. Brian Schweihofer, Franklin Hills Country Club Representing: At Large




Michigan Turfgrass Foundation



MSU TURF TEAM Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Trey Rogers, Ph.D.

Brian Horgan, Ph.D.

Professor, Turfgrass Research - Golf Course Renovations - Sports Turf and Golf Turf Management Programs; Turfgrass Research Telephone: 517-353-0136

Professor and Chairperson Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences

Joseph Vargas, Ph.D.

Kevin Frank, Ph.D.

Professor - Fungicide resistance; disease management; biological control; chemical control and breeding; epidemiology. Telephone: 517-353-9082

Professor and Turf Extension Specialist Telephone: 517-353-0147

Thomas Nikolai, Ph.D. Senior Turfgrass Academic Specialist - Golf Course Putting Green mechanical and cultural practices, turfgrass health. Telephone: 517-353-0133

Emily Merewitz-Holm, Ph.D. Associate Professor - Plant physiologist; abiotic & biotic stresses of turfgrass and crop species; whole-plant, biochemical, & molecular techniques. Telephone: 517-353-0203

David Gilstrap, Ph.D. Senior Academic Specialist Sports and Commercial Turf Management Education Telephone: 517-353-0140



Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

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Vendor Halftime Show & Silent Auction Tuesday January 9 4:00pm-7:00pm in Entertainment Hall. BOOTH #

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- Morgan Composting Inc. - Fish Head Farms - Porous Pave Inc. - Osburn Industries - Aspen Outdoors - Nutrien - Heritage Professional Products Group - Midwest Golf & Turf - Capillary Flow - Turf Nano Tech - Harrell’s, LLC - ENVU Environmental - Spartan Distributors - Target Specialty Products - Rhino Seed and Turf Supply - AcuSpray - R&R Products - SiteOne Landscape Supply - Herman & Associates - Textron Specialized Vehicles - Agro Liquid/Country Club Turf - Eco Green Supply - Brandt - Arbor Jet/Ecologel - Banner Sales & Consulting - Healthy Turf Plus - Ladd’s Cash Bar - Ladd’s and - Ladd’s Appetizers - Helena - Mavis Consulting, Ltd Michigan Turfgrass Foundation

Soaring Eagle Hotel & Casino Entertainment Hall

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Partners in the Turf Industry: The MTF partners


The Importance to

Your Organization The development, testing, and evaluation of better turfgrasses and of better methods of turfgrass maintenance has a common interest for all facets of the turfgrass industry; it enhances the landscapes and provides better facilities for enjoyment of the recreational sports; it lessens the dust hazards and upkeep of airports and roadsides as well as play areas and cemeteries. Through the cooperative participation: golf clubs, lawn care industry, parks, cemeteries, athletic associations, airports, ski clubs, seed, sod, and stolon growers, and organizations concerned with turf management, sufficient funds have been made available to do research in these important areas.

RESEARCH: The MTF’s primary purpose is to raise

money to support turfgrass research and education at MSU. The research generated by these contributions have led to practices that have improved turf maintenance throughout the world.

EDUCATION: Turfgrass Conferences: The MTF, in cooperation with MSU, holds an annual 3-day turfgrass conference in January to present the latest findings on turfgrass management, fertility, soils, diseases, weeds, varieties, pesticides and other timely topics.

gather the various segments of the industry to discuss and support in decisions that affect turfgrass management in Michigan.

Fundraising: • Lafontaine Golf Benefit • Tee Times 4 Turf • Individual Donations

Awards: “Meritorious Service Award” - Presented to an individual representing significant promotion of the Turfgrass Industry in Michigan

Student Scholarships: 5 scholarships are awarded annually

The Administration The business affairs and the activities of the Michigan Turf grass Foundation are governed by a Board of Directors composed of twelve (12) members plus the Foundation Administrator. The Board of Directors is composed of representatives from each of the following organizations or groups: 1) Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association (4 Members)

Field Days: The MTF supports the Michigan State University

2) Michigan Sports Turfgrass Managers Association (1 Member)

EXTENSION: The MTF has provided important monies

3) Lawn Care Representative (1 Member)

field days at East Lansing and also other locations in Michigan.

for transportation, equipment and expenses which has allowed MSU personnel to visit the turfgrass industries of the state and help individuals solve their problems, often on an emergency basis.

4) Commercial Turfgrass Supplier Representatives (1 Member) 5) A Cemetery Park or Sod Grower Representative (1 Member) 6) Custom Lawn Care Representative (1 Member) 7) At Large (3 Members)

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Michigan Turfgrass Foundation



Thank You! 2024 Conference Sponsors


Conference January 7-9 SOARING EAGLE Casino & Resort


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