Learn best management practices from academics and industry experts through case studies, hands-on learning, traditional presentations and in-depth classes. Choose from eight educational tracks: turfgrass management, facility management, synthetic, pest control, water, industry developments, baseball, and professional development.

ASBA Certification Testing

Sat., Jan. 26, 8 am – 1 pm

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) offers certification for field builders and will be conducting exams at the conference. Prequalification and registration is required by Dec. 15. Go to sportsbuilders.org or call 866-501-2722. Those testing for CFB, CFB-N or CFB-S must register for the STMA conference, purchasing a one-day package at a minimum.

Attire
Business casual (slacks and a collared shirt for men and comparable apparel for women) is the preferred conference attire. Coat and tie is requested for the Awards Banquet on Friday. Cutoffs, jeans, t-shirts and ball caps are discouraged.     

CSFM Testing – New Format this Year!

Traditionally, the CSFM exam has been offered two times during the week of the Conference, in a written format. This year we will have a NEW online version of the CSFM Exam. Those who have prequalified to take the exam can sign up for a time slot nearly any time during the Conference that works with their schedule. This new electronic CSFM exam will allow for more streamlined grading and quicker results. Exam takers who do not pass all four sections of the exam may be able to retest on those sections later in the week depending on availability. To find out if you qualify, call STMA at 800-323-3875. Pre-qualification and pre-registration is required by Dec. 1.

CEUs/Pesticide Recertification
CEUs have been approved by NRPA and PGMS. CEUs are pending with ASBA, GCSAA and NALP. Five Pesticide Recertification credits are approved for Arizona. If you are attending from another state and need pesticide recertification credits, you are responsible for contacting your state’s Department of Agriculture for approval.

Conference Recordings – Free

All full conference registrants receive free access to the education session recordings. Look for an email post-conference with the link and password.

First-Time Attendees

STMA welcomes our first-timers and invites you to a special reception in your honor on Wed., Jan. 23, 6 – 7 pm. Be sure to wear your First-Time attendee ribbon for admittance.
Sponsored by Atlas Turf, Platinum TE, Pure Seed, Sod Solutions

International Attendees

STMA welcomes International attendees and invites you to a special reception in your honor on Wed., Jan. 23, 6 – 7 pm. Be sure to wear your International ribbon for admittance.
Sponsored by Atlas Turf, Platinum TE, Pure Seed, Sod Solutions

New Members – Free Registration

Nonmembers or former members who have not been a member since the year 2000 are eligible for a FREE Conference Registration. Go to STMA.org to join as a new, first-time member. STMA will accept only on-line membership and conference registrations for this offer.

Social Media

Follow us at @FieldExperts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Use #STMA2019 in all of your tweets or posts about the conference.

Student Activities

  • Student Networking , Jan. 23, 5:15 – 6 pm

Gather with students from other universities to discuss trends, issues, and career aspirations.

  • Student Challenge , Jan. 24, 2 – 4:30 pm
  • Student Luncheon , Jan. 25, 12 – 1 pm

Join your fellow student members and network with sports field managers. Winners of the Student Challenge will be announced immediately following lunch at the Hunter Industries booth.

Weather

The average high and low temperatures in Phoenix are 68 and 46 degrees, respectively.

Event Highlights

Wed., Jan. 23

8 – 9:30 am

Opening General Session – Sports Turf Talk Show

Hosted by Thomas Nikolai, Ph.D. – Michigan State University, Brandon Horvath, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee
Guests Include: Gregory Elliott, Jessie Pritchard, CSFM, Abby McNeal, CSFM, CPRP

Kick off the STMA Conference with an interactive discussion where our hosts will interview sports turf managers from across the nation. Structured like a late-night talk show, turfgrass experts will sit down and share how they achieve customer satisfaction while still providing safe, high performance athletic surfaces.

2 – 3:15 pm

Chapter Leadership Training

All chapter board members are invited to hear five chapters present on chapter programs that worked and those that didn’t work. The training will conclude with an interactive Q and A session.
Chapter Network Sponsored by Hunter Industries, John Deere, Turface Athletics
Event Sponsored by the Southeast Regional Sports Turf Conference

 

5:15 – 6 pm

Networking Sessions

Join your peers for interactive discussion about the challenges and rewards you find in your job. Promotion of, or discussion about, commercial products, services or equipment is prohibited.

 

6 – 7 pm

First Timers/International Attendees/CSFM Reception (ribbon required)

Wear your specific ribbon for attendance at this networking reception as STMA welcomes its first time and international attendees. Expanded this year, it also includes CSFMs.
Sponsored by Atlas Turf, Platinum TE, Pure Seed, Sod Solutions

 

7 – 7:30 pm

SAFE Live Auction – NEW TIME

Support the SAFE foundation by bidding on exclusive sports field management equipment and products, and highly desired technology and sports memorabilia. For a list of items, check back frequently at STMA.org.

 

7:30 – 10 pm

Welcome Reception

Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones at this heavy hors d’oeuvres event. Drink ticket included.
Sponsored by The Toro Company and Covermaster

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

11 am – 1:15 pm

Keynote Address/Annual Meeting and Lunch

Speaker: Jeff McManus – Author and Director of Landscape Services at the University of Mississippi
Jeff will be presenting his philosophy on “How to Grow Weeders into Leaders.” Highlighting how strategy and organization can ultimately help GROW the talent you have to get the leaders you need. Meet your new Board of Directors and enjoy lunch.
Sponsored by World Class Athletic Surfaces

 

1:30 – 6:30 pm

Exhibition and Silent Auction (Dessert and Late afternoon reception)

Meet with distributors, company representatives and product developers to see the latest industry equipment, products and services. Take advantage of informal education on the show floor at Meet the Experts where you can speak with academics in a QandA roundtable format. SAFE will also be holding its annual fundraiser, the Silent Auction.
Silent Auction Sponsored by Pioneer Athletics

 

Fri., Jan. 25

10 am – 1 pm

Exhibition and Silent Auction (Lunch)

See details in Thursday’s listing.

 

6:30 – 10 pm

STMA Awards Reception and Banquet

Enjoy a reception and then an elegant dinner immediately followed by the awards program, which honors notable contributions to the industry. RSVP is required. Coat and tie and comparable attire for women is preferred.
Awards Program sponsored by Carolina Green, Hunter, Precision Laboratories and World Class Athletic Surfaces

 

 

 

Conference Tracks 2019

 

Turfgrass Management

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Carbon Fertilization: Snake Oil or the Next Big Thing?

Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D.

 

11 am – 12 pm

Agronomic Assessment for Sports Fields: Future Implications for Risk Assessment

Kristie Walker, Ph.D.

 

11 am – 12 pm

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf

Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D.

 

3:30 – 5 pm

Plant and Soil Interactions for Athletic Fields

Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

 

3:30 – 5 pm

The Impact of Fraze Mowing on Overseeding

Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. and Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D.

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

8 – 9:15 am

Stadium Turfgrass Shade Management

Dan Bergstrom, CSFM

 

8 – 9:15 am

Back to Basics: Improving the Soil Physical Properties of Highly Trafficked Turfgrass

Andrew McNitt, Ph.D.

 

8 – 9:15 am

Competition Kills

Michael Goatley, Ph.D.

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Development of a Topdressing Program for Athletic Field Managers

Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Back to Basics: Understanding Soil Fertility and Soil Testing Results

Bill Kreuser, Ph.D.

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

1:30 – 3 pm

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf

Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D.

 

 

Facility Management

 

Tues., Jan. 22

 

1:15 – 5 pm

Educational Demonstrations at Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex

Dr. David Kopec and Kai Umeda

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use Fields

Marc Moran, CSFM

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Budgeting for Your Facility

Rebecca Auchter, CSFM

 

3:30 – 5 pm

One Field, One Season: Maintaining Kenan Stadium

Casey Carrick, CSFM and Chad Price, CSFM, CFB

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

8 – 9:15 am

Event Management: Developing a Landscape Protection Program

Michael Stachowicz

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

1:30 – 3 pm

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use Fields

Marc Moran, CSFM

 

 

Synthetic

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Synthetic Turf = “Zero Maintenance??”

Jeremy Tredway

 

11 am – 12 pm

Synthetic Athletic Fields Through the Seasons

Jason DeMink, CSFM

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Alternative Infills and Maintenance of Synthetic Turf

Dan Strunk, Ph.D.

 

 

Pest Control

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Measure Twice, Apply Once: Practical Reductions in Pesticides and Fertilizers

Ryan DeMay

 

2 – 3:15 pm

Advanced Weed Control for Athletic Field Turf

Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. and Gerald Henry, Ph.D.

 

3:30 – 5 pm

Turf and Weedy Grass Identification for the Sports Turf Manager

Tony Koski, Ph.D. and Alison O’Connor, Ph.D.

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Know Your Audience: Strategies for Discussing Pest Management

Jim Brosnan, Ph.D.

 

 

Professional Development
Sponsored by John Deere

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

Getting a Seat at the Table

Jim Speelman, CSFM

 

11 am – 12 pm

Don’t Say the “M” Word: Math

Samuel Doak

 

2 – 3:15 pm

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)

Josh McPherson, CSFM

 

2 – 3:15 pm

COTS

 

3:30 – 5 pm

Experiential Storytelling

Joel White

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

8 – 9:15 am

Mentoring/Training the Next Generation of Sports Turf Managers

Tim VanLoo, CSFM

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Elevate Your Value Through PR and Social Media!

Tomas Silvani and Glenn Gray

 

11 am – 12 pm

Keynote Presentation – How to Grow Weeders Into Leaders

Jeff McManus

 

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

8 – 10 am

Career Development Panel

Allen Johnson, CSFM, Sun Roesslein, CSFM and Tim VanLoo, CSFM

 

1:30 – 3 pm

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)

Josh McPherson, CSFM

 

 

 

Water

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

11 am – 12 pm

Irrigation Renovation and Troubleshooting Strategies

Ashley Wilkinson

 

2 – 3:15 pm

Smart Irrigation – Navigating the Market for your Facility

Ben Polimer

 

3:30 – 5 pm

Irrigation Water Testing and Interpretation: Case Studies from the Field

Charles Fontanier, Ph.D. and Justin Quetone Moss, Ph.D.

 

 

Industry Developments

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

8 – 9:30 am

Opening General Session – Sports Turf Talk Show

Thomas Nikolai, Ph.D., Brandon Horvath, Ph.D. and John Sorochan, Ph.D.

 

11 am – 12 pm

New Trends and Technology in Sports Turf

Representatives from STMA Commercial Companies

 

2 – 3:15 pm

Using Drones in Your Sports Field Management Program

Tanner Delvalle and Caleb Clements

 

2 – 3:15 pm

New Technologies in Sports Field Sod Production, Installation and Maintenance

Ross Kurcab, CSFM

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

8 – 9:15 am

Performance of Hybrid Grass Systems

Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. and John Sorochan, Ph.D.

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

Performance Testing and Player Safety

Gerald Henry, Ph.D.

 

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

8 – 10 am

University Research Update

Academics from various Universities

 

8 – 10 am

Dotmocracy

Jeremy Tredway

 

Baseball

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

2 – 3:15 pm

Practitioners Guide to Managing Infield Skin Surfaces

Joseph Potrikus, CSFM

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

8 – 10 am

Baseball Panel Discussion

Andy Gossel, Matt Neri and John Turnour

 

2019 STMA Conference Education Session Information

 

Tues., Jan. 22

 

1:15 – 5 pm

 

Educational Demonstrations at Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex

Speakers: Dr. David Kopec and Kai Umeda – The University of Arizona

Get offsite and outside with educational demonstrations at the Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex. New for 2019, pre-conference education will offer attendees the opportunity to experience various sports turf management practices in action. Attendees will rotate through five stations where they can interact with their peers and learn how to improve field operations. Stations will include sprayer calibration, sprayer nozzle selection, using instruments to measure soil conditions, field painting, and infield maintenance.

 

 

Wed., Jan. 23

 

8 – 9:30 am

 

Opening General Session – Sports Turf Talk Show

Hosted by Thomas Nikolai, Ph.D. – Michigan State University, Brandon Horvath, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Kick off the STMA Conference with an interactive discussion where our hosts will interview sports turf managers from across the nation. Structured like a late-night talk show, turfgrass experts will sit down and share how they achieve customer satisfaction while still providing safe, high performance athletic surfaces.

 

9:45 – 10:45 am

 

Carbon Fertilization: Snake Oil or the Next Big Thing?

Speaker: Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University

Carbon fertilizer has recently taken a prominent place in the fertilizer world. The focus of this presentation will be to be to teach fundamentals of carbon as a nutrient and discuss research and experience with these types of fertilizers.

 

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use Fields

Speaker: Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School

This presentation focuses on techniques used at Atlee High School to reduce traffic while working within a tight budget. Education, communication channels, traffic rotation plans and innovative field layouts have allowed for reduced traffic and wear in high traffic areas. These techniques have allowed us to work within a tight financial structure and still provide STMA FOY caliber fields.

 

Synthetic Turf = “Zero Maintenance??”

Speaker: Jeremy Tredway – Indiana University (Bloomington)

This presentation will focus on the basic maintenance practices performed on 12 acres of synthetic surfaces. Discussing synthetic turf surface monitoring, logging maintenance and ways to prolong synthetic life will provide a first-hand account of how synthetic turf maintenance is not “zero maintenance”.

 

Measure Twice, Apply Once: Practical Reductions in Pesticides and Fertilizers

Speaker: Ryan DeMay – Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

Integrated Turf Health Management (ITHM) focuses on the whole turfgrass system to reduce inputs and environmental impacts. The presentation will discuss current environmental regulations related to pesticide and fertilizer limitations, bans, or exclusions and how to respond appropriately. Attendees will be able to apply effective strategies to develop low input performance and maintenance standards.

 

Getting a Seat at the Table

Speaker: Jim Speelman, CSFM – Hope College

This session will encourage turf managers to claim their ‘seat at the table’. The ‘table’ is any meeting about athletic field construction or renovation. This talk will increase the confidence and competence you bring to the table and help avoid complacency at the table.

 

Budgeting for Your Facility

Speaker: Rebecca Auchter, CSFM – Franklin Park Boro

Ultimately, a sports turf or grounds management program must be funded to succeed. This presentation focuses on the 3 primary categories of budgeting: The Turf Program, Equipment and Personnel. Detailed examples will show sports turf managers how to justify both operational and capital budgets.

 

 

11 am – 12 pm

 

 

Agronomic Assessment for Sports Fields: Future Implications for Risk Assessment

Speaker: Kristie Walker, Ph.D. – University of Minnesota Crookston

The most difficult turfgrass areas to manage are sports fields due to traffic they receive by players. Sports played on turfgrass can result in injury to players due to diminished field conditions. We will explore the agronomic properties that should be included in field maintenance assessments to reduce player injuries.

 

Don’t Say the “M” Word: Math

Speaker: Samuel Doak – Virginia Tech

This presentation will provide a hands-on approach to basic fertilizer, topdressing and control agent calculations. Short cuts and money saving methods will also be discussed. Bring a phone calculator for practice and practical problems.

 

Irrigation Renovation and Troubleshooting Strategies

Speaker: Ashley Wilkinson – Horry-Georgetown Technical College

This seminar will offer current trends for irrigation system renovations as well as specialty topics to assist the turf manager with cost effective irrigation repair and maintenance.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf

Speaker: Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

This seminar will define soil health and explore what it means for turfgrass soils. We will discuss poor soils and how to improve them, as well as determine what we should be managing for in healthy soils. Great turf managers have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on in their soil – learn why healthy soil often equates to healthy turf.

 

New Trends and Technology in Sports Turf

Speakers: Representatives from STMA Commercial Companies

After a two-year hiatus, this popular session is back! Ten of STMA’s commercial companies have been selected to give a five-minute presentation to introduce and explain the benefits of a new or improved product or service currently available to sports turf managers.

 

Synthetic Athletic Fields Through the Seasons

Speaker: Jason DeMink, CSFM – University of Michigan Athletics

This presentation will focus on the year-round maintenance of synthetic athletic fields. The challenges of preparing for and surviving high game volume will be emphasized. Special considerations for the northern climate will also be discussed.

 

2 – 3:15 pm

 

 

Advanced Weed Control for Athletic Field Turf

Speakers: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and Gerald Henry, Ph.D. – University of Georgia

This presentation will teach attendees the importance of indicator weeds within a field, as well as emphasize the integration of cultural and chemical practices for weed management in athletic fields. Attendees will learn why implementing these weed management programs is a critical step towards maximizing athletic field safety and playability while reducing potential for herbicide resistance.

 

Practitioners Guide to Managing Infield Skin Surfaces

Speaker: Joseph Potrikus, CSFM – Greener World Athletic Turf Services

This session will identify numerous issues with skinned infield surfaces that usually start with poor maintenance practices. Proper field layout, minimizing the formation of lips and routine grooming and maintenance tips for infield surfaces will all be addressed.

 

Smart Irrigation- Navigating the Market for your Facility

Speaker: Ben Polimer – Town of Weston

Smart Irrigation systems are becoming more popular to increase irrigation efficiency. This presentation will discuss developing a smart controller retrofit plan that works for you. Discussion points will be: identifying features you want/need, site assessments, feasibility and system integrity. We will also discuss a case study at a sports turf facility.

 

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)

Speaker: Josh McPherson, CSFM – University of Missouri

After presenting “Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers” the last two years, many people wanted to talk about how to take care of themselves. Many sports turf managers are very stressed from the work, the hours and the dwindling budgets. This lifestyle is taking a toll on their health, relationships and daily lives. This presentation will help teach techniques to become your best self every day.

 

Using Drones in Your Sports Field Management Program

Speakers: Tanner Delvalle – Penn State University and Caleb Clements – Blue Valley School District USD 229

 

This presentation will outline the basics of obtaining a remote pilot license, guidelines for flying legally, equipment available and the types of cameras used. The presentation will also outline a strategy for “selling” the idea to administration or owners on the value and potential cost-saving information that can be gathered from small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS).

 

 

New Technologies in Sports Field Sod Production, Installation and Maintenance

Speaker: Ross Kurcab, CSFM – Championship Sports Turf Systems

This presentation will examine the current state of the art commercial sod production for sports fields from both the field manager’s point of view and the end user and explore ways to ensure that your fields can make it to the finish line with a quality surface for the entire season.

 

COTS

Chapter leaders will hear real-world presentations from five chapters about programs that worked and didn’t work and then have a full audience QandA on burning questions.

 

3:30 – 5 pm

 

Plant and Soil Interactions for Athletic Fields

Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

This presentation will explain what your soil tests mean and how much of each nutrient is needed for healthy turfgrass. It will cover both macro- and micro-nutrients and what those nutrients do in the plant. Soil and tissue tests will be reviewed.

 

Turf and Weedy Grass Identification for the Sports Turf Manager

Speakers: Tony Koski, Ph.D. and Alison O’Connor, Ph.D. – Colorado State University

Accurate identification of turf and weedy grass species can be difficult but is essential both for making wise management decisions for desirable turfgrass and to use pesticides safely and legally. For weedy grasses, correct identification allows you to choose herbicides that will provide the best control.

 

The Impact of Fraze Mowing on Overseeding

Speakers: Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee and Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

The presentation will discuss the impacts of fraze mowing on establishment and removal of ryegrass overseeded in bermudagrass. Focus will be on a comparison of fraze mowing to other cultural practices for ryegrass overseeding establishment as well as spring removal of overseeded ryegrass using a fraze mower compared to chemical transitions.

 

One Field, One Season: Maintaining Kenan Stadium

Speakers: Casey Carrick, CSFM – University of North Carolina and Chad Price, CSFM, CFB – Carolina Green Corp.

This presentation will cover the decision to keep natural grass in Kenan Stadium during the renovation of the current practice facility. It will cover the different options for the playing surface, how the decision was made and the financial impact on the Athletic Department.

 

Irrigation Water Testing and Interpretation: Case Studies from the Field

Speakers: Charles Fontanier, Ph.D. and Justin Quetone Moss, Ph.D. – Oklahoma State University

 

This presentation will cover the basics of turfgrass irrigation water quality testing and interpretation. In addition, we will discuss real-world examples and case studies using irrigation water testing reports from six sports complexes across the United States using reports from several different irrigation water testing labs.

 

Experiential Storytelling

Moderated by Joel White

This new education format is all about the triumphs, challenges, innovations and failures you as sports turf managers face every day. Nothing is off the table in this moderated session where attendees can share best practices, overcoming adversity when something went horribly wrong, and success stories. Come prepared to learn, laugh and connect on common issues with your peers.

 

5:15 – 6 pm

 

STMA Networking Sessions

Meet with your peers during this formalized networking session. Each category of membership meets separately to share issues and practical solutions.

 

Thurs., Jan. 24

 

8 – 9:15 am

 

Stadium Turfgrass Shade Management

Speaker: Dan Bergstrom, CSFM – BBVA Compass Stadium

Managing turfgrass in the heavily shaded areas of your stadium can be quite a challenge. This topic will cover ideas ranging from basic to complex relating to the different ways sports turf managers can strategize around a shade issue. Tips including turfgrass selection, mowing, irrigating, fertilizing, supplemental light and day-to-day decision-making will be discussed.

 

Event Management: Developing a Landscape Protection Program

Speaker: Michael Stachowicz – National Park Service

Turf Managers are more than ever playing host to a wide variety of events on turfgrass. The ability of a facility to host a concert one night and a sports event the next day is becoming a key to the economic success of a facility. This presentation helps provide the framework for turf managers to develop their own landscape protection program.

 

Performance of Hybrid Grass Systems

Speakers: Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

This presentation will focus on the performance of hybrid grass systems and their management. An overview of the installation and construction of each type of hybrid system, an in-depth analysis of hybrid system performance in both bermudagrass and Kentucky bluegrass, as well as the management techniques for optimal performance will all be addressed.

 

Mentoring/Training the Next Generation of Sports Turf Managers

Speaker: Tim VanLoo, CSFM – Iowa State University

The future of our profession hinges on the next generation of sports turf managers. Many of us hold the key to proper perspective, work ethic and professionalism. By embracing change, taking the time to relate to young people and understanding that their upbringing had different influences, we can be instrumental in the development of the next generation of Sports Turf Managers.

 

Back to Basics: Improving the Soil Physical Properties of Highly Trafficked Turfgrass

Speaker: Andrew McNitt, Ph.D. – Penn State University

This presentation will review the basics of soil physics as it relates to both sand and native soil sports fields. The desirable soil physical properties required for turfgrass vitality in a sand rootzone requires cultural practices that continually improve soil texture to maximize physical properties, while in native soil rootzones, you want to constantly build soil structure. These issues and strategies will be discussed ‘from the ground up’ in this back to basics session.

 

Competition Kills

Speaker: Michael Goatley, Ph.D. – Virginia Tech

A sports turf manager is constantly striving for the thickest, most dense playing surface possible. While that remains of utmost importance for playability and safety, it is also important to understand that at some point your turfgrass will literally be competing against itself. This presentation considers how we achieve an appropriate balance between a dense canopy and a healthy stand of turfgrass.

 

9:30 – 10:45 am

 

Know Your Audience: Strategies for Discussing Pest Management

Speaker: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

Public pressure regarding pesticide use has increased in certain areas to the extent that many athletic field managers are prohibited from using pesticides altogether. Many feel comfortable discussing the merits of pesticide use to others within the industry but fail to confidently discuss this topic with the public. This presentation will provide athletic field managers training on how to discuss pesticide use with those outside the green industry.

 

Performance Testing and Player Safety

Speaker: Gerald Henry, Ph.D. – University of Georgia

Performance testing of sports fields is necessary to quantify surface properties such as hardness and traction. Sensor/sampling technology can create spatial maps that depict variability of soil and plant parameters. Information generated from sensors/samplers can be used to adjust irrigation systems, implement site-specific management, rotate fields, determine optimal playing conditions, justify equipment use/purchase and better understand the influence of field conditions on player safety.

 

Development of a Topdressing Program for Athletic Field Managers

Speakers: Nick Christians, Ph.D. and Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University

Proper topdressing and cultivation of athletic fields can greatly impact athletic field performance of both native-soil and sand-based athletic fields. This presentation will cover many of the basics of what type of cultivation methods to use and when, as well as how much sand topdressing is necessary to keep athletic fields performing at their highest level.

 

Elevate Your Value Through PR and Social Media!

Speakers: Tomas Silvani and Glenn Gray – Buffalo.Agency

Effective communication tactics coupled with sound policy measures serve as the prescription to increase your recognition within your company and turn your employers into your biggest advocates. This presentation will discuss how public relations and social media are used to communicate your story and promote your athletic surfaces.

 

Back to Basics: Understanding Soil Fertility and Soil Testing Results

Speaker: Bill Kreuser, Ph.D. – University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Soil test reports and fertilization programs are often needlessly confusing. This seminar will focus on the nutrients that are really important and explain which nutrients are rarely important agronomically. Attendees will also learn how to develop an effective and affordable fertilization program.

 

Alternative Infills and Maintenance of Synthetic Turf

Speaker: Dan Strunk, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee

This presentation will discuss infill materials that can be used in place of traditional crumb rubber. It will also describe performance characteristics of these alternative infills and the effects on maintenance and maintenance intervals.

 

 

11 am – 12 pm

 

Keynote Presentation – How to Grow Weeders Into Leaders

Speaker: Jeff McManus – University of Mississippi

Most organizations can’t pay for the talent they want, but with the right strategy most organizations can GROW the talent they have to get the leaders they need. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Leadership is a mindset. It begins with aligning the work to a vision of greatness, resiliency, opportunity and wisdom, and then developing an environment based on trust, communication, respect and creditability. Jeff takes the audience on a tour of Leadership Basics, developing a culture of accountability, and encouraging and recognizing the talent within our organizations and ourselves.

 

 

Fri., Jan. 25

 

8 – 10 am

 

Career Development Panel

Speakers: Allen Johnson, CSFM – Green Bay Packers, Sun Roesslein, CSFM – North Area Athletic Complex/Jeffco Schools Athletics and Tim VanLoo, CSFM – Iowa State University

Overcome the unknowns of taking the CSFM exam, submitting a Field of the Year (FOY) application, and applying for Environmental Facility Certification by attending this session. Bring your questions and learn more about how to elevate your career with the certification and awards programs that STMA has to offer. Panelists have first-hand experience preparing for and taking the CSFM exam, as well as evaluating and submitting applications for the FOY award and Environmental Facility Certification.

 

Baseball Panel Discussion

Speakers: Andy Gossel – Covenant Christian High School, Matt Neri – State College Spikes Baseball and John Turnour – Washington Nationals

Sports turf managers from across the country will share the various management strategies they utilize to maintain baseball fields. After a brief introduction from each panelist, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss challenges and solutions related to baseball fields and facilities.

 

University Research Update

Speakers: Academics from various Universities

Turfgrass faculty from across the United States will present the current sports field research occurring at their university. Come with questions and learn about current research projects and the latest research results that could improve your field.

 

Dotmocracy

Moderated by Jeremy Tredway

This session will brainstorm a variety of topics from industry problems to hot topics. Each topic will be taped to the wall and attendees will vote on the topics they wish to discuss during the session by putting a colored dot sticker on that topic. The highest rated topics will be addressed.

 

 

1:30 – 3 pm – Repeat Sessions

 

 

Tackling Traffic: Reducing Traffic on Multi-Use Fields

Speaker: Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School

This presentation focuses on techniques used at Atlee High School to reduce traffic while working within a tight budget. Education, communication channels, traffic rotation plans and innovative field layouts have allowed for reduced traffic and wear in high traffic areas. These techniques have allowed us to work within a tight financial structure and still provide STMA FOY caliber fields.

 

Healthy Soil, Healthy Turf

Speaker: Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky

This seminar will define soil health and explore what it means for turfgrass soils. We will discuss poor soils and how to improve them, as well as determine what we should be managing for in healthy soils. Great turf managers have their fingers on the pulse of what is going on in their soil – learn why healthy soils often equates to healthy turf.

 

Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers, Part 2 (Self-Care)

Speaker: Josh McPherson, CSFM – University of Missouri

After presenting “Positive Coaching for Sports Turf Managers” the last two years, many people wanted to talk about how to take care of themselves. Many sports turf managers are very stressed from the work, the hours and the dwindling budgets. This lifestyle is taking a toll on their health, relationships, and daily lives. This presentation will help to teach techniques to become your best self every day.

 

Optional Offsite Events

Mon., Jan. 21

1 – 6 pm

Volunteer Field Rebuild – NEW

Come to Phoenix early! STMA has partnered with Project Evergreen to renovate a baseball field in Phoenix Parks Department. All members are invited to participate, but registration is required. Transportation, products and materials will be provided.

 

Tues., Jan. 22

7 am – 4 pm

Full Day Seminar On-Wheels
Sponsored by Bush Turf

University of Phoenix Stadium – home of 2 Super Bowls, 2 National Championships and the annual Fiesta Bowl

At this first stop, you will tour the stadium field outside where it typically “lives” and hear about the challenges and advantages of a moveable field including how the grass has evolved and pushed over 13 seasons. Inside the stadium you’ll see where the field “lives” on game day, learn about the differences in a stationary field. Lastly, you’ll see the “shop” with its tools and equipment.

Dodgers/White Sox Training facility at Camelback Ranch

The next stop is a state-of-the-art baseball facility like no other: Camelback Ranch, the Spring Training home of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Located on 141 acres, this Sonoran Desert-inspired, two-team facility offers baseball fans more than top-quality playing fields and facilities; the site also features walking trails, landscaped grounds and an orange grove. Participants will also see water features and the fully stocked lake between the Dodgers and White Sox facilities.

Arizona State University

The tour will end at ASU’s $300 million newly renovated Sun Devil Stadium and football training facility. Tour participants will get an up-close-and-personal look of the overseeded Tifway 419 bermudagrass playing surface, weight room, locker room, and other football amenities.

 

 

7 am – 4 pm

SAFE Fundraiser: Golf Tournament

Sign up as a team or as an individual and join us for a game of golf at Grand Canyon University Golf Course, home to expansive stretches of green turf and picturesque terrain in its 7,200 yards. The course features new tee boxes, challenging greens, extended fairways, enhanced bunkers, updated practice facilities and a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse including a restaurant and bar. First, Second and third place winners will receive prizes. Pricing will be $135 per person, with clubs, food and drink ticket included. Proceeds benefit SAFE’s scholarship, grant and research programs.
Co-Title Sponsor: Diamond Pro and Tri-Tex Grass, Drink Sponsor: Carolina Green

 

6 – 9 pm

SAFE Fundraiser: Bowling

Celebrating five years, SAFE will be holding its bowling event at Brunswick Zone Desert Sky Lanes. Join your chapter members or other friends and bowl as teams or as an individual. Win prizes and join in on crazy-fun bowling games! Cost is $75 and includes transportation, dinner and drinks. Proceeds benefit SAFE’s scholarship, grant and research programs.
Drink Sponsor: Beacon Athletics

 

 

Fri., Jan. 25

1 – 5 pm

Seminar on Wheels
Sponsored by Bush Turf

Sloan Park and Riverview Park

Sloan Park, the Spring Training home of the Chicago Cubs, and Riverview Park were opened in the Spring of 2014 in a cooperative effort between the City of Mesa, Arizona and the Chicago Cubs. With a capacity of approximately 15,000, Sloan Park and the Cubs have regularly set Spring Training attendance records for all Major League Baseball. The professional baseball complex is comprised of the stadium complex, a 70,000 sq. ft clubhouse, a 1-acre agility field, and 6 and a half practice fields. Riverview Park is located on the eastern half of the property and is operated by the City of Mesa. Riverview Park is a multi-use city park comprised of a 10-acre Seashore Paspalum soccer complex, a playground, a splash pad, and a 5.5-acre urban fishing pond which doubles as the site’s irrigation water supply for both complexes.

The next stop will be Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, MLB spring training home to the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. Opened in 2011, it is the first MLB spring training facility in the nation to be built on Indian land. Participants will tour the complex, which includes an 11,000-seat capacity ballpark and a total of 12 practice fields.

 

On-Site Optional Events : Run/Walk, Women’s Forum and Certification Testing

Women’s Forum and Lunch
Wed., Jan. 23, 12 – 2 pm

Now in its 12th year, all women at the conference are invited to hear a preview of Keynoter Jeff McManus and enjoy lunch.
Sponsored by Hunter Industries

 

Fun Run/Walk
Wed., Jan. 23, 12:15 – 1:15 pm
Fri., Jan. 25, 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Get outside and take an exercise break. Join the fun run/walk co-led by running enthusiast and STMA Board member Tom Nielsen and friends.

 

CSFM Testing – New Format!

Traditionally, the CSFM exam has been offered two times during the week of the Conference, in a written format. This year we will have a NEW online version of the CSFM Exams. Those who have prequalified to take the exam can sign up for a time slot nearly any time during the Conference that works with their schedule. Exam takers who do not pass all four sections of the exam may be able to retest on those sections later in the week depending on availability. Pre-qualification and pre-registration is required by Dec. 1.

 

 

 

On-Site Optional Events: Student Specific Activities

 

Student Networking
Wed., Jan. 23, 5:15 – 6 pm
Gather with students from other universities to discuss trends, issues and career aspirations.

 

Student Challenge

Thurs., Jan. 24, 2 – 4:30 pm

Undergraduates in two- and four-year institutions are eligible to compete in teams up to four people (graduate students are not eligible). Win $5,000 for your school! Challenge participants receive FREE conference registration by competing. Pre-registration is required and can only be completed online at STMA.org.
Sponsored by Hunter Industries and Ewing

 

Student Luncheon
Fri., Jan. 25, 12 – 1 pm
Join your fellow student members and network with sports field managers. Winners of the Student Challenge will be announced immediately following lunch at the Hunter Industries booth.

 

 

 

 

Conference Registration Fees
FULL Conference registration includes admission to all Education Sessions (except Optional Activates), the Welcome Reception, Awards Banquet, Trade Show and online access to the educational session recordings. Attendees will receive breakfast each day, two lunches, two receptions and dinner during the conference.

Fees – Register on line for the lowest fees at STMA.org

Full Conference Registration               Online by 1/4/19

1st Member from Facility                      $375

2nd or more Member from same facility           $325

NEW STMA Member                            FREE

Non-Member or Chapter Only Member            $505

Student National Member                    $100*

Student Non-national Member             $250

 

*Student members who participate in the Student Challenge receive FREE conference registration.

 

One-Day Packages, either Wed., Thurs. or Fri.          $150 ea. day

Trade Show Only Pass: 2 days – Thurs. or Fri.                      $50

Non-Industry Spouse/Companion Registration                       $150

Volunteer Field Rebuild: Monday 1 – 6 pm                  FREE (Registration required)

Seminar on Wheels – full day                                      $65

Seminar on Wheels – half day                                     $35

SAFE Top Golf Tournament                                        $135

SAFE Bowling Tournament                                         $75

Additional Awards Banquet Tickets: Friday 6:30 pm  $85

 

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