Message From the WSTMA President
First of all, I hope you and yours are healthy and safe.
It's been awhile since my last message. The COVID 19 situation has been taking up a lot of time dealing with issues that arise, many issues I'm sure we all thought we'd never see in our lifetimes (or hope we wouldn't).
All in all, my observation is that turf managers have been even busier than if we weren't in the middle of a crisis. Granted, it's most likely a different kind of "busy", with many dealing with staff cuts/shortages, added responsibilites not normally in your job description, and the list goes on and on. We all know, the turf doesn't care, it needs mowing and tending to whether we have the time or staff or not. Ironically though, many turf managers have been able to take advantage of no traffic on fields to address field issues they may not have been able to normally. I've had the good fortune to see many fields transform positively lately. When we do get back to normal usage, these fields will be ready and handle traffic better than they have in years.
With that said, I want to say "great job" to you all!!! In my day to day interactions with countless turf managers, I seen a lot of hard work and determination expended to get the job done under tough circumstances. Not only has the COVID 19 issue been a burden, but the weather hasn't been conducive to stress free turf management. No need to list all the reasons, you know what I mean.
Now, for those of you on the school front, with the WIAA making their decisions today or those of you who aren't going to play any Fall sports, everything gets shuffled again. Being a School Board Prez, I see first hand what you are dealing with. Blessings moving forward! That's not to dismiss others in the Municipal, University and youth sports genres, your challenges moving forward are just as concerning. Again blessing to you all.
So, lets get to WSTMA business. We went through a little lull as our Board were dealing with the challenges in their regular lives, but alot has gotten done behind the scenes. Chapter Manager Pete Bemis has been busy with a number of things, most exciting is our new website. Please make sure you visit it and I think you'll be impressed. We are looking to have educational videos available there soon.
On a somewhat sad note, we are choosing to cancel our Fall Education Conference. I'm sure I don't need to go into the "why". What it has prompted though, is that we are reaching out to our vendors to supply us with any Instructional videos they may have regarding a specific product or process. All as "non commercial" as possible. This way, we can offer some virtual content in lieu of the Fall Conference. Stay tuned!
I was a little sad this week, as this is the first time in my long turf career, I believe, I didn't attend a Wisconsin Turfgrass Association Summer Field Day at the end of July. As you know it was cancelled due to Virus concern....
BUT DON"T DISMAY....they are holding a virtual field day, to be posted September 1st. As you may remember, the WSTMA is sponsoring research at the Noer Center that is being done by Dr. Soldat and his staff. One is looking at PGR's and traffic tolerance and the other is looking at PoaCure on sports turf. These are both included in the Virtual Field Day.
Please go to the link below for more information.
We're keeping a positive attitude and have set the date and and secured the site for our WSTMA Winter Education Conference on Wednesday February 17th. It will be held once again at Timber Rattlers Stadium (Fox Cities Stadium) in Appleton WI. We are currently acting "as if" and working to secure presenters. So please save the date and keep a positive attitude also that it'll happen.
As move move into Fall, please remember the WSTMA is here to assist you any way we can. Uncertainty is still the norm, but I hope we all have a better understanding of how to handle the challenges thrown at us. You'll be hearing from us more and we're looking forward to seeing and/or hearing from you all.
How the WSTMA Can Help
The WSTMA is dedicated to advancing the safety, playability, and appearance of athletic fields at all levels through seminars, field days, publications, and networking with other professionals in the sports turf industry throughout Wisconsin and beyond.
Member Grants & Scholarships
In conjunction with Waupaca Sand and Solutions, the WSTMA sponsors a grant to cover a new one year membership as well as registration fee for attendance at the Annual Winter Meeting. We also offer a member scholarship to attend the National Conference.
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