Wisconsin Chapter

Greetings!

I wanted to reach out to share some of the great things coming up for the Wisconsin Sports Turf Managers Association and its members in the next year. Understanding that not everyone can attend the upcoming Winter Conference at Timber Rattlers Stadium in Appleton on February 19th, although we certainly hope you can, and knowing our newsletter only comes out 3 times a year, I’m starting this Presidents “newsletter” to keep everyone up to date on the ever growing WSTMA and our ongoing efforts to provide you with Sports Turf education and opportunities.

First, as I said before, the WSTMA Winter Turf Conference is coming up on February 19th. We are addressing some current issues regarding the Turf Industry as a whole, and issues that are ongoing in Sports turf management. Josh LePine from the Wisconsin Golf Course Superintendents Association will be explaining their project in developing a “Best Management Practices Handbook”” for Golf Courses initiative. This is something the National GCSAA is mandating for all of the local organizations. This will set parameters for turf management for golf courses throughout the nation. As the pressure from local communities’ and state legislators gets more intense regarding water usage, pesticide usage, and all the other “questionable” practices used in golf course management, the GCSAA wants golf courses to adhere to solid management practices using IPM and environmentally sound processes. Here is a link to the New York Chapters site:

http://nysgolfbmp.cals.cornell.edu/

You may ask, what does this have to do with sports turf managers?  Well, here is the thought process.  As the WGCSA gets theirs developed, our plan is to take the document and tweak it to be focused on Sports Turf. We could even take it one step further and provide a template so a turf manager could personalize it to their facility. We want  Sports turf managers to be the best stewards of the environment we can be and still produce great playing conditions and beautiful fields for our athletes.

Moving on, Paul Koch, Professor at the University of Wisconsin will be presenting on research they have done regarding the Glyphosate issue, what options you have, and insight on moving forward. He will also be touching on pesticide usage and how to manage those challenges.

We will be addressing the challenges of managing sports turf during the short growing seasons we have been experiencing lately. There are many questions by turf managers (I hear them on a daily basis) regarding turf management practices that had to be skipped due to the abbreviated season and even the weather challenges during the season.

We will be doing a round table discussion on field painting. Many of us have noticed that when this subject comes up in a group of sports turf managers, everyone stops what they are doing and engages in the conversation. We all know the time this process takes up in your weekly schedules, and efficiency is a MUST!! Everyone has their way of doing it and if there is a trick or two that a field manager can pick up from a peer, or share a valuable trick, that’s what it’s all about….networking.

Finally, our host Kyle Slaton, Head Groundkeeper of the Timber Rattlers will give us a peak at his field management program! So, if you can make it….

WASBO Education

In our quest to provide education, we are looking to see how we can assist the School Turf managers through the Wisconsin Association of School Business Officials and their Conferences. Please note that this is in the planning stages so I don’t mean to get ahead of ourselves. I can say that I was pleased to be invited by Board Member Rex Zemke to present with him to the Wisconsin Valley Region of  WASBO about the WSTMA. A number of Building and Grounds professionals braved the snow storm in Northern Wisconsin to attend and it turned out to be a great morning of turf management conversation. We hope to continue to reach out to the School turf managers and provide assistance through WASBO.

I want to seriously stress something here. As you know, in the day to day management of your sports turf, questions and issues can arise. Networking with your peers is a great resource for answers and I want to stress that the WSTMA is also here to help you answer those potential questions and issues. Please feel free to contact a Board member as we have a wide range of experienced individuals OR let us help you find another member that may provide you insight. We will be adding Board Member contact info to the website ( BTW, we have plans to upgrade our website). But remember, as a member, you have access to our Member Directory on the website so you can seek out other members.

WTA

We are planning to work together with the Wisconsin Turfgrass Association in bringing turf education in Wisconsin to everyone in the sports turf industry. If you aren’t familiar with them, they have been working for decades with the UW and the Professors to bring valuable research and education to the turf industry. Personally, as a Golf Superintendent and now on the Sports Turf side, this research has been invaluable to my career and education. We have met with them and are developing a plan to serve all who need and want that information.

WPRA

We are thrilled to be doing a Spring Workshop regarding sports turf maintenance for the Wisconsin Parks and Rec Association and its members in April. This is a hands on Workshop covering an important range of maintenance processes and the reasoning behind them. We’re looking forward to a great day of sports turf education!

Research

As you may know, last year we enlisted Dr. Doug Soldat of the University of Wisconsin to do research regarding Annual Bluegrass Control in Sports Turf (results on the website). This coming season, our research with Dr. Soldat and the UW Staff will look at  Plant Growth Regulator usage on KBG, PRG, and TF and the effects of traffic on those treated areas. We had Dr. Kreuser speak in the Fall on Plant Growth Regulators and I heard a lot of good feedback afterwards. We are excited to keep funding research focused on Sports turf issues and look forward to research studies to come.

With that thought, I want to wrap up with a invitation. We want to hear from you on what you want or need from our Association. Surveys are ok, but when a problem, question or idea comes to mind regarding turf on a daily basis, it often gets forgotten under the pile of other things that come up during the day. When those things come to mind, feel free to reach out to us. Whether it’s a turf problem you would like input on or an idea you would like to see the WSTMA address, we want to hear from you. That’s what we are here for. I’ve always said, what I’ve learned in my 30 year turf career is, outside of daily experience, most is from networking with other turf people. Let us be your resource….

That’s all for now. Hope to see you at the Conference!
May all your roots be healthy!!!

Michael Krupke
President 
Wisconsin Sports Turf Managers Association

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