Long considered one of the most influential music cities in America, Austin, TX plays host to the 22nd Annual Sports Turf Managers Association Conference and Exhibition, January 11-15, 2011.

STMA Heads to the Live Music Capital of the World!

Long considered one of the most influential music cities in America, Austin, Texas plays host to the 22nd Annual Sports Turf Managers Association Conference and Exhibition, January 11-15, 2011.  With more than 200 live music venues nearby, downtown Austin will provide an excellent setting for the green industry’s largest event dedicated to sports turf management.


For 2011, STMA has expanded the educational track to new heights, with more than 60 sessions to choose from, on topics ranging from construction to professional development and agronomics to synthetic.  All of this year’s sessions were selected with one thing in mind… your budget and getting the most out of it. 


As usual, there will be ample opportunity to network, visit with STMA commercial members and vendors at the trade show, and take away valuable, actionable lessons from world class educators.  

Estimated Investment to Attend


Complete Conference Package (Including meals and preconference workshops) – STMA Member – $375

Ground Transportation – $50

Misc. meals – $40

3 nights lodging at STMA official hotel – $583

Air Transportation – $340

Total – $1,388


It’s an investment – not a cost!  STMA’s previous conferences have delivered a return on investment of 1,375 percent!  For a detailed ROI report, go to www.STMA.org and click on the Conference tab, 2011.

What the Conference Includes

·         Full day of pre-conference workshops

·         More than 90 hours of education

·         More than 8 dedicated hours with exhibitors

·         20 hours of networking

·         Breakfasts and lunches

·         Receptions and the 2011 STMA Awards Banquet

Conference Highlights

Welcome Reception – Wed., Jan. 12, 7:30 – 10 p.m. (First-Timers, 7 – 7:30 p.m.)

A must attend networking event! Renew friendships and meet new people as you gear up for the next two days. Enjoy food and drink, and win cash with our Pull Tab Cash Cards.


General Session Keynote Speakers – Thurs., Jan. 13, 8 – 10 a.m.

Dr. James B. Beard

Dr. James B. Beard is one of the world’s leading turfgrass agronomists and is an international advisor and lecturer on turfgrass issues.  He has published more than 260 scientific research papers, 400 popular technical articles, and several bestselling books on turfgrass culture and management. The Beard Collection, which was donated by he and his wife to Michigan State’s Turfgrass Information Center, is generally acknowledged to be the finest personal compilation of turf-related material in existence. Dr. Beard held research-teaching positions on the faculties at MSU and Texas A&M University. He founded the International Sports Turf Institute, Inc. in 1992.


Swing Riders – A True Texas Experience!

During the trail drives of the Old West, the most respected positions were those of the Swing Riders.  They turned the herd in the right directions, crossed obstacles, and reached destinations others dared not even imagine.  Ride along on this memorable show full of inspirational tales of leadership as told by three very talented performers. The show is led by Doc Blakely, an acclaimed humorist, musician, and recipient of every award given by the National Speakers Association.  His son Mike Blakely is an award winning western novelist, singer and songwriter. Rounding out the trio is fiddler Randy Elmore, who has won the Fiddle World Champion twice. Don’t miss this fun opportunity to learn new ideas that foster communication, success, and a positive outlook on life.

STMA Annual Meeting & Lunch – Thurs., Jan. 13, 12 – 1:15 p.m.

Meet your new 2011 Board of Directors and find out about the association’s progress during this past year while enjoying  lunch.


Trade Show – Thurs., Jan. 13 and Fri., Jan. 14


4:15 – 7:45 p.m. – Reception

4:15 – 7 p.m. – SAFE Silent Auction

5 p.m. – Winners of Innovative Awards Program Announced

Find out the winners of STMA’s newest awards program to recognize the contributions of our commercial members to the industry.

5:30 p.m. – Trade Show Demonstration – Sports Turfgrasses, Pros and Cons – Dr. A.J. Powell, Jr.

Includes cool and warm season grass species and their selection depending upon cost, season for establishment and ultimate use, ease of renovation, aesthetics vs. wear tolerance, heat and cold tolerance, disease susceptibility, etc.  This discussion and demonstration will help to determine whether a new cultivar will offer better quality and be equally as frugal as our existing grass cultivar.  Grass specimens will be displayed.   CEUs awarded: STMA, TTA, ASBA, TNLA, NRPA

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Historical Panel

Celebrate STMA’s 30th anniversary. Listen to our seasoned members reminisce about sports turf management in the early years.  Ask questions and be entertained!


10 a.m. – 2: 45 p.m.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – SAFE Silent Auction         

11 a.m. – Trade Show Demonstration – Sports Turfgrasses, Pros and Cons (Repeated from Thurs.)

11 a.m. – Lunch

1:30 -2:30 p.m. – Historical Panel  (Repeated from Thurs.)


STMA Annual Awards Banquet & Pre-Banquet Reception – Fri., Jan. 14, 6:30 – 10 p.m.

This is the highlight of the week! Join your peers for an hour-long reception. Then enjoy music, great food and honor STMA’s award winners. The Field of the Year winners, MiLB’s Sports Turf Managers of the Year, Scholarship Winners, Student Challenge Team winners will be recognized. STMA’s highest honors, the Founders Awards, will be presented as the finale to four unsuspecting members. (Preregistration and ticket required. See Registration Form).

Conference Takeaways

The 2011 STMA Conference focuses on providing solutions and new ideas for managing sports facilities.  Demonstrations, classroom education, roundtables, workshops, and networking all provide opportunities for sports turf managers to access information that will lead to success.  The following takeaways provide attendees an overview of the main objectives to be covered at the upcoming conference.

Attendees will learn:

·         About the latest information on pest control and fertilizer technology for 2011.

·         How to implement successful IPM strategies at sports facilities.           

·         About current pesticide restrictions and regulations.  They will also learn how to develop a management plan to meet organic standards.

·         About issues with warm season, cool season, transition zone and synthetic turfgrasses through panels of industry experts.

·         About cost effective construction and renovation techniques to improve athletic fields.

·         How to positively influence the process of planning, design and construction of a sports complex.  This will lead to proper maintenance and management of the complex without excessive use of labor, equipment and materials.

·         About the anatomy and management of baseball and softball infield skins.

·         Specific steps, tools, resources, documentation, and communication needed to effectively diagnose and deal with turfgrass related issues and problems.

·         The benefits of turfgrass to the environment and human health.  Specific best management practices that will enhance the ability of turfgrasses to contribute to sustainable systems will also be addressed.

·         About maintenance and safety issues associated with synthetic fields and how to overcome them.

·         Professional skills necessary for success as a sports turf manager.  This includes effective employee relations, communication, people management, and various other duties required in the workplace to help cultivate a more productive team and work environment.

·         How to implement multifaceted environmental stewardship programs and sustainable practices at sports facilities.

·         Best management practices for correcting field issues relating to traffic damage, pest problems, nutrient deficiencies, shade problems, and compaction.

·         How to use irrigation more efficiently, as well as potential alternative irrigation sources.

·         Ideas to complement the overall goal to reduce costs, and improve efficiency, safety and playability of sports fields.

Educational Program

Wednesday, January 12

Sports Turf Pest Control Update for 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 8:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Speakers: James Brosnan, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

David Shetlar, Ph.D., Professor of Urban Landscape Entomology, Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University; David Han, Ph.D., Associate Professor / Extension Specialist, Auburn University; Janet Hurley, MPA, Extension Program Specialist – School IPM, Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Description: Get up-to-date for 2011 on weed and herbicide technology, insect pests and insecticide technology, diseases and fungicide technology, and school IPM programs and implementing IPM programs.  Sports turf managers have unique turf quality requirements, potential restrictions on pesticide use, and limits on time when they can manage pests.  This presentation will discuss and offer control options for troublesome weeds, insects and diseases and how to implement a successful IPM program at your facility.


Managing Athletic Fields without Traditional Pesticides: Cultural, Organic, and Alternative Pest Management

Wednesday, January 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Speaker: Eric Lyons, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Turfgrass Science, Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph

Description: The current societal view of pesticides and the restriction of their use require program wide changes to cope with the loss of these agronomic tools.  This seminar will focus on how to move forward with pesticide restrictions using practical management and communication to aid in a successful transition to pesticide free management of athletic fields. 


What’s New in Warm Season Grass Management

Wednesday, January 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Speakers: Grady Miller, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University

John Sorochan, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Tennessee

Description: This presentation will provide sports turf managers with answers to the most common turfgrass management questions as it relates to selection and management of warm-season turfgrasses. The workshop will cover current technologies and considerations for better sports turf management. 


Native Soil Field Improvement and Construction: Making the Best of What You Have

Wednesday, January 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Speakers: Jason Henderson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut

Chad Price, CSFM, President, Carolina Green Corp.

Description: This presentation will identify the benefits and challenges associated with native soil field construction.  Current field conditions will be evaluated along with criteria for identifying and evaluating problematic native soil fields.  Construction and renovation techniques will be presented to inform attendees on how to modify soils, renovation options, equipment, and techniques, and cost effective ways to make improvements. 


New Technology: Gadgets and Gizmos

Wednesday, January 12, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Speakers: Doug Karcher, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Arkansas

Michael Richardson, Ph.D., Professor, University of Arkansas

Description: This presentation will cover several technologies that may be used by field managers to more accurately monitor issues such as soil moisture, salinity, light levels, and nutrient levels. It will also provide information to improve decision-making by using the latest technologies to monitor potential environmental problems. 


Networking Sessions

Wednesday, January 12, 4:30-5:45 p.m.

Network with professionals from facilities similar to your own!  The forum is split by the different segments of our membership.  Attend the one specific to your employment situation: Schools K-12, Higher Education, Academics, Students, Parks and Recreation, and Facilities used by Professional Athletes.


Thursday, January 13

Thursday, January 13, 8-9 a.m.

Sports Turf Management: Past, Present and Future

Speaker: James Beard, Ph.D., President, International Sports Turf Institute, Inc.

Description: The twentieth century conditions, problems and advances in turfgrass culture for sports fields will be reviewed, followed by the current status and developments in the technologies of sports field culture.  Perspectives concerning future challenges and developments will prepare sports turf managers for what’s next in turfgrass management.


Sight Turfing: Use Your Turf Eyes to Take Your Field Management Skills to the Next Level

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Ross Kurcab, CSFM, Turf Manager, Denver Broncos – INVESCO Field at Mile High

Description: Deciding which treatments our sports fields need can be a challenge.  A more efficient, “read and react” form of sports field management that not only maximizes field quality, performance and revenue potential, but also minimizes resource input and reduces waste will be presented.  Attendees will learn how to recognize and treat field problems using their eyes and other senses. 


Sustainability 101 – Just What is Carbon Sequestration?

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Mary Owen, Extension Turf Specialist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Description: Sustainability has become an essential strategic goal in both the private and public sectors. Sports turf managers are challenged to understand the role of the fields and properties under their care in the use, conservation and protection of resources as well as the achievement of sustainability.  Basic to this understanding is the knowledge of how the turfgrass plant obtains, processes, and stores carbon in the turf/soil system. This presentation will focus on the role of turfgrass in the environment and how turfgrasses contribute to sustainable systems. 


Topdressing with Compost, A More Sustainable and Affordable Alternative

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Marcela Munoz, Agronomy Engineer, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University

Description: Compost can be used as topdressing for athletic fields due to its various nutritional benefits and environmentally friendly characteristics.  Research at Ohio State University evaluated the use of biosolid compost, yard waste compost, and a sand compost mix as topdressing on athletic fields and its effects on playability and overall turf performance.  Attendees will learn how compost contributes to sustainability and playability of a sports field, how it can be used as an affordable alternative on low and moderate maintenance sports fields, and how to choose the best composting materials.


The Spartan Cap Athletic Field System

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 -11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Alexander Kowalewski, Ph.D., Research Aide, Michigan State University

Description: Extensive feasibility testing conducted by the turfgrass scientists at Michigan State University has determined that drain tile installation and subsequent sand topdressing applications can be used to develop a built-up sand-capped system over time, which is now known as the Spartan Cap Athletic Field System.  This presentation will focus on training experienced athletic field contractors to install the innovative system on a national level, providing municipalities across the U.S. with a cost effective athletic field renovation technique that does not remove the field from play and provides a sustainable playing surface. 


Infill Maintenance from the Beginning

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 -11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Shawn Mahonski, Sports Turf Technician, Towson University – Athletics

Description: It is now widely understood that new infill synthetic fields are not ‘maintenance free’. Some maintenance is required from the first day the field is used through the day it’s replaced. The goal of this presentation is to suggest solutions to the most common infill maintenance issues. 


Market Yourself and Your Facility

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Eric Fasbender, CSFM, Assistant Director of Athletic Facilities and Grounds, Louisiana State University Athletics

Description: A large percentage of the population is unaware of what Sports Turf Managers do on a daily basis.  By taking a proactive approach in marketing yourself and your facility and using proper techniques, you can professionally showcase yourself, your facility and your organization to a larger percentage of people via radio, print and television.  This session will focus on effective ways to educate people in the workplace, community, and nationally about the important role of sports turf managers.


Implementing an Environmental Stewardship Program for your Sports Facility

Wednesday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speakers: David Minner, Ph.D., Professor, Iowa State University

Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist, Audubon International

Description: Currently there are only two Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs at sports facilities in the United States.  The goal is to implement an Environmental Stewardship program that encompasses the entire sports facility, i.e. parking lot, shop, buffer areas, streams and water containment areas, natural areas, surface and subsurface drainage, that extend beyond just the playing field area.  This presentation will focus on how to implement a multifaceted Environmental Stewardship Program at a sports facility.  It will also discuss how environmental programs promote professionalism and encourage certification that ultimately provides value and credibility to Sports Turf Managers


Weather 101

Thursday, January 13, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Brad Jakubowski, Adjunct Professor, Doane College

Description: Weather conditions impact turf managers on a daily basis. By better understanding weather patterns and concepts, turf managers can make better management decisions and provide more consistent field conditions. This interactive workshop introduces fundamental weather concepts and provides turf managers with the tools to interpret daily weather reports, maps, and forecasts which can then be applied to daily turfgrass management practices. 


So You Want to be a NFL Sports Field Manager?

Thursday, January 13, 11-11:45 a.m.

Speaker: Darian Daily, Head Groundskeeper, Paul Brown Stadium

Description: NFL Sports Field Managers are responsible for management of their fields, planning for events, numerous and odd events that owners host to increase revenues, as well as office duties.  If you think you want to be a NFL Sports Turf Manager, come to learn about the numerous and unique duties that a NFL Sports Field Manager goes through to have a well maintained and safe playing surface for our players.


Field Maintenance is Only a Third of your Job

Thursday, January 13, 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Speaker: Amy Fouty, CSFM, Athletic Turf Manager, Michigan State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics

Description: When it comes to being a successful sports turf manager, maintaining the field is only a fraction of what is required for your job.  This session will discuss the additional professional skills necessary to excel in your position on and off the field.  This includes communication, coaching, listening skills, teaching and training, negotiating, planning, organizing and presenting yourself as a professional.


25 Years as a Sports Turf Manager – What I Wish I Had Known

Thursday, January 13, 1-2 p.m.

Speaker: Bob Campbell, CSFM, Vice President – Customer Relations, Carolina Green Corp.

Description: This presentation will cover the changes in the sports turf industry during the past twenty five years from the perspective of a sports turf manager and a member of both a state and national organization.  It will also cover the sports turf management program at the University of Tennessee during those years and the mistakes I made and what I learned from them.  It will provide sports turf managers the opportunity to examine what they are doing and challenge them to grow professionally while at the same time finding more enjoyment along the way.


New Fertilizer Technology

Thursday, January 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Elizabeth Guertal, Ph.D., Professor, Auburn University

Description: This presentation will cover the newer fertilizers that are on the sports turf market, including slow-release and stabilized nitrogen technologies.  Attendees will learn how newer fertilizer products affect nitrogen fate in the environment, as well as understand turfgrass response to new fertilizer products.


Managing a Multi-Purpose Field: Turf Health in a High Traffic Environment

Thursday, January 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Joshua Koss, Sports Turf Manager, San Diego Jewish Academy

Description: The presentation will compare the goals of a sports field from three different perspectives: Turf Manager, Coach/Athlete, and General Manager/Athletic Director.  Sound agronomics and constructive coach/turf manager relationships are imperative to maintain a multi-use athletic field under high traffic conditions.  This presentation will focus on developing, maintaining or enhancing healthy working relationships with coaches and user groups.  It will also focus on developing and implementing a personalized “turf healthcare” program to maintain high traffic areas, protect the company’s investment in the field, and build sustainability for the future.


Irrigating Turf with Effluent/Salt Water

Thursday, January 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: James McAfee, Ph.D., Extension Turfgrass Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Description: Effluent water is becoming a common alternate source of irrigation water available to irrigate sports fields.  Although there are many positives associated with using effluent water on sports fields, there are many problems that need to be addressed.  Conducting an irrigation water quality analysis and interpreting results, changes needed for the irrigation system to apply effluent water, and best management practices for soil when using water medium to high in salts and/or sodium will all be covered. 


Using Turf Colorants for Green Turf

Thursday, January 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Grady Miller, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University

Description: This presentation will provide an overview of using turf colorants along with specific research results following the evaluation of twelve colorant products.  The performance of the products along with an economic analysis will also be included. 


The Sports Turf Managers Role in the Planning, Design and Construction of a Sports Complex

Thursday, January 13, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Speakers: Mike Trigg, CSFM, Superintendent of Parks, Waukegan Park District

Paul Weise, Vice President, JJR, LLC