At this year's Texas Turfgrass Association Annual Convention in Fort Worth, the Texas Chapter of STMA stepped beyond its normal role of planning.

Texas STMA takes a prominent role in the Texas Turfgrass convention

At this year’s Texas Turfgrass Association Annual Convention in Fort Worth, the Texas Chapter of STMA stepped beyond its normal role of planning a day of sports field sessions for the gathered turf managers and workers from all across the Turfgrass industry in the great state of Texas. STMA founder and acknowledged superstar in the Sports field management field George Toma was the featured speaker at the opening session of the Conference.

Mr. Toma, sponsored by Sports Field Solutions, told of a life filled with work starting at the young age of 10 years old to help support his family after the death of his father. While he worked many jobs during his youth he early on began helping out a t a local sports field and rose to become head groundskeeper at the age of 16. He went to work on most of the Super Bowls that have ever been played, many World Series fields and even Olympic Sports Fields. It was an incredible story of his life and the growth and evolution of the Sports Turf Management profession. Also part of the opening session presentations, Leo Goertz of Texas A & M’s Athletic Department talked about “Survival in these Tough Times Economic Times” along with three other speakers from other parts of the general turfgrass industry.

On day 2 of the conference the Sports Turf sessions heard a program put together by a committee chaired by Travis Sales MCPTM (Master Certified Professional Turf Manager) that included 6 very informative presentations and a noon lunch meeting that was the annual business meeting for the Texas Chapter. 2011 Officers were elected, Scholarships were awarded and we signed on a few new members. We ate all the burgers and hot dogs we could eat during that lunch as well. The meal was provided by Bryan Cox of FieldTurf and we thank him and his company for their generosity. Details of this meeting will be in another article.

The first Sports Turf presentation was by Br. Ben Wherley talking about “Managing Spring Transition”. Dr Wherley is with TAMU Agrilife in Dallas TX.  Then Dan Bergstrom of the Houston Astros spoke about the challenges of “Managing Major League Baseball Fields”.

After Lunch we heard from Roger Havlak as he relived the experiences, “Trials and Tribulations of Building a New Sports Field Complex” Roger, formerly of Texas Agrilife, is now with the City of San Angelo, where the fields in his presentation were being built.

At 2:00 Dr Chris Stiegler of Texas A & M University taught us something about how to determine “What Does Your Fertilization Program Really Cost”. Then we took a break during which your TXSTMA Board for 2011 held its first meeting.

After break, we heard from Dr. Grady Miller as he spoke on “Implications of Reduced Budgets” and we finished up hearing about “What’s New in Weed Control for Sports Fields” before heading out for the evening.-reported by Bob Marcotte