Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CropScience LP, will launch Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow, a multi-faceted program aimed at advancing plant health research and education for superintendents to help ensure the health of their courses – and the industry – for the future.
Bayer CropScience to launch Plant Health Research and Education program
The program will include in-person training for selected superintendent applicants, as well as plant health-focused demonstration courses, webinars and scholarships – all of which are intended to help superintendents understand and apply the principles of plant health and increase the long-term sustainability of their courses.
Just as human health care has evolved from simply treating disease to comprehensive efforts to prevent its occurrence, so too has plant health care evolved to focus on not only treating symptoms, but also protecting and fortifying plants as a strategy to promote plant health. Through the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program, Bayer will bring industry-leading plant health and plant science expertise directly to further educate superintendents so that they may provide a viable long term, sustainable solution for the industry.
“Bayer takes a holistic approach to plant care – maximizing natural plant defenses while better managing resources,” said Jose Milan, head of the turf and ornamentals business at Bayer. “This creates a system resulting in healthier, more functional plants with better managed inputs.”
To fund the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program, Bayer will invest a percentage of sales of its StressGard™ Formulation Technology product sales each year for three years, which is expected to generate a minimum of $100,000 per year for the Environmental Institute for Golf. The funds will be dedicated to not only fund the new program, but to support EIFG funding for research, education, advocacy and communication.
“We are appreciative of Bayer Environmental Science’s backing of the Environmental Institute for Golf. It demonstrates a commitment to the future of the game,” said Rhett Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the GCSAA and the EIFG. “The funds will be invested in research-based programs that will support golf course superintendents and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations.”
The initiative will create the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow Plant Health Academy, which will consist of a two-part immersive plant health curriculum that will involve classroom training at GCSAA in Lawrence, Kan., and in-the-field training at the Bayer Training and Development Center in Clayton, N.C. A select number of superintendents – 12 annually – will be invited to participate in the academy, with all expenses covered by the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow program. Superintendents who are interested to learn more can sign up to receive updates about Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow at www.backedbybayer.com/healthy-turf.
“Bayer is uniquely positioned to provide technologies and the depth of knowledge to optimize plant and community health,” said Milan. “Our support of the EIFG is a natural result of our shared commitment to education and sustainable practices and will help ensure the health of superintendents’ courses – and that of the industry – now and in the future.”
To further generate new data and case studies on plant health and its benefits, two golf courses per year will be designated as Plant Health Demonstration Courses. These courses will serve as ‘living labs,’ where researchers and superintendents can work together to implement and test plant health technologies in a real-world setting.
Golf course superintendents can take advantage of the latest advances in plant care by attending the Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow Plant Health Webinar series, which will feature industry experts discussing a number of topics pertaining to plant health. The program also will involve the creation and designation of Healthy Turf, Healthy Tomorrow Plant Health Scholarships dedicated to plant health research and education.
Bayer has been developing products with plant health attributes for nearly 20 years, starting with the origin of its StressGard Formulation Technology, which is now featured in four Bayer fungicides, including Tartan®, Chipco® Triton® Flo, Interface®, and Chipco® Signature™. This technology helps fortify natural plant defenses and promote plant growth. To learn more about StressGard FT and other Bayer solutions, please visit www.BackedByBayer.com.