Dr. Grady Miller among TPI award recipients

Dr. Grady Miller, Professor and Extension Turf Specialist, North Carolina State University is being honored by Turfgrass Producers International (TPI) with the association’s prestigious Turfgrass Educator Award of Excellence for his personal commitment, dedication and positive influence in helping to educate consumers, turfgrass producers and industry professionals.

Prior to arriving at NC State where his appointment is approximately half extension, with the other half equally split between research and teaching, Miller spent eleven years with the turfgrass faculty at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

During his career he has taught sixty-five university course sections in subjects related to turfgrass culture, golf & sports turf management, and research methodology. He is the co-author of ‘Managing Bermudagrass Turf’ and ‘Design, Construction, and Management of Bermudagrass Athletic Fields’. He has published over 400 articles dealing with all phases of turfgrass management.

Dr. Miller is active with a number of state and national associations and works closely with the sod, sports turf, and golf course industry to address issues and find solutions to common turf problems. For the last 15 years he has had a regular column featured in Sports Turf magazine among his many other writings (400 and counting).

His latest collaboration is a new USDA-funded project with four other universities to study the persistence, survival, and recovery of warm-season turfgrasses for sustainable urban landscapes under limited irrigation and long-term drought. This project is a team approach to developing and testing new grasses that can have lasting benefits to the turfgrass industry.

He frequently travels well beyond NC offering his knowledge and experience in helping people select the best grasses, educating them on how to fertilize and water them properly, and how to use them appropriately. He has a great fondness for sports turf, but he also frequents golf courses, sod farms, home lawns, and roadsides—anywhere there are turfgrass problems. He gets great satisfaction helping turfgrass managers, especially former students and long-time industry friends.

Dr. Miller will receive his award on Tuesday, February 23, during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting at the TPI 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day in Houston, Texas.

The TPI Board of Trustees have announced that Dr. John “Jack” R. Hall, III, Professor Emeritus of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Virginia Tech has been selected as the recipient of TPI’s Honorary Member award.

This esteemed award is presented to an individual who has, significantly improved and made a major contribution to the turfgrass industry. The Honorary Member award recipient is selected by a vote of the Board of Trustees based on individuals nominated by members at large.

Dr. Hall’s career has spanned over three decades. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture in 1964, and his Master of Science degree in 1965 at the University of Illinois. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1971 from Ohio State University.

He began his agronomic career at the University of Maryland in 1971, with a research, teaching and extension appointment in turfgrass management. He provided leadership to the formation of the Maryland Turfgrass Council, conducted research in sod production, weed control and variety evaluation while teaching undergraduate turfgrass management and advising graduate students. His extension program included monthly articles in “The Agronomist,” serving as an advisor to trade associations, providing leadership to the annual Mid-Atlantic Golf Course Superintendent’s Association conference and the Maryland Sod Conference.

In 1976 he accepted an Extension position in Turfgrass Management position at Virginia Tech. During his tenure he continued to support the turfgrass industry through development of the monthly educational newsletter “Tech Turf Topics” and conducted several courses and turf conferences. In 1994 he accepted appointment as Head of the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and continued to serve in this position until his retirement in 2001. Although he retired he continued to be active in numerous ways to serve turfgrass producers and those in the industry.

In addition to having served on several national association advisory committees including the; Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America, American Sod Producers Association (now Turfgrass Producers International) and the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (now the National Association of Landscape Professionals), he was also elected Secretary of the International Turfgrass Society in Tokyo, Japan in 1989 and served in that role through 1997.

He has been the recipient of many honors including numerous awards from the Virginia Turfgrass Council including their Virginia Turfgrass Council (VTC) Award, the VTC Lifetime Membership Award, the VTC R.D Cake/Silver Tray Award, and the VTC President’s Award. He also received the Virginia Tech Alumni Award for Extension Excellence, and the Gamma Sigma Delta Extension Award of Merit. During his academic career he authored over 260 Extension articles and 89 research-related publications.

A TPI member since 1973, Dr. Hall has been a longtime supporter of The Lawn Institute and served on that foundation’s research committee as well as TPI’s Artificial Turf Working Group and other committees. He has given numerous presentations over the years at TPI events and has always been generous in offering his insight, support and knowledge whenever called upon to do so.

Hall will receive his award on Tuesday, February 23, during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting at the TPI 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day in Houston, Texas.

The Turfgrass Producers International Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Mike Kenna, Director of USGA Green Section Research will be the proud recipient of the association’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Kenna is only the seventh recipient of this award which serves to recognize and honor individuals who have devoted their time, talent and energy to TPI, its programs and objectives and who has made an outstanding contribution to the turfgrass and green industry.

Dr. Kenna has served as the Director of USGA Green Section Research since February 1990 and currently oversees the USGA’s turfgrass and environmental research activities, including soliciting and evaluating research proposals, grant making, and development of cooperative funding with government and commercial sources.

Dr. Kenna travels extensively across the country to visit turfgrass and environmental research sites, speak at conferences about the USGA’s research programs and serves on advisory boards and research foundations. He has also worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on water and energy conservation research that relates to golf courses.

In addition to his varied responsibilities with the USGA he has served as an editor of several books concerning turfgrass biotechnology, environmental issues, and water conservation and reuse. He has served TPI in numerous ways, from helping to formulate what would become The Lawn Institute’s research program to providing his knowledge, insight and recommendations as an active member in TPI’s Public Relations Working Group.
He received his B.S. degree in Ornamental Horticulture from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. While at Oklahoma State University, he received his M.S. degree in Agronomy and Ph.D. degree in Crop Science. His graduate studies involved turf and forage grass breeding, quantitative genetics, plant physiology and turfgrass management.

In 1985, Dr. Kenna joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor, responsible for turfgrass research activities and a statewide extension program. He was selected for the Young Scientist position on the USGA Research Committee in 1988 and was the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Agriculture at California State Polytechnic University.

Dr. Kenna will receive his award on Tuesday, February 23, during TPI’s Annual Business Meeting at the TPI 2016 International Education Conference & Field Day in Houston, Texas.