STMA Conference and Exhibition

A Virtual Experience Like No Other

Welcome to Sports Turf Managers Association’s (STMA’s) first-ever virtual conference and exhibition. The 32nd annual STMA Conference and Exhibition will be held virtually, January 12-13, 2021 with bonus conference continuing education being held Jan. 19, Jan. 26, Feb. 2, Feb. 9, Feb. 16, Feb. 23 and March 2.

Committed to serving the needs of the sports field industry and its members, this event will be offered FREE to all 2021 STMA members, but registration is required. 

Visit to register. The first 400 registrants will receive a free SWAG bag mailed to them in advance of the conference, so don’t miss out! 

The Conference Education Committee has developed a rich program. As the premier annual event in the sports field industry, the STMA Conference will bring together the top academics, practitioners and professional speakers for three days of industry education, networking and a virtual exposition hall. 

The 32nd Annual STMA Conference & Exhibition will feature:

  • Education: Presented by top academics and practitioners
  • Entertainment: Music, cameo appearances and more!
  • Events: Keynote, Welcome Reception, Annual Meeting and Awards presentation
  • Engagement: Virtual trade show hall, networking and chat rooms



10-11:30 a.m. EST

General Session Town Hall – The State of the Industry

Hosted by Andrew McNitt, Ph.D., Penn State University. Panelists: Andy Levy, Arizona Cardinals, George Peters, Penn State University, Marc Moran, CSFM, Atlee High School

STMA’s popular Town Hall comes to Conference where industry professionals discuss the current climate of the sports field industry and how we can best prepare to move forward successfully in 2021.

2-3:15 p.m. EST

(Choose from 4 concurrent sessions)

Prioritizing Field Operations with Reduced Labor and Budget

Mike Goatley, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University; Tim VanLoo, CSFM, Iowa State University; Jesse Pritchard, CSFM, University of Virginia Athletic Dept.

This presentation details proven strategies in stretching operating budgets in sports field management from the perspectives of field managers and university faculty.

Establishing Cool-Season Turfgrasses from Seed: What Went Right? What Went Wrong?

Brad Park, Rutgers University

Will describe case studies concerning the establishment of cool-season turfgrass research trials and sports fields in non-research settings, as well as successful and non-successful case studies with attention paid to the underlying reasons for success or failure.

The Mathematics of Tank Mixing for Sports Field Management

Nick Christians, Ph.D., Iowa State University; Ben Pease, Iowa State University

Will cover the basics of the mathematics involved in tank mixing fertilizers and pesticides for use on sports field areas.

MLB Field Operations in 2020 and 2021

Bill Deacon, New York Mets – Citi Field

This presentation will discuss where we can expect MLB field maintenance to head as we move into the 2020s, with a focus on growing grass in a high-stress, event-filled environment, as well as how to combat employee burnout, overwork and how to retain good employees.

4-4:45 pm EST

Welcome Reception and Student Challenge Winner Recognition


10-11:15 a.m. EST

(Choose from 4 concurrent sessions)

What Do All These Numbers Mean? Soil Tests!

Beth Guertal, Ph.D., Auburn University

This talk will cover the basics of soil testing, and how that process is used to make correct fertilizer and lime selections, as well as assist with diagnosing soil issues.

Cutting Unit Setup and After-cut Appearance Troubleshooting

Trent Manning, Ansley Golf Club

Will cover proper cutting unit setup for various turfgrass types, cutting unit maintenance, how to identify quality of cut, and after-cut appearance issues with possible solutions.

Maps Lead the Way: Mapping Pests for Targeted Pest Management

David McCall, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University

An overview of tools available to sports field managers that allow them to map various pest outbreaks for precision turfgrass management, reducing both environmental impact and economic inputs.

Communicating in Your Organization – Advocating Your Needs to Higher-Level Management

James Bergdoll, CSFM, City of Chattanooga Public Works; Jody Gill, CSFM, Blue Valley School District; Josh Koss, CSFM, San Diego State University; Brad Thedens, CSFM, City of Sioux Falls

This interactive panel discussion will discuss tactics for effective communication to higher-level management regarding your needs for budget items and staffing solutions.

2-3:15 pm EST

Keynote Address

Dare to Matter: How Sports Field Professionals Rise to Significance

Pete Smith, leadership trainer for SmithImpact

The keynote presenter for STMA’s 2021 Conference and Exhibition will be Pete Smith, one of America’s leading personal and professional development coaches. He will be presenting “Dare to Matter: How Sports Field Professionals Rise to Significance.”

2020 has forced us, willingly or not, to become adaptable, stay hopeful, and remain diligent in fulfilling our commitments. This year has made some question their desires, reevaluate their motivators, and become more resourceful than ever.

Those who have been successful have done so because they’ve been able to answer one simple question: What’s the Point?

Society claims that success and happiness should be our most desired end goals. Yet, even prior to the COVID quarantine, people were recognizing higher levels of success but felt more isolated, disconnected, and unfulfilled than even before. During the quarantine, people have reevaluated what they’ve always known deep down: that what they truly desire is to know with certainty is that who they are and what they do matters.

A common question in the mind of every person is this: Where do I go from here? This keynote answers that question.

Success is good. Significance is best. It’s time for you to Matter More.

Surviving a stroke at an early age, and after years of research, interviews, trainings, and observation, Smith reveals the Significance framework outlined in his best-selling book, Dare to Matter. This framework reveals the six major pillars of significance and how they can be incorporated into our daily lives.

You don’t need to survive a stroke to learn how to live a significant life. You just get the benefit of gaining the insight from someone who has.

At the conclusion of this presentation, the attendees will:

  • Increase ownership, accountability, and responsibility of self and others
  • Implement a behavioral model that builds trust, impacts hiring, and strengthens relationships
  • Identify why “guts and grind” are keys to success in calm and chaos

Annual Meeting and Awards

Meet your new STMA Board of Directors and your award winners!

Weekly Conference Education Program (included with registration)


2-3 p.m. EST

Fraise Mowing – Recovery and its Effects on Soil Physical Properties

Ray McCauley, North Carolina State University

The objective of this presentation is to remove some of the apprehension surrounding fraise mowing while showing its background, ideal timing and settings, regrowth strategies and effects on field playability.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

Self Care…Can Improve Leadership, Mentorship, and Relationships

Tim VanLoo, CSFM, Iowa State University; Amber VanLoo, Bella Homes

Practical advice on healthy eating, maintaining an active lifestyle and stress relief so you can have a fuller life than you are currently living.


2-3 p.m. EST 

Irrigation: Grass Health, Surface Quality, and Sustainability

Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D., Brigham Young University; Neil Hansen, Ph.D., Brigham Young University; Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Meter Group

An overview of irrigation principles and management with an in-depth discussion of sophisticated, cutting-edge technologies available to better manage turfgrass for improved health to provide functional surfaces while conserving water and other inputs.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

Protecting Your Emotional Health

Lisa Goatley, LPC – The Cascade Group

This presentation will help you become more aware of the role of your mental health in your life, identify any areas for improvement, and develop strategies to manage stress.


2-3 p.m. EST

Managing High-Traffic Fields

Pamela Sherratt, Ohio State University; John Sorochan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

I Speak Agronomy, My Coach Speaks Athletics – What Now?

Marc Moran, CSFM, Atlee High School; John Corbin, Atlee High School

Learn how to work successfully with coaches to help understand their perspective on surface expectations and effectively communicate agronomic principles that can lead to a better sports field.


2-3 p.m. EST

Sustainable Sand-Based Turfgrass; 11 Seasons at Target Field

Larry DiVito, Minnesota Twins

This discussion will examine how to plan, build and maintain a turfgrass surface that can be viable for 10 years or more at the professional level.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

It’s Only Fair if it’s Hit Between First and Third

Jeffrey Fowler, Penn State University Extension

Will help empower you to overcome your biggest obstacles on your field and in your life by assisting in strengthening personal leadership and fortitude.


2-3 p.m. EST

How to Find and be a Part of Successful Internships

Adam Thoms, Ph.D., Iowa State University; Steve Lord, CSFM, Cincinnati Reds; Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, Austin FC

This panel of industry leaders will discuss what makes a successful internship program as well as provide advice to students to help them find and select an internship that will assist them in reaching their professional aspirations.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

Where is the Future of our Industry?

Andrew Miller, Brentsville Turfgrass Management Program; Dan Sandor, Ph.D., Virginia Tech University

Will discuss the shortage of skilled labor workers and how current sports field managers can help engage youth in their communities and increase awareness of careers in sports field management.


2-3 p.m. EST

Bluemuda for Beginners 

Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D., MountainView Seeds; Brian Winka, CSFM, Advanced Turf Solutions

This presentation will describe the history of Bluemuda, how it works, the major strengths and weaknesses of this concept, and how to implement it on fields across the transition zone.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

2021 Weed Management Update

Jim Brosnan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; Gerald Henry, Ph.D., University of Georgia

An update on strategies for controlling key weeds of warm and cool-season turfgrass sports fields including crabgrass, goosegrass, sedges, and Poa annua.


2-3 p.m. EST

Field Testing Synthetic Fields: The Basics and Beyond

Kyley Dickson, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; John Sorochan, Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Attendees will learn about the value of field testing, the basics of field-testing devices for improved athletic performance, as well as advances in field testing and how that could improve athletic fields in the future.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST

Introducing STMA’s “Best Practices” Document and Promoting Environmental Certification

Zachary Holm, CSFM, New York Red Bulls; Victoria Wallace, University of Connecticut

Pressure from introduced environmental legislation has prompted STMA to develop best management practices (BMPs) that support sports field management practices. This presentation will introduce the Best Practices document and discuss how this document supports STMA’s Environmental Certification.


Meet up with colleagues who share some of your challenges. STMA will have special chat rooms for:

• Women’s Forum

• International Attendees


• First Timers

Times that the rooms will be open will be posted in the virtual platform.


The Foundation for Safer Athletic Environments for Everyone (SAFE) IS hosting a golf tournament! The tournament will be held in your location of choice for anyone who wishes to participate in this competition. It will be live in early spring until May 31. There will be a chapter challenge, too.

Gather a foursome (non-members welcome, too) and golf locally, paying your cart and greens fees. SAFE is asking for a $15 donation from each golfer. Enter the tournament as many times as you wish to try to improve your standing! There will be a leaderboard of the top teams on the website, and, at the conclusion of the tournament, join our Tournament Party and get the real scoop on these golfers! Many prizes and other recognition will be given at the party. 

Look for more information soon. SAFE will be piloting this concept this fall for a flawless SAFE springtime event. 


STMA is increasing the value of your attendance by working with other green industry organizations to provide continuing education units:

  • American Sports Builders Association (ASBA)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
  • Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
  • Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)
  • National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)
  • California Pesticide Recertification Credits*

*Pesticide Recertification credits will only be available for California. If you are attending from another state and are in need of pesticide recertification credits, you are responsible for contacting your state’s Department of Agriculture for approval.


The trade show will be open during the educational event, Jan. 12-13. Attendees can view products and equipment, meet with booth staff, and get their questions answered – just like in the in-person exhibit hall. How you enter and interact with exhibitors is very intuitive. STMA’s virtual platform makes it easy!


4Most Sport Group/ DuraEdge 

ABI Sports Turf

Advanced Drainage Systems

Aer-Flo, Inc.

Aeroform Athletics


Air 2G2/GT Air Inject, Inc.

Andersons (The)

Anuvia Plant Nutrients

Aqua-Aid Solutions/Imants

Arborjet/Ecologel Solutions, LLC


Bannerman, Ltd.

Barenbrug USA

Beacon Athletics

Billy Goat Industries

Brandt Consolidated/Grigg Brothers

Buffalo Turbine 

Bulldog Field Equipment

Bush Turf

Buy Sod, Inc. 

BWI Companies

Calcium Products, Inc.

Campey Turf Care Systems 

Carolina Green Corp.

Columbia Seeds

Corteva Agriscience

Covermaster, Inc. 

Covia (formally Fairmount Santrol Sports & Recreation)

Dakota Peat & Equipment

Dennis & SISIS

Diamond Pro

DLF Pickseed

Doosan Bobcat

DryJect, Inc.

DuraEdge Products 


Echo, Inc.

Evergreen Turf

Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply

Field Wall Pads – Division of Sports Graphics,Inc.


g2 turftools, inc.

Graco, Inc.


Harper Turf Equipment

Harrod Sport

Hellas Construction

Horizon Distributors

Hunter Industries

Hydraway Drainage Systems

John Deere

Kifco, Inc.

Landmark Turf & Native Seed

Landscapes Unlimited, LLC

Lebanon Turf 

Mar-Co Clay Products

Matrax, Inc.

Mid-America Sports Construction

Motz Group (The)

Mountain View Seeds

PBI-Gordon Corp.

Perfect Mound (The)

Performance Nutrition

Perry Weather

Pioneer Athletics

Plant Food Co.

Port Industries, Inc.

Precision Laboratories, LLC

Propeat Fertilizer

Pro’s Choice/Oil Dri Corp. of America

Pure Seed

Pursell Agri-Tech

Quality Event Flooring Systems

R&R Products, Inc.

Rain Bird

Sidekick USA, LLC

Signature Systems Group

Sod Production Services

Sod Solutions, Inc.

Sports Venue Padding


SportsField Management / EPG Media

Sportsfield Specialties, Inc. 

Sprinturf, LLC 

Spyker Spreaders

Stabilizer Solutions, Inc.


Sustane Natural Fertilizer, Inc.


Target Specialty Products/Turf Fuel

Toro Company (The)

Traqnolgy/ Linemark International

Tri Tex Grass

Trimax Mowing Systems

Turf & Soil Diagnostics

Turf Robotics, LLC

Turf Tank 

Turface Athletics

Turf-Tec International

TurfTime Equipment

U.S. Specialty Coatings

Vescio’s Sports Fields, Inc.

Vivid Life Sciences

Waupaca Sand & Solutions

Wiedenmann North America, LLC

Winstead Turf Farms, Inc. 

Wood Bay Turf Technologies

World Class Athletic Surfaces, Inc. 

World Sports USA

For more information about the 32nd Annual STMA Conference & Exhibition, or to register, visit