The UMass Extension Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab recently initiated a campaign with the goal of raising $200,000 from industry groups, foundations and individuals. The New England Sports Turf Managers Association (NESTMA) answered the call with a donation of $5,000 to help strengthen and modernize the lab’s operations.
The lab provides unbiased and independent testing of agricultural and horticultural soil and tissue samples. Each year, it runs more than 30,000 tests for nearly 5,000 clients across the Commonwealth. These analyses provide green industry professionals with critical information and recommendations that help them achieve economic and environmental goals, as well as maintain regulatory compliance.
“UMass Extension deeply appreciates the many ways in which NESTMA collaborates with and supports our programs,” said Clem Clay, UMass extension agriculture program director. “This leadership gift to support the Soil Testing Lab demonstrates the association’s understanding that the lab’s services are a core part of the infrastructure that underpins science-based management of sports turf.”
The lab is funded solely by client fees, and is ineligible for federal funding. Funds raised through this campaign will be used for:
CN analyzer to replace a 17-year-old instrument, saving on operational costs and offering new diagnostics, including soil health measures.
ICP spectrometer to replace an aging workhorse that provides nutrient and metals analysis, but has very high maintenance and repair costs.
System upgrades to improve customer experience and increase efficiency.
As part of the $200,000 campaign goal, UMass Extension committed $45,000 from its modest budget toward improvements and established financial policies that set aside a portion of lab fees for future equipment replacement. For more information, or to learn how you can help, contact Clem Clay at 413-545-5021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.