Post-conference educational opportunities

SFMA’s annual conference takes place in person January 22-25, in Daytona Beach, Florida, and will continue with virtual education each week post conference. The post-conference session dates and featured educators include:


2-3 p.m. EST
Using NTEP Data to Select Turfgrass Varieties for Sports Fields
Geoffrey Rinehart, lecturer, University of Maryland
This presentation will include an overview of how improved turfgrass varieties are critical to a sound management program, and will include an overview of the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP), the process for evaluating turfgrass cultivars and steps on how to use NTEP’s website and database to select improved turfgrass varieties for athletic fields.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST
Turfgrass 101: Focusing on the Basics
Greg Munshaw, Ph.D., director of agronomy for PARC Research and Consulting
What is photosynthesis and why should I care about it? What happens to plants when I fertilize? Why am I getting so much thatch on my field? Sport field managers have a lot going on, but sometimes don’t always understand why certain practices are necessary or what happens in the plant or soil when we do certain things. This presentation will break down how plants function, why various maintenance practices are necessary, and how season can affect everything. From germination through plant maturity, Greg Munshaw, Ph.D., will discuss what is going on in the plant and will break down seasonal variation in growth habits to identify optimum timing of various maintenance practices. The impact that specific practices such as fertilizing, watering and mowing have on turfgrass will be discussed. Dr. Munshaw will also explain how maintenance practices affect plant health and how this in turn influences pest pressure.


2-3 p.m. EST
Sports Turf Managers and Government Relations
Jason Bowers, CSFM, sports turf manager, Montgomery Parks
Patrick Coakley, CSFM, business development mid-Atlantic, DuraEdge Products

This presentation will discuss the process of helping to create the BMP books and the next step of hiring a lobbyist and our continuing work to keep SFM relevant in government relations.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST
Take the Million Gallon Challenge!
Brad Jakubowski, MS, CIT, professor, Penn State University
Water efficiency is important no matter the source or method of use. This seminar challenges turf managers to conserve one million gallons or more throughout the course of a season by improving irrigation efficiency and by implementing various outdoor and indoor water-saving practices throughout the entire facility. In addition to reducing costs, saving one million gallons promotes environmental stewardship and enhances public relations with a water-conscious public. Be a standout sports field manager; take on the Million Gallon Challenge today!


2-3 p.m. EST
Fraise Mowing – Uses, Effects and Recovery
Raymond McCauley, Ph.D.
Fraise mowing is an aggressive cultural practice that is not for the faint of heart. This presentation will prime field managers for fraise mowing and will cover fraise mowing’s uses, effects and recovery.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST
Data and Decisions: Applying Research in Sports Field Management Practices
Tyler Carr, Ph.D., professor at The Ohio State University
Dan Sandor, Ph.D., professor at Virgina Tech University
Sports field managers (SFMs) are required to produce playing surfaces that maximize field quality, playability and safety in an environmentally sustainable and economically sound manner. To determine which products and practices are right for managing their field, sports field managers must first understand the importance of the scientific method and be able to correctly interpret scientific data and research findings.


2-3 p.m. EST
Regenerative Athletic Field Management
Barry Stewart, Ph.D., professor, Mississippi State University
The basis of regenerative agriculture is a land management philosophy that improves soil health while building nutrient density and crop resilience. This presentation will focus on how soil health parameters tests can be evaluated to give insights into the health of our turfgrass soils and turfgrass stands.

3:15-4:15 p.m. EST
Managing Common Insect Pests in Cool-season Athletic Fields
Geoffrey Rinehart, lecturer, University of Maryland
This presentation will cover the common insect pests of cool-season sports fields in the transition zone and northern zones, including the white grub complex, chinch bugs, billbugs, cutworms, and sod webworm. Rinehart will briefly discuss the life cycles of these insects, the plant and “stand” symptoms associated with them and basic IPM concepts.