Took some time off this past week to do a little fishing in south Florida, visit a kid brother and attend the Sports Turf Managers Association Conference in Orlando. This is one cool group of guys and gals that don't get near enough credit for what they do. Money? Heck, most of them know they aren't going to make squat going into this gig. But they love what they do.
To the point, though.
Two of the educational sessiosn at the conference couldn't have presented the pesticide issue in more different lights. The first was by Chip Osborne. He's in charge of all the parks and city properties in Marblehead, MA, which prohibits the use of chemical pesticides. Osborne is a veteran horticulturist and he made no apologies as he layed out his "organic" program. There might have been 100 or so grounds managers in the audience.
The following day Erica Santella, Florida regional manager for TruGreen, gave an equally compelling presentation on the pesticide issue, this one focused on how grounds managers can communicate effectively with the press. Unfortunately, her presentation was going head to head with the long-anticipated roll out of the STMA's Synthetic Turf report, so she found herself presenting to just four people, myself included.
They say that "timing is everything." Maybe or maybe not. What a shame her presentation didn't follow Chip's. — Ron Hall