Attend a turfgrass field day this summer. Many public land-grant universities with turf programs put one on each summer or early fall. These are great educational and networking events. A recent visit to the East Tennessee Research & Education Center just outside of Knoxville, TN, reminded us what you can miss by letting yourself get too busy to show up.
We were among about 150 other turf and sports field managers participating in the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Regional Summer Conference at the University of Tennessee.
The gently rolling outdoor research site on the banks of the broad Tennessee River now features 15 acres of turfgrass research plots thanks to the efforts of the University of Tennessee’s turf team, in particular Dr. John Sorochan. When Sorochan joined the university nine years ago after earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State University the site contained no turfgrass plots. Zero. Nada.
Tennessee’s Turfgrass Field Day is Sept. 15. This should be a must-attend event, especially for sports field managers in the South and Mid-South. Sorochan and his team, thanks to the generosity of the Peebles family and its AstroTurf company, developed The University of Tennessee Center for Athletic Field Safety. The outdoor research facility has 60 small-scale athletic research fields build from a variety of playing surfaces — from the professional level to the public park level.
Initial research there started in the fall of 2010. Sorochan and his colleages will share some preliminary findings at Tennessee’s Turfgrass Field Day, Sept. 15.
Check the date for the Turfgrass Field Day nearest you and plan on attending. We can guarantee you a barbecue pork sandwich, Marconi or potato salad and ice tea lunch — and the latest research information about turfgrass and its management in your neck of the country.