Meet Two of Our 2025 Conference Speakers

Dr. Beth Guertal is a Project Director for International Programs at Kansas State University. Prior to that she was a Professor of Turfgrass Management at Auburn University, where she taught and researched turfgrass management.  She has close to 30 years of experience in soil fertility, fertilizer management and fertilizer evaluations in turfgrass systems.  Dr. Guertal will be presenting:

Nitrogen Fertilizers-Old to New-How to Use

The application of nitrogen fertilizers is a pretty standard practice in athletic field management. But do you have an up-to-date idea of what products are out there?  Which might be best for your situation?  In this talk we will cover the different types of N fertilizers – from organic to synthetic, slow-release to soluble.  You’ll learn about how the different products release N, and which to select for your turfgrass growth and management goals.

Learning Objectives

1.  Be able to understand the information on a N fertilizer label and use that to select best use products.

2.  Recognize the various ways that N fertilizers can be slow release.

3.  Become familiar with the newer N products that are emerging on the market for use in athletic field fertilization.


Dr. Kyley Dickson is the Associate Director for the Center for Athletic Field Safety at the University of Tennessee. He is currently involved in many sports turf-related studies. With that research focusing on improving athletic field performance and safety. Also, Dr. Dickson is the Executive Director of the A-LIST, the Alliance of Low Input Sustainable Turf. Dr. Dickson will be presenting:

Does Hybrid Stitching Work: What the Research Shows

This talk will be an overview of hybrid stitched systems and their impact on athletic fields. We will further explain the concept of hybrid stitching and its implications for maintenance practices. Additionally, we will go into how these systems influence the performance and quality of athletic fields, enhancing the overall playing experience. Lastly, we will consider the factors that determine when hybrid stitching becomes the preferred choice for athletic field management. The goal is to provide a robust background on the research and performance of hybrid stitching for sports field managers.

1. What is a hybrid stitched system and how does it impact maintenance

2. How hybrid stitched systems impact athletic field performance and the playing surface

3. When is hybrid stitching the choice for your athletic field