Post Conference Education

SFMA continues to provide education from our industry experts for 4 weeks following the conference. Every Tuesday at 2 pm EST and 3:15 pm EST we will host a session. Be sure to register for each session so you do not miss these learning opportunities.

Week 1 – Tuesday, Jan. 24
2-3 pm ET
What the Next Generation Should Know About Choosing A Job
Wes Ganobcik – Columbus Clippers
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vdImpjCQTvi1qVOlGfKZ-Q

Wes will discuss everything a student needs to consider when choosing the internship that will provide the best experience. He will also discuss the factors that a young turfgrass manager needs to consider when choosing a job and negotiating a starting salary.

Attendees will learn the following:

  • How to choose the internship that will provide the best possible experience going forward.
  • Factors to research and consider when applying for jobs.
  • Key points on how to negotiate a starting salary.

3:15-4:15 pm ET
Irrigation System Design Approaches to Minimize Surge Pressure
Kurt Thompson – IrriTech Training
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_AIDlikxAQhSzHsxHkwk42g

This advanced discussion takes the irrigation system manager, contractor, or designer through the cause and effect of the velocity of the water in the pipe and size of valves on the damaging cyclical forces that affect the operational costs and sprinkler performance, and then practical methods to minimize those surge pressures.

At the conclusion of the workshop, the learner should be able to:

  • Understand the hydraulic principles that contribute to surge pressure.
  • Use the calculated worst-case surge pressure in a mainline to determine the specific velocity in a mainline to control mainline surges.
  • Select the pipe size, valve size, and other components to minimize pressure surges in mainline pipes.

Week 2 – Tuesday, Jan. 31
2-3 pm ET
Irrigating with Reuse Water and Managing Salts and pH
Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KE38dEdlSpa2EiNTvQnxVQ

Managing salts and pH are critical, especially when using irrigation water that is marginal. Impacts on plant health, nutrition, toxicities, soil microbiology, specific ion toxicities, and water infiltration will be discussed.

Attendees will learn:

  • Fundamentals of pH and salt chemistry.
  • How to assess pH, overall salt impacts, and specific ion toxicities.
  • Examples of innovative irrigation management techniques and products that may help better manage sports fields, as well as when not to use these products.

3:15-4:15 pm
Data and Decisions: Applying Research in Sports Field Management Practices
Daniel Sandor, Ph.D. – Virginia Tech, Tyler Carr – University of Tennessee
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C7SWWnpoThaadEv-jtJmSA

Sports field managers (SFMs) are required to produce playing surfaces that maximize field quality, playability, and safety, in an environmentally-sound and economically-sustainable manner. To determine which products and practices are right for managing their field, SFMs must first understand the importance of the scientific method and be able to correctly interpret scientific data and research findings.

Attendees will learn:

  • The significance of the scientific method and explore how field experiments are conducted.
  • How to correctly interpret scientific data and apply research findings that will align with their budget.
  • How to conduct their own experiments to evaluate how product applications or management practices may affect the playing-surface quality, playability, and safety of the fields at their facility.

Week 3 – Tuesday, Feb. 7
2-3 pm
From Cornfield to a College Football Field
Tom Gould – Iowa State University, Adam Thoms, Ph.D. – Iowa State University, Josh Tvrdik – Iowa State Athletics Department
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_a1n2jme6RPymbMefvGaxlg

This presentation will cover how Iowa State University grew their own sand-based football field on a cornfield near the college. We will discuss how the ISU Athletic Department supported student education by funding students and giving them turfgrass management experience during this project. We will also discuss all of the steps to go from a cornfield to a sand-based sod to installing and maintaining the new playing surface on MidAmerican Field at Jack Trice Stadium. This presentation will cover sand selection, cultivar decisions, fertility and herbicides used as well as steps to care for the field such as mowing height and frequency. Finally, we will present how the field played during its first season in action.

Attendees will learn:

  • Practical application of proper sand/sod selection.
  • How to recruit future turfgrass managers with unique projects like this.
  • Fertility program examples for growing in a sand-based athletic field.

3:15-4:15 pm
What is Organic Sports Field and Grounds Management?
Brad Park – Rutgers University
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HzQ4gge8TTGnGnH1WOXoSg

The objective of this presentation is to describe various management systems employed in turfgrass with emphasis on organic turfgrass management. United States Department of Agriculture National Organic Program (USDA NOP) and Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI)-derived principles will be used as the basis for the description of organic sports fields and grounds management.

Presentation objectives include:

  • The attendee will be able to differentiate calendar-based preventative turfgrass programs, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), synthetic pesticide free management, and organic turfgrass management systems.
  • Per USDA NOP and OMRI guidelines, the attendee will be able to recognize materials that qualify for use in organic sports field and grounds management systems.
  • Case studies will be described to provide the attendee with examples of how various management systems have been implemented in public sports field and grounds scenarios.

Week 4 – Tuesday, Feb 14
2-3 pm
Do Sustainable Varieties Impact Field Playability?
Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. – The University of Tennessee, Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – Pinnacle Agricultural Research Center
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_qbhMOXhzQHar_uOiJEa8zg

This talk will cover how sustainable turfgrass varieties can reduce inputs. We will discuss where to find information on sustainable turfgrass varieties in addition to their pros and cons. Also, discuss how sustainable grass varieties perform in player to surface interaction and ball to surface interactions for athletic fields.

Presentation objectives:

  • Teach how sustainable grass varieties impact field management practices.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of different grasses as well as a list of cultivars that have been shown to require fewer inputs including their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Contrast how sustainable turfgrass varieties compare to traditional varieties in surface performance and playability on athletic fields.

3:15-4:15 pm
Crossing The Bridge: Working with Athletic Administration
Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School
Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Ueu-ANcKRH-lbsIElGRmCg

This presentation focuses on building, maintaining or repairing a healthy relationship between the sports field manager and athletic administration. The relationship is critical for the long-term success of the strong sports field system, no matter if you are at the K-12, Collegiate or professional level. Understanding the challenges of each allows the other to effectively make decisions and tackle issues or set effective goals for the athletic facility.

Attendees will learn:

  • Effective communication skills with members of the upper management structure.
  • How to develop a plan that meets the needs of all stakeholders.
  • How to work with limiting budget constraints while being effective.