Why aren’t you an SFMA member?


$130. That’s the annual cost of membership in the national SFMA organization; it’s even less if someone else in your organization is already a member ($85), or if you’re a student ($30), athletic director, coach—someone not directly responsible for managing or maintaining a sports field ($60).

$130 is not nothing of course but let’s compare that to what you might spend on something else of value to you, say a new driver in your golf bag, $500. How about a more-than-respectable separate rod and reel at Bass Pro, $200?

Ask your employer if they will pay; a few clicks through the SFMA website or the pages of this magazine might be enough to convince them it’s worth it to your facility or organization.

There’s a long list of member benefits and it starts with:

  • Networking—join the ultimate group of peers willing to share their best practices.
  • Continuing education—content that is timely, relevant and cost effective to help you do your job better. These educational resources are created in a variety of formats including educational bulletins, podcasts, webinars, videos, DVDs and in-person conference presentations. You’ll learn from leading academics, practitioners and commercial innovators.
  • Easily accessible information—quickly find resources to help you save time, e.g., access to Michigan State’s Turfgrass Information File, the green industry’s greatest resource for up-to-date technical information, which would cost you $100 to access on your own.

Other reasons to join:

  • Job security—taking taking advantage of SFMA’s programs and services is proactively enhancing your value to your employer.
  • Career success—the knowledge, skills and abilities you gain by accessing all the available education and information prepares you to take the next step; the SFMA offers more than just agronomic advice!
  • Recognition of your professionalism—tired [DASH HERE]of others thinking you just cut grass and paint hashmarks? SFMA has tools that can help you get the recognition you deserve, and their advocacy efforts are shedding more positive light on the industry every day. And don’t forget about SFMA’s two certification programs: Certified Sports Field Manager and Environmental Facility Certification. Both programs demonstrate a commitment to excellence that should mean a lot to front offices, coaches, volunteers, and communities.

Among other membership benefits: access to a members’ only online section that has a real-time membership directory and hundreds of technical educational resources that are specific to sports turf management; significant savings on registration to SFMA’s annual and regional conferences, and discounts to other organizations’ education; this magazine ($40 value); monthly electronic newsletter from SFMA HQ with association and industry information; weekly e-newsletter from me with industry news; ability to apply for student scholarships and grants; and the opportunity to participate in volunteer leadership positions.

I urge you to give membership a shot and take advantage of the benefits; you’ll never spend a smarter $130 on your future. – Eric Schroder