April 2009

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

 “If you were a car, what type would you be”? 

Odd interview question? Maybe, but this is a real question that has been used by employers to gain insight into candidates’ personalities. 

More and more employers are using “off-the-wall” questions to observe how a candidate reacts and responds to unusual questions. Those who are being interviewed usually prepare for the typical job responsibilities, problems encountered/how solved, and strengths and weaknesses questions. When asked an atypical question, the interviewer is assessing the thought processes of the respondent and his/her responses can also help interviewers evaluate the cultural fit of a prospective employee. 

If you are conducting interviews this spring, consider adding a few unusual questions to help you determine if the prospective employee is a match with your team. And, if you are being interviewed, be prepared to answer questions like, “If you had six months with no obligations or financial constraints, what would you do?” 

To see more out-of-the-ordinary interview questions, 
click here

News You Can Use

STMA Collaborates with GSA-USA 

The STMA Board of Directors has entered into a collaborative agreement with the Global Sports Alliance-USA to share information and identify opportunities to work cooperatively to promote the principles of environmental stewardship in the world of sports. 

President Abby McNeal, CSFM, signed the Memorandum of Cooperation on Sun., March 8, during the spring Board of Directors meeting, held in Austin, Texas. In signing the agreement, McNeal said, “Our organizations share a commitment to promote environmentally responsible sports related activities. By working with the GSA-USA on areas of common interest we will be able to heighten awareness about the work of our members in protecting the environment.“ 

The parent GSA was founded in 1999 in Japan, and its efforts reach worldwide. GSA-USA is a non-profit organization similar to STMA, and it is independently incorporated as a Regional Center of GSA for North America. 

GSA-USA is extending sportsmanship and fair play to the environment through a concept GSA coined, ecoplay. In cities around the world, ecoplayers organize into teams that work with local sports facilities, events, clubs, other non-profit organizations, and schools on projects to promote environmental awareness. For example, GSA-USA recently partnered with Cornell University and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission of New York and New Jersey on an eco-friendly playfield project. 

STMA encourages its members to consider becoming ecoplayers in their local communities. For more information on how to become an ecoplayer, go to the 
GSA-USA website

'Buck it Up' for Military Families 

Give just one dollar and help to expand the funding for GreenCare for Troops, the signature program of Project Evergreen, which is designed to provide free lawn and landscape services for military families whose major breadwinner is serving overseas. Currently, GreenCare is supporting 7,500 military families and 2,100 volunteers. 

Project Evergreen is a national non-profit service organization that educates consumers about the environmental, economic and lifestyle benefits of well-maintained green spaces. STMA supports Project Evergreen by providing resources for its Habitat for Humanity and Field Renovations program, contributing to its ‘Because Green Matters’ annual calendar, and by helping to promote its initiatives. 

‘Buck it Up’ for Military Families is a national program that will help to enhance the free lawn and landscape services; create a scholarship program for military family members who are seeking a career in the horticultural industry, and improve the infrastructure to better handle the increasing number of military families who need lawn and landscape care. 

STMA members can help in two additional ways: 
1. Take collections at sporting events. 
Email Elizabeth at elizabethneiderhiser@projectevergreen.com to get a color copy of the informational flyer about the program, affix it to a container and collect donations at your next sporting event. Once you’ve collected the cash, deposit it in your bank account and write a check payable to Project EverGreen Buck it Up. Send it to 120 Main St W, PO Box 156, New Prague, MN 56071. 
2. Volunteer to provide lawn and landscape care to military families in your community. 
Email Elizabeth at elizabethneiderhiser@projectevergreen.com or call her at 877-758-4835 to volunteer. 

Buck it Up’s’ fundraising drive concludes on May 16, Armed Forces Day. Please help support America’s military families by contributing to this important initiative. 

Be a Speaker in Disney 

STMA Call for presentations is now available for you to use to submit your ideas for a presentation at the 2010 Conference, Jan. 12- 16, 2010, at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center. Presenters can submit ideas for educational sessions that range from 15 minutes to 4 hours in length, and cover a wide scope of topics and categories. 

STMA seeks academics, sports turf managers and others in the industry as presenters to bring the most relevant practices, research and technology to its membership. All STMA presenters receive a complimentary conference registration and non commercial speakers typically receive travel and one night’s accommodations. Share your experiences and increase your visibility as a subject matter expert in the sports turf industry. Speakers selected to present will be notified in May. 

STMA Regional Conference and Exhibition to be Held at Iowa State in June 

STMA, in partnership with eight chapters from the Midwest, will be bringing national level education and an outdoor exhibition to the STMA Midwest Regional Conference and Exhibition in Ames, Iowa, June 24-25, 2009. The Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, MO-KAN, Gateway, and Ozark Chapters are working with STMA to host a conference in the Midwest, and STMA Immediate Past President Mike Andresen, CSFM offered up the facilities on the Cyclone campus. While focusing on Sports Turf Managers, STMA encourages attendance by members and crew alike, and will be providing education for all levels of sports turf experience. 

On June 24, in conjunction with a trade show, attendees will be afforded an intimate look at the Iowa State University athletic facilities, as well as an in-depth view of some of Dr. David Minner’s notable sports field specific research on the ISU turf plots. Other events this day include safety presentations on Back Injury Prevention and Equipment Safety by Kansas State University’s Mitch Ricketts, and also hands-on demonstrations which will cover topics such as mowing patterns and logo painting. 

On June 25, nationally recognized speakers will be conducting education sessions covering a wide variety of topics. Dr. Andrew McNitt from Penn State University will be presenting a basic turf management session. Brad Jakubowski will be discussing fertilizers and also repeating a very popular session from the National Conference in San Jose entitled “Weather 101: Fundamental Meteorology for Turf Managers.” Other repeats from popular sessions at the National Conference are “Communicating with Coaches, User Groups, Administrators, and Other Nefarious Characters,” presented by Dale Getz, CSFM, CSE, and “Practical Recordkeeping for the Sports Turf Manager,” presented by John Netwal, CGCS. Larry DiVito, Head Groundskeeper at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has also been invited to speak about project management and environmental leadership at sports facilities. Accompanying these education sessions are two open panel discussions led by academics and practitioners. This will give attendees the opportunity to ask any questions they may have regarding natural or synthetic turf surfaces. 

According to Dr. Mike Goatley, STMA Conference Education Chairman, “You will not find a better sports turf specific educational experience outside of the STMA Conference and Exposition held every January.” 

Registration costs for the two-day event will are $75 for a member of STMA National or one of the eight participating chapters and $95 for a non-member. This price will include two days of education, entrance to the exhibition, and most meals. Online registration will be available in April, so keep checking your inbox and 
www.STMA.org for the most up to date information regarding the event. 

STMA has also negotiated reduced rates at two Ames hotels. The AmericInn provides hot breakfast every morning and has double-occupancy rates starting at $79. The Country Inn and Suites, which neighbors the AmericInn, and also serves a daily hot breakfast, as well as a cocktail hour, starts at $89. For those looking for more economical accommodations, there are four-person, two-room suites available starting at $109 at the Country Inn and Suites. Both properties are less than a 5 minute drive from the Iowa State Athletic Complex and each are taking reservations at these special rates through May 27. Call 515-233-1005 for the AmericInn or 515-233-3935 for the Country Inn and Suites, and mention that you are with the Sports Turf Managers Association to get the negotiated rate.

Exhibition rates are only $195 for STMA National Commercial Members and Commercial Members of the participating chapters. Each space comes with a table for display, two attendee registrations, and a sign displaying company name. Sponsorships are also available starting at very reasonable levels. If you are interested in exhibiting or sponsoring, please download the 
Exhibition Space Contract

Put June 24-25 on your schedule and start talking to your employer about making sure that you are able to attend this incredible educational opportunity. If you have any questions, please contact STMA at 800-323-3875 or 

The 2009 Field of the Year Application is Ready! 

It is never too early to start taking notes and pictures to use in your 2009 Field of the Year application. Last year, STMA introduced the Sporting Grounds of the Year category, and it makes its return in 2009. 

The Awards Committee offers these tips to help you fill out a winning application: 
• Provide photos that show the versatility of the field, display unique characteristics of the field, and show the exceptional talents of the crew. 
 Make sure that you provide before and after shots of your field - do not simply provide ‘beauty shots’, as they do not reflect the true struggles and triumphs of you and your crew. 
• Attribute all dollar figures, man hours, and other ‘per-unit’ numbers to the field for which you are applying - not the whole complex, facility, or campus that you oversee. It isappropriate to mention your labor or budget challenges, but do so in the narrative section (Question 9). 

The committee reviews dozens of applications in the various categories and levels. The easier you make it for them to accurately review your field specific to the criteria, and subsequently show that your crew, challenges, and/or ideas are exceptional, the more competitive your facility will be. 

The 2009 Field of the Year application is online and can be found in 
PDF format and in Microsoft Word

If you have any questions about the Field of the Year program, please contact 
Patrick Allen

New Disease and Insect Information 

Visit the Technical Information section of the STMA website for resources on diseases and insects that affect turfgrass across the nation. Identifying characteristics and pictures are accompanied by helpful links that can direct you to control measures and more information about each disease and insect. It is our goal to provide a comprehensive resource where you can quickly find the information you need to identify and control any insect infestations or disease outbreaks. 

DVD Combo Packs Available 

STMA, its charitable foundation SAFE, and the National Interscholastic Association of Athletic Administrators (NIAAA) have again teamed up to bring you a valuable educational tool for your library - at a bargain price! The new instructional DVD Maintaining a Baseball or Softball Skinned Infield focuses on the basics of infield maintenance, while Baseball Mound Reconstruction: A Professional Approach produced in 2006 covers mound and home plate specific tips and tricks. 

These two excellent educational resources for you and your crew are available for $15 each (plus S&H), but you can get both for $25 (plus S&H)! Pick up this valuable information today by downloading the order form here

$25/Week and Your Conference Costs are Covered 

Uncertain if your 2010 budget will be able to fund your attendance to the STMA Annual Conference in January? Start your contingency plan now. Save as little as $25 per week from now until the conference, which is Jan. 12-16, 2010 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center, and you will have all the expenses covered. 

Make an Investment in your future for under $1,000: 


Full registration — includes meals, breaks, receptions, lunches and a dinner $375
Hotel — 3 nights @ $141 per night + 12 % tax $474
Airport Transportation - Disney Express FREE
Airfare - book early for under $150! $150
Total $999


The STMA Conference Education Committee is developing an educational program rich with panel discussions, classroom, and hands-on learning. You will take home strategies that you can immediately implement at your facility that will save time and money. In next month’s issue, look for tools you can use to quantify the value your facility will receive by your attendance at the Conference. 

2014 Conference Site Selection Underway 

The STMA Board of Directors is exploring San Antonio, Texas and Phoenix/Glendale, Arizona locations as possible sites to host the 2014 STMA 25th Annual Conference and Exhibition. STMA’s conference locations rotate between four regions of the country to provide the most accessibility for attendance by its membership. STMA held its 2007 conference in San Antonio, its 2008 conference in Phoenix, and its 2009 conference in San José, Calif. 

Between now and 2014, the conference locations are: 2010 — Orlando, Fla.; 2011 — Austin, Texas; 2012 — Long Beach, Calif.; and 2013 — Daytona Beach, Fla. 


Season, Zone Dictate Weed Control in Seeded Tall Fescue and Bluegrass 

Research from the University of Tennessee addresses different broadleaf weed and crabgrass control options using three different herbicides on newly seeded tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass. 
Click here to view this research.

International Resources