May 2010


Crabgrass Species Control in Turfgrass

Crabgrass is a common grassy weed that can decrease the playability, usability and aesthetic quality of athletic fields. Click here to learn about its identifying characteristics, preemergent and postemergent control options and its lifecycle.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

EwEdServices_logo web.jpgEmploying an Intern? Mowing all summer just doesn't cut it...

"I can't believe all I did was mow all summer," said Jeff during his presentation to the sophomore class about his internship at the Augusta Sports Complex (names of student and complex changed to protect future employment). "It was not what I expected, and I recommend that you do not apply for an internship there-it's a waste of time."

You definitely do not want to be the facility that Jeff is talking about! Be sure you do not view your intern as ‘seasonal' help. As the manager of your facility, you know that you have some repetitive and routine tasks that must be accomplished. If you have an intern working for you, be sure to expose him or her to a variety of activities designed for the learning experience. The internship must allow the student to build skills and apply them to problem solving situations. This of course includes repetitive tasks, like mowing, but it should also include so much more.

Start by developing a well-defined plan of activities and job tasks for the student intern. Be sure to include a certain level of responsibility. The intern should be put in a position that requires long hours and an ‘on-call' status so that there is a good understanding that sports turf management is not a typical 40-hour-a-week job. When interns experience true-to-life working conditions, they have fewer surprises early in their careers.

Once you have the detailed plan, sit down with your intern and go over the plan. Each intern will possess different capabilities and bring a different level of experience. Find out what the student knows, wishes to learn, and needs to learn. Be sure to include appropriate training and build in exposure to management duties, such as attending meetings, interaction with coaches, budgeting, human resource items, etc. Set up a review process after the first few weeks to be certain your expectations and that of your intern are being met. Savvy students are asking employers for the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills so that they will be better prepared to transition from the classroom to the workplace. To view the internship handbook that STMA students are using to define their experience, click here.

Because an internship is an educational program, employers may be reluctant to pay them. For a quality experience, consider paying your intern an appropriate hourly wage and provide other benefits. Consider housing, a bonus structured to reward those who stay through the agreed upon completion date, a transportation allowance to defray travel to and from the sports facility, a meal allowance, and a uniform with cleaning provided.

Although this may seem more advantageous to the student, the employer reaps many benefits. In return, you will have a highly motivated intern with a knowledge base ready to apply to your sports facility. You'll also earn the reputation as a mentor who is willing to help students achieve their full potential. A final benefit may be a future employee. Being able to watch an intern in action provides you with a legal way to preview a potential employee.

News You Can Use

Northwest Regional Conference Schedule Set; Registration Open

The final schedule for STMA's Northwest Regional Conference and Exhibition, July 21-22, 2010 in Seattle, Wash. has been set. The event is highlighted by more than 14 hours of education, dedicated trade show hours, hands on demos, facility tours, and a Mariners game on STMA!

For more information on what is sure to be a great event, 
click here.

2010 SAFE Scholarship Application is Online!

SAFE encourages all STMA student members to submit applications for the 2010 SAFE Scholarships. Each year the SAFE Foundation awards minimum $1,000 scholarships to student members from across the country. Since the scholarship program's inception in 2000, SAFE has awarded more than $225,000 in scholarships and travel. Awarded on a basis of merit, former winners have gone on to be head groundskeepers in Major League Baseball, the NFL, Major League Soccer, STMA Board Members, and even President of STMA!

Click here to learn more about this great program and download an application.

Complete SportsTurf Magazine Archive Now Available!

A three-way partnership between STMA, Michigan State University and M2Media360 (publisher of SportsTurf) has resulted in the digitization of all the issues of SportsTurf. Starting with SportsTurf's very first issue, published in September/October 1985, Michigan State has created digital issues for STMA members to view. The digital set will always be current, minus two issues as it keeps pace with its monthly publication. There is a Browse and a Search feature, making it very user friendly.

The passion for this industry by our early leaders can be felt as you read topical articles authored by Drs. Daniel, Indyk and Kurtz. The second issue of Volume 1 contains a prediction by the associate publisher Bruce Shank: "In the year 2,000, an agronomy professor will tell his students that sports turf came alive in the 1980s and in the '90s achieved a status equal to golf course maintenance. And those students will go on to become sports turf managers working with advanced technology."

Through another partnership with Michigan State, STMA provides full access to MSU's Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) to our non-commercial members. TGIF is the industry's most comprehensive resource for information and materials related to turfgrass and its management. The link to TGIF appears on your members-only page after you log in.

Field of the Year Awards Application Updated, Now Available Online

Now is the perfect time to begin preparing your STMA Field of the Year Application. The deadline for materials to be received at STMA headquarters is October 15, 2010. Click here to download a PDF of the application. It is also available in a Word document here.

STMA's prestigious Field of the Year program is in its 19th year and is getting stronger every year. With record numbers of applicants the last two years, competition is stiff! But with hard work and diligence, each and every STMA member has a field that could become Field of the Year. STMA presents awards in baseball, softball, football, soccer, and sporting grounds categories at the Schools and Parks, College and University, and Professional levels.

Each Field of the Year Award winner is presented with a special plaque at the STMA Awards Banquet, held each year at the STMA Conference and Exhibition. This coming year, the Awards Banquet will be the evening of Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 in Austin, Texas. In addition to the plaque, each STMA Field of the Year winner will receive free conference registration, up to $500 towards lodging at the conference, STMA signature apparel, and a feature article in the official publication of STMA, SportsTurf Magazine.

Take pride in your profession and submit your application for STMA Field of the Year and get recognition for your field and respect from your peers. Remember the deadline for materials to be received is October 15, 2010.

Feel free to contact Patrick Allen, Manager, Sales and Marketing, at if you have questions about the STMA Field of the Year program.

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