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A grant established to honor longtime SAFE Board of Trustees member and STMA member Leo Goertz is ready for nominations. Leo passed away suddenly last year, and SAFE and STMA created this grant to recognize his commitment to the profession.

The Leo Goertz Membership Grant awards up to $1500 annually for new, two-year memberships in STMA. The eligibility criteria for Nominees includes:

• must be a Sports Turf Manager or member of a crew managing sports fields
• should be an active local chapter member or strong contributor within his or her local community
• should not have been an STMA member for at least 5 years
• has infrequently or never attended the National STMA Conference

STMA national or chapter members or a fellow employee can nominate an individual. The grant also allows for self-nomination. To apply, fill out this simple, one-page form no later than Oct. 15.

Leo served on the SAFE Board of Trustees from 2006 – 2011. After his board service, he stayed actively involved with SAFE through helping with its fundraising events. He joined STMA in 1988. Leo was awarded one of STMA's highest honors in 2010, the Harry C. Gill Founders Award. This award was established to honor an individual for their hard work in the sports turf industry and to acknowledge their dedication to STMA. SAFE and STMA believe that Leo's biggest contribution to the Foundation and to the association was in his ability to 'give back'. Through this grant, we continue his legacy of 'giving back'.

The grant is funded through The SAFE Foundation and is made possible by a generous gift from Pioneer Athletics for 10 years.

Submit for Scholarships, Grants, and Awards
The annual deadline for STMA's annual awards, grants and scholarship programs is rapidly approaching: Oct. 15. This deadline affects the following applications: 

- Field of the Year
- SAFE Scholarships including the Dr. James Watson and Fred Grau
- Leo Goertz Membership Grant
- Gary VandenBerg Internship Grant
- Terry Mellor Continuing Education Grant
- 2017 Innovative Award
- Founders' Awards Nominations

You do not need to wait for the deadline to submit. Don't delay, submit today!

The STMA annual conference will be held Jan. 24-27 in Orlando. A printed copy of the conference brochure will be delivered to all members' mailboxes the week of Sept. 26, and online registration opens Oct. 1. Go to and register online by Dec. 15 for the lowest rates.

The STMA Historical Committee is seeking help in identifying these two photos of historical field equipment. They are working hard to catalogue STMA's historical collection and are seeking the name of the equipment, approximate year, use for it, and product manufacturer. Email if you have any information. STMA's historical collection management is being supported by Pioneer Athletics.

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STMA’s environmental facility certification has been awarded to four facilities:

- Red Bull Training Facility, East Hanover, NJ (first facility certified)
- Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NH
- Prairie Ridge Sports Complex, Ankeny, IA
- Elon Sports Complex, Elon, NC

These facilities achieved an 80 percent or higher rating on a self assessment of environmental best management practices in nine areas. These practices were then validated at each site by a qualified attester. Attesters can be a Certified Sports Field Manager, an Academic in an appropriate area of study, or an involved member of an environmental agency, association, or group.

To find out how you can get your facility certified, click here.

Commercial companies that are exhibiting at the 2017 conference are eligible to submit for an Innovative Award.  One or more awards may be given to companies that provide a new product, service or piece of equipment that substantially enhances the effectiveness of the sports turf manager and/or make the surfaces safer and more playable for athletes. To fill out the on-line application, click here. Awards are judged by an Innovative Awards Judging panel made up of practitioner and academic members (no commercial members) and winners announced during the first day of the STMA trade show on Thurs., Jan. 26. Winners receive recognition, a plaque and the opportunity to use the innovative award logo.

As in years past STMA will be presenting its annual Minor League Baseball Sports Turf Manager of the year award. This year STMA has partnered with John Deere in sponsoring this highly acclaimed award! A Sports Turf Manager from Triple A, Double A, Single A, and Rookie levels will be awarded!

At its summer board meeting, the STMA Board of Directors approved partnering with Turf Republic (TR) to conduct a joint study to assess the state of the industry. TR is the relevant source for solutions, information, and resources for professionals and enthusiasts of the Turf Generation.

Scheduled for October, STMA members and TR subscribers will receive a short electronic survey about sports turf management operations. TR will create the electronic survey and produce the results for release in January.

Participation is important for statistically valid results. Please take the time to fill out this important survey.

You need theme park tickets!

STMA conference attendees who are staying at the Disney Coronado Springs Hotel or the All Star Resort through Thurs., Jan. 26 will receive one free 'After 4 p.m.' Disney Theme Park ticket. (One ticket per hotel room occupied). The ticket will be provided upon check-in.

Disney also offers special park discounts. Go to The Coronado Springs and the All Star hotels are offering the special $159 room rate for three days pre- and post-conference. STMA's room block begins on Sun., Jan. 22 and ends on Sat., Jan. 27. The room block is open for reservations, but is filling up fast. Reserve your room today. Click here.

STMA recognizes that without the support of commercial sponsorship many things would not be possible. Sponsorship is one of many factors that make the annual conference and exhibition a success as well as the SAFE Foundation and its many programs. STMA is extremely grateful for the amazing support the commercial sector provides and would like to thank all commercial sponsors for their continued support!

Barenbrug, Beacon Athletics, Bush Sports Turf, Carolina Green Corp., Covermaster, Diamond Pro, Ewing Irrigation, FIELDS Inc., Gail Materials, GT Air Inject, Harrells, Hunter Industries, John Deere, JSM Services, Pioneer Athletics, Pro's Choice, Rain Bird, Redexim North America, Syngenta, Toro, Turface Athletics, Vescio Sports Fields, World Class Athletic Surfaces.

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2017 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

Bob Campbell, CSFM is a retired sports turf manager and STMA Past President. On Thursday, January 26, he will be presenting "Sports Field Management, Past, Present, Future."

This presentation will provide a short history of our profession and STMA. Discussion topics will include tips on how to define yourself as a professional, what it really means to be a sports turf manager and why we have always had a special place in peoples' hearts, and our responsibility to uphold the trust placed upon us as sports field managers.

Attendees will learn:
- How to develop professionally.
- The history of the profession and STMA.
- How to obtain knowledge about the newest developments in the profession.


Mary Owen is an Extension Specialist, Turf at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. On Friday, January 27, she will be presenting "Taking Stress in Stride."

Some abiotic stresses – lack of adequate water, excessive traffic, and temperatures unfavorable to turfgrass growth – pose challenges to the establishment, maintenance, and presentation of a quality, safe playing surface. Those stressors impact the plant and its ability to function, grow and recover from injury. We will discuss the physiology and development of the turfgrass plant in response to stress, and consider strategies to prepare for, manage, and mitigate its impact.

Attendees will learn:
- The dynamics of turfgrass plant growth through the season.
- The effect of three significant stressors on turfgrass physiology and growth: traffic, extreme temperatures, and lack of adequate water.
- How to choose and effectively implement strategies for pre-conditioning, managing and mitigating the effects of those stressors. Strategies include: irrigation, lack of adequate water, fertilization and cultivation.

The Student Challenge is presented in partnership with the SAFE Foundation, Founding Partner Hunter Industries, and supporting sponsor Ewing. Each year students from 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities across the country compete in an exam that challenges knowledge in the sports turf industry. The winning teams receive a cash award, a plaque, and medallions for each team member. The prize money benefits the institution's turf program and creates opportunities for students pursuing a career in sports turf management. The Study Guide for the 2017 STMA Student Collegiate Challenge is now available online! Please be sure to thoroughly review the Study Guide in preparation for the exam. CLICK HERE to access the Study Guide.

The 2017 contest will take place Thursday, January 26 from 2-4:30 pm at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Registration for the Student Challenge opens on October 1, so start thinking about your team now! A maximum of four undergraduates can compete on a team and must declare if they are representing a two-year or four-year institution. Competitors receive complimentary conference registration. If you are not a member, you must include your dues payment with registration. All Student Challenge competitors are REQUIRED to register online before December 15. No paper registration forms will be accepted. You can send in a paper form to register for optional events. Please contact Kristen Althouse at with questions about the Student Challenge.

The 2017 Conference Education Program is packed full of exciting and informative presentations. This year speakers have volunteered to present short 15-30 minute webinars prior to the conference as an introduction to their education session. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to prepare for conference education sessions! Only 50 people can take part in the live webinar, so make sure to register early. Webinars will be recorded and available for On-Demand access in STMA's Webinar Library.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

How does good health factor into career success? Click here for 3 keys to healthy habits and career success!

Turf Rundown

Polymer coated urea (PCU) is a N fertilizer which, when added to moist soil, uses temperature-controlled diffusion to regulate N release in matching plant demand and mitigate environmental losses. In this study, uncoated urea and PCU were compared for their effects on gaseous and aqueous N environmental losses in mixtures of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Click here to learn more about how PCU can contribute to conserving natural resources and mitigating environmental impacts of N fertilization in turfgrass.

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