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Sign up to attend the STMA annual conference in San Diego, Jan. 19-22, 2016. Take advantage of the early registration discount, which makes the full conference registration fee just $375. To get this rate you must sign up by Dec. 15. The printed brochure should have arrived on your desk this week. Click here to view the digital brochure. If you have peers and crew members who are not national members have them check out the valuable deal on the inside front cover of the brochure. Also, if you refer someone, you get a $100 credit to use to defray membership dues or STMA conference fees!

Three important Awards programs have submittal deadlines of Oct. 15:

Founders Awards - These four awards are named in honor of STMA's four founders: Dr. Dick Ericson, George Toma, Dr. William Daniel, and Harry Gill. This is your opportunity to nominate a peer who exemplifies the characteristics of a particular founder. The STMA Board of Directors independently votes on those nominated, and the four winners are kept secret until announced during the STMA Awards banquet, which will be Jan. 22 in San Diego. Click here to see a list of previous winners.

Field of the Year Awards - These awards are given in three categories: high school/parks, college and university, and professional in five sports: baseball, softball, football, soccer, and sporting grounds. Sports turf managers need to fill out an application and submit the required materials, which include photos, a detailed overview of management practices, budget, and scores from four Playing Condition Index evaluations. The entries are independently judged by the STMA Awards Committee. and winners will be notified in November. Find out how to prepare a winning entry here.

Innovative Awards - Commercial companies that are exhibiting at the 2016 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. 21. Winners receive recognition, a plaque and the opportunity to use the innovative award logo.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is proposing revisions for pesticide applicators who apply restricted use pesticides. The goal of this proposed rule is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of toxic pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states. US EPA has determined that use of restricted use pesticides would be safer with increased supervision and oversight. US EPA is proposing stricter standards for people certified to use restricted use pesticides and to require all people who apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certifications would be renewed every three years. Additional specialized licensing is also proposed for certain methods of application that can pose greater risks if not conducted properly, such as fumigation and aerial application. Individuals working under the supervision of certified applicators would now need training on using pesticides safely.

The public comment period is open and can be accessed at for docket number# EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0183. US EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until November 23, 2015.

Learn more about the proposal and certification for pesticide applicators:

The 2016 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 register today. Webinars will be recorded and available for On-Demand access in STMA's Webinar Library

The October schedule for webinars is as follows:
Plant Soil Interactions with Dr. Nick Christians on Thursday, October 22 at 12 pm EDT - Register Here 

Natural Grass Fields – From Construction to Performance and Perception with Dr. Brad Fresenburg on Tuesday, October 27 at 12 pm EDT - Register Here 

Advanced Weed Control for Athletic Field Turf with Dr. Jared Hoyle on Friday, October 30 at 11 am EDT - Register Here

The 2016 STMA Conference will feature a University Research Panel on Friday, January 22 from 8-10 am. Thirteen academic experts will take part in the panel to discuss the current sports turf research they are conducting. Following the presentation, the panelists will break out for roundtable discussions with attendees. Learn about the latest research taking place across the country by visiting STMA's website. Under "Latest Research" in the Knowledge Center, you can find a list of the agronomic research pertaining to sports field management being conducted at colleges and universities.

Each month we will feature a panelist and the research he/she is conducting to benefit the sports turf industry. Dr. Mike Goatley from Virginia Tech will be participating on the panel and presenting information on Fall Traffic Tolerance and Spring Recovery of Bermudagrasses in the Transition Zone. Click here to read about Dr. Goatley's research, which can be found starting on page 18.

The panel and the website serve to keep you up to date on how sports field management is progressing so you can apply the latest research to your fields and facility.

Each month two speakers presenting at the 2016 National STMA Conference and Exhibition in San Diego, California will be featured. Don't miss the educational opportunities offered at the conference!

NedinJim Nedin is the owner of Jim Nedin Consulting Services in York, PA. On Tuesday, January 19, he will be presenting "Optimizing Mowing and Application Equipment Performance Through Sound Maintenance Practices."

This presentation will discuss key factors related to mowing performance and the science behind mowing fine turf. Sharpness, Frequency Of Clip, Height Of Cut, Tip Speed, Cutting Unit Attitude, Blade Path, Overlap Marks, Rotary Mower Blade Options, and Reel Mower Roller Options will be presented to optimize reel and rotary mower performance. Attendees will also be better prepared to diagnose and resolve rotary and reel type mower quality-of-cut, and after-cut appearance issues.

The presentation will also discuss various sprayer and spreader calibration methods and personal safety to improve product performance, application accuracy, and safe handling of pesticides. Attendees will learn how to minimize environmental impacts through accurate calibration of pesticide application equipment.

RussellDr. Daniel Russell is a Professor of Acoustics and Director of Distance Education for the Graduate Program in Acoustics at The Pennsylvania State University. On Wednesday, January 20, he will be presenting "At the Crack of the Bat - The Science of Wood Baseball Bats."

Professional baseball is played with wood bats only. In this presentation we will trace the history and use of different types of wood baseball bats used by MLB players. High speed video will be used to discuss the bat-ball collision and the reasons bats break. Recent studies on the performance and durability of wood bats will be summarized and the current status of MLB wood bat regulations will be explained.

Attendees of this presentation will gain a better understanding of:
1. what happens during the collision between a baseball and a wood bat, both for impacts at the sweet spot and for impacts inside or outside.
2. the use of different types of wood for baseball bats and how the likelihood of a bat breaking depends on the type of wood from which the bat is made.
3. the science behind why wood bats break and the recent changes in MLB bat regulations to reduce breakage.

The 2-Minute Tip for Success

When taking a deep breath just won't cut it, use these six simple tips to turn your day around.

Turf Rundown

Dr. Richard Kent and his team of researchers at University of Virginia are examining improved technology to protect the body during football collisions. Click here to learn about the research and innovations being developed to protect players.

Dr. Kent will be appearing at the 2016 STMA Conference in San Diego, California. On Wednesday, January 20, he will provide a brief synopsis of his research during the General Session. Later in the day, from 3:30-5 pm, Dr. Kent will delve into his research on "Shoes and Surfaces: Partners in the Reduction of Injury Risk for Elite Athletes."

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