The 2021 Conference and Exhibition January 11-14 in Palm Springs, Calif.


Header Image Photo Credit: Palm Springs CVB

Thank you for participating in our 2020 Conference in West Palm Beach!

STMA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition allows members to share information with other successful members of the sports turf industry at exciting locations. In addition to educational seminars, hands-on workshops and the latest technology on display, conference attendees are able to tour professional, college and municipal facilities that offer a range of insights to take back home. There is simply no better conference around!

Palm Beach County Convention Center
West Palm Beach, FL, Jan. 13-16, 2020

Need a Certificate of Completion? Click here.
Want to purchase a copy of the educational sessions recording? Click here.

A look at the 2020 Conference & Exhibition

Explore what the city of Palm Springs has to offer here

STMA Annual Conference Exhibitor Resources


Marketing & Events is STMA’s Conference Exhibition Partner. If you are interested in exhibiting at the STMA Conference & Exhibition, or are already signed up as an exhibitor and have questions about your booth, contact Marketing & Events at:

David Rosenberg

2021 Floor Plan

Donate to the SAFE Foundation!

Don’t forget to donate items to the SAFE Silent & Live Auctions or the large item raffle!  To donate, please fill out the donation form and mail, email, or fax it to STMA Headquarters.

Innovative Awards Program

STMA to Recognize Commercial Companies

The Innovative Awards Program will recognize those commercial company members that have developed a product, service, equipment or technology that substantially enhances the effectiveness of the Sports Turf Manager. The innovation could also make playing surfaces safer and more playable for athletes.

Any STMA Commercial member who is exhibiting at the upcoming STMA Annual Conference and Exhibition is eligible to submit one entry annually. The company must display the innovation in its booth and have introduced it for sale between the close of the current year’s STMA show and the close of the following year’s show. The only criteria that the innovation must meet is that is should substantially enhance the effectiveness of the sports turf manager and/or make the surfaces safer and more playable for athletes.

A panel of non-commercial STMA members representing all segments of membership will judge the entries and may give the award to multiple companies that meet the criteria.

Winner(s) will be kept confidential until announced during the first day of the STMA Trade Show. Winner(s) will be able to use the special logo, seen here, in their promotion of the winning product, service, technology or equipment. STMA will publicize the winners through its communication vehicles, STMA press releases, signage at the conference and with special recognition during the Annual Awards Banquet.

Click here for the 2021 submission form.

For more information about the program contact STMA at Submittals must be sent electronically by Oct. 15.

Conference Guidelines, Policies and Permissions

This information will be posted later this year.

Accommodations information will be posted later this year. Be on the lookout for more information via email and STMA’s e-newsletter.

Welcome to the 2020 Conference Education page! Here you will find presentations and handouts for education sessions occurring at STMA's 31st Conference and Exhibition.

For 2017, 2018, and 2019 conference education, click here.

To purchase the recorded 2020 conference education sessions, please visit our online library.

Mon., Jan. 13
1:15 – 5 pm

Educational Demonstrations at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches
Get offsite and outside with educational demonstrations at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Pre-conference education will offer attendees the opportunity to experience various sports turf management practices in action. Attendees will rotate through five stations where they can interact with their peers and learn how to improve field operations.

Tues., Jan. 14
8 – 9:30 am – Opening General Session

Opening General Session – Talkin’ Natural Grass Talk Show
Hosted by Jeffrey Fowler – Penn State Extension
Kick off the STMA Conference with an interactive discussion where our host will interview experts from across the nation. Structured like a late-night talk show, pertinent issues such as herbicide bans, pesticide legislation and new technology will be discussed.

Pesticide Regulation and Policy and Your Role – Laurie Flanagan

Understanding the Glyphosate Issue and Addressing Public Concerns – Dr. Chris Marble

Using Drone Technology for Turfgrass Management– Dr. Dale Bremer

9:45 – 10:45 am

Overcoming Challenges in Your CareerPreview this session
Speaker: Abby McNeal, CSFM, CPRP – Denver Parks and Recreation
This presentation will discuss ways to tackle the challenges sports field managers face throughout their career as they become the expert at their field/facility. Discussion will include inequities that are experienced at all levels of the industry and ways to manage these with the least impact to your career path.

Growing Bermuda in the NorthPreview this session
Speaker: Kevin Mercer, CSFM, CGM, LICM – Denison University
Barclay Thompsen varsity soccer field at Denison University was renovated in 2017 and became the first collegiate bermudagrass field in Ohio. Come listen to the challenges and successes from our 2017 grow in and how we manage the seasonal inputs for the warm season grass in the colder parts of the US.

Topdressing Sports Fields: What’s Right for Your Facility?
Speaker: James Murphy, Ph.D. – Rutgers University
This presentation will assist in determining whether topdressing is economically feasible and how to approach the logistical and agronomic issues needed to design a sound program. Delivery, storage and application of large volumes of topdressing material, understanding the agronomic reasoning behind material selection, and the timing, frequency and material-quantities applied will be discussed.

Being Positive About Increased Field Usage
Speaker: Zack Holm, CSFM – New York Red Bulls
In today’s world our fields continue to see more usage with little to no input from the turfgrass manager. This session will help attendees understand how to have difficult conversations about field usage, be better prepared for event/extra usage planning and generate ideas for low impact events that can help them and their organization.

Athletic Field Soils and How to Manage Them
Speaker: Barry Stewart Ph.D. – Mississippi State University
Soil properties are not always well understood by many athletic field managers. Soil properties directly determine grass properties and playing surface properties that affect player performance and player safety. This presentation will present a review of basic aspects of soils. Soil physical, chemical and health properties will be highlighted.

Back to Basics: Troubleshooting Your Irrigation System’s Electronics and Hydraulics
Speaker: Brad Jakubowski – Penn State University
Attendees will interactively learn the fundamentals of troubleshooting an irrigation system. Attendees will use multimeters to identify electrical problems with controllers, solenoids, common wires, and valve control wires. Attendees will also learn step by step methods to troubleshooting hydraulic problems in irrigation lines, valves and sprinklers.

11 am – 12 pm

So, What is the Deal with Calcium?Preview this session
Speaker: Nick Christians, Ph.D. – Iowa State University
The session will include some basics of soil science as it relates to calcium and its use on turfgrass. It will also include a discussion of recent research on the topic.

Integrating Assessments into a Municipal or School Grounds Management Program
Speaker: Victoria Wallace – University of Connecticut
Changes in environmental legislation have caused grounds managers in CT to rethink how they manage facilities. This presentation will discuss how the need for assessments of municipal and school grounds and landscapes have evolved in CT, integration of assessments into an IPM plan, and how their use can support management protocol and school grounds purchasing decisions.

Lessons Learned in 35 Years in Turf
Speaker: Dale Getz, CSFM – Retired
This presentation will follow the career of Dale Getz and the important agronomic and life lessons learned during 35 years in the turfgrass industry. The objective of the presentation is to show the various paths a career can take and to use lessons learned in the most productive way.

Recent Traffic Stress Tolerance Research at Rutgers University
Speaker: Brad Park – Rutgers University
The Rutgers Center for Turfgrass Science continues to assess the wear and traffic tolerance of existing tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass cultivars and new experimental selections. The presenter will describe research results generated from wear and traffic stress trials and the practical implications of this research relative to the challenges faced by sports field managers.
Article – Response of Kentucky Bluegrass to Traffic in Autumn
Article – Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass Mixture Research
Article – Trafficked and Non-Trafficked Tall Fescue Research

Moderated by Jeremy Tredway
This session will brainstorm a variety of topics from industry problems to hot topics. Each topic will be taped to the wall and attendees will vote on the topics they wish to discuss during the session by putting a colored dot sticker on that topic. The highest rated topics will be addressed.

More Pop per Drop: Smart Irrigation
Speaker: Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University
How do we get more of a “pop” of green per drop of water? Water shortages are increasing in frequency and severity. Water and root zone oxygen management innovations will be discussed using case studies and hands-on demos.

2 – 3:15 pm

Getting the Most Out of Your Natural Grass Fields
Speaker: Ryan Bjorn – Gillette Stadium
This presentation will cover three main keys that assist in providing high-quality surfaces while withstanding ever-increasing traffic demands. While looking at cultural practices, plant health and traffic management, we will discuss different types of aeration, using nitrogen in moderation and finally techniques to help manage the traffic on fields.

Breaking the Barrier: Communicating with Coaches and Administration
Speakers: Marc Moran, CSFM – Atlee High School
This presentation will focus on communication with coaches as well as administration to develop a working plan that facilitates reduction of wear in high wear areas, improved player and team performance and a stronger connection with the coach and the sports field manager. This will be explained from a sports field managers perspective as well as that of a coach.

John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz Comes Alive
Speaker: John Mascaro – Turf-Tec International
John Mascaro’s Photo Quiz article has appeared monthly in SportsTurf Magazine since 2006. The live version of the Photo Quiz is an interactive presentation with questions on what caused a turfgrass problem and answers that tell what the problem was and how it was solved. The Photo Quiz is a favorite feature in the magazine, and the live version focuses on “the rest of the story”.

Professional Baseball Field Renovation
Speaker: Wes Ganobcik – Columbus Clippers
This presentation will describe the design and construction process of a professional baseball field renovation from the perspective of the groundskeeper. It will describe areas of focus during the design and construction stages of a renovation project, the most important details of this specific renovation, as well as how to justify costs as defined by a cost/benefit analysis of different aspects of the project.

Utilizing a Diagnostic Service to Dial in Sports Turfgrass Disease Management Programs
Speaker: Philip Harmon, Ph.D. – University of Florida
We will review turfgrass disease problems and the resources that managers have to diagnose problems. We will review tips to getting the most out of a diagnostic sample and how to interpret the results. We will also review some of the most common warm season turfgrass diseases and management strategies, including fungicide options.

Synthetic Turf Maintenance: Sports Turf Managers Needed
Speakers: Brian Hill – Brigham Young University – Grounds Department; Michael Wear – Perfect Pitch Turf Solutions
An in depth look at the daily, weekly, monthly and annual maintenance required to properly maintain synthetic turf fields. Including a discussion of the tools, methods and reasons behind the maintenance procedures.

3:30 – 5 pm

So You’re Thinking About a Career Move… (Repeated Thurs., Jan. 16, 1:30 – 3 pm)
Speakers: Marcus Dean, CSFM – Advanced Turf Solutions; Jeff Salmond, CSFM – United Turf and Track; Brian Winka, CSFM – Advanced Turf Solutions
Three CSFMs give a presentation based off their experiences of working in various STMA membership categories, then transitioning to the commercial side of the industry. The presentation is designed to answer questions for those who may be thinking about a career move but are not sure what they can expect.

Get with the Program: Developing Your Own Weed Control Strategy
Speakers: Jim Brosnan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee; Gerald Henry, Ph.D. – University of Georgia
An effective weed control program allows field managers to maintain weed-free turfgrass (or as closely as possible) of optimal quality from January-December. Effective programs use different herbicide technologies varying in mode of action and implement effective cultural management practices. This session will teach attendees how to build effective weed control programs for both the northern and southern United States.

Work/Life Balance
Speakers: Lisa Goatley, M.S., L.P.C. – The Cascade Group; Mike Goatley, Jr., Ph.D. – Virginia Tech
Careers in the sports field industry present challenges in maintaining an appropriate balance between work and family life. Jobs are prone to long, unpredictable hours under stressful mental and physical conditions which can cause family relationships to suffer. This presentation will detail skills and strategies that one can implement to achieve healthy relationships both at home and with work.

Improved Cool-Season Grasses Perform Well and Require Fewer Inputs
Speakers: Cale Bigelow, Ph.D. – Purdue Turf Science Program; Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky
This presentation will highlight new cool-season turfgrasses that have been bred specifically for aesthetics and reduced inputs and will focus on how to select and choose these improved cultivars to use less fertilizer, chemicals, and water.

Does Your Athletic Field Pass the Test? Field Testing Overview
Speakers: Kyley Dickson, Ph.D. and John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee
The presentation will cover the importance of testing natural and synthetic athletic fields and what data these different tests provide. Attendees will also learn how to use this information to improve athletic field performance, playability, and safety as well as effective ways to communicate the information collected to administrators, coaches, athletes, parents, city council members, etc.

Turfgrasses Do Not Eat Cookies!
Speaker: Haibo Liu, Ph.D. – Clemson University
This seminar will provide thorough reviews of turfgrass soil fertility, nutrition, environmental soil chemical concepts, updates of new trends, and challenges for sports field managers. The audience will gain hands-on experience to deal with challenging soil and chemical subjects with improvements for future management practices.

Wed., Jan. 15
8 – 9:15 am

Research and Real-World Review of Natural & Synthetic Hybrid Turf Systems
Speaker: Pamela Sherratt – The Ohio State University
Hybrid turf systems comprised of natural and synthetic turf, combined to give the end user a stable and high quality playing surface. This presentation will include a summary of research findings to date and look at how these systems are installed and maintained.

Fertility Fact, Myth and Legend – Sports Turf Edition
Speaker: Beth Guertal, Ph.D. – Auburn University
We’ve all heard them: ‘apply potassium for traffic stress’, ‘no late season N – it causes winterkill’, and, ‘adding gypsum alleviates traffic stress’. But is any of this true, or is it as mythical as unicorns? Come join in for a discussion of the facts, myths and legends that surround fertilization and soil management, and see which are supported by research.

Understanding, Assessing, and Managing Shade Stress Problems in Stadiums
Speaker: John Sorochan, Ph.D. – University of Tennessee
This seminar will teach you to accurately diagnose shade stress on turfgrass and help you develop management practices to successfully manage turfgrass under shade conditions.

Media Training 101: Enhance Your Brand
Speakers: Glenn Gray and Colin McDonald – Buffalo Agency
Sports field managers need to be able to communicate their story in a compelling, authentic tone and engage with the media to promote the industry’s vital work. Come learn tips, tricks and techniques on how to efficiently become a “story seller” and be considered a thought leader in your community. With the proper tools and training, you’ll communicate your ideas coherently and effectively to any audience.

Chemical (Glyphosate, Fertilizer, etc.) Exposure: Health Concern? – Preview this education session
Speaker: Bryan Hopkins, Ph.D. – Brigham Young University
Recent legal actions have resulted in alarming concerns regarding chemical use. Pesticides and fertilizers (most notably glyphosate or Roundup®) are being scrutinized by the public, insurance companies, etc. What are the real facts? What precautions are needed? What resources are available to help alleviate founded and unfounded concerns?

Do I Pull the Tarp? Having the Tools and a Plan for Making Game-Time Weather Decisions
Speakers: Brad Jakubowski – Penn State University; Matt Neri – State College Spikes Baseball
Having reliable weather-based knowledge and developing lines of communication needed to make the most dependable game-time decisions possible is critical. The seminar will focus on what weather information is most effective for making game-time decisions and how to develop well-implemented plans and effective lines of communication to minimize unplayable field conditions.

9:30 – 10:45 am

Revisit / Develop Your Elevator SpeechPreview this session
Speaker: John Fech – University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Being able to simply and succinctly tell someone you just met about what you do for a living is an excellent way to get the word out that there are people in town who truly value community resources and whose job it is to ensure they are properly cared for. A quality elevator speech serves the sports field manager well when meeting vendors, event coordinators and potential future employers.

Tracking Every Drop: Irrigation Audits and Troubleshooting for Success
Speakers: Charles Fontanier, Ph.D. – Oklahoma State University; Chrissie Segars, Ph.D. – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
This presentation will describe the process of performing irrigation audits and troubleshooting your system for efficient watering practices. Speakers will go over step-by-step how to perform an audit, how to perform key calculations, and how to interpret your results to fine tune your system.

Improving High School Sports Fields: Educating & Connecting with Coaches
Speakers: Brandon Hardin and Michael Richard – Mississippi State University
Our newest Extension program: Sports Turf Management Coaches’ Clinic was established to educate high school coaches on field maintenance practices that provide safe playing surfaces for student athletes. We will also discuss how a consultant/company can build a relationship with a school to provide key services, all while growing their business.

Improving Biological Control of Turfgrass Pests in the Wake of Public Opinion
Speakers: John Inguagiato, Ph.D. – University of Connecticut; Joseph Roberts, Ph.D. – University of Maryland
Fertilizer and pesticide use in turfgrass has become a public concern resulting in state and local laws mandating the use of these products. With a growing public concern for both human and environmental health associated with turfgrass management, there is a growing need for alternative management strategies. Turfgrass researchers are developing new research in this area, particularly with how it relates to turfgrass microbiology.

Avoiding Pitfalls with Synthetic Turf Specifications and Project Management
Speakers: Dave Anderson PE – DA Hogan & Associates Inc.; Andrew McNitt, Ph.D. – Penn State University
Installing a new synthetic turf field? This presentation will discuss important aspects of the technical specifications and the project management approach that will help avoid pitfalls that can occur with the procurement and construction of synthetic turf field projects.

Cost of Ownership, From Turf to Dirt (Repeated Thurs., Jan. 16, 1:30 – 3 pm)
Speaker: Luke Yoder – DuraEdge Products, Inc.
There are many options when deciding what playing surface makes the most sense for your facility. We will discuss how to avoid buyer’s remorse while preparing to implement best practices moving forward for the long haul. We will discuss all aspects that help determine what the best long-term solution is for your field or complex.

11 am – 12 pm

Keynote – RMLCS Giving Back to The Community

Speaker: Rodney Smith, Jr. – Raising Men Lawn Care Service

This presentation is about Raising Men Lawn Care Service and how one simple act of kindness started it all. Using lawn care, youth are inspired to get out and make a difference in their community one lawn at a time through our 50-yard challenge.

Thurs., Jan. 16
8 – 10 am

Informed Decision-Making Leads to Successful Sports Field Management
Speakers: Mike Goatley, Jr., Ph.D. – Virginia Tech; Jeffrey Krans, Ph.D. – Mississippi State University; Jim Puhalla – Retired
The authors of “Sports Fields: Design, Construction, and Maintenance” apply over 100 years of their combined experiences in field designs, consultation, and university teaching/research in presentations emphasizing the points they feel are most critical to the success of a sports field and a sports field manager.

Bermudagrass: All the Latest on Cultivar Performance and Management
Speakers: Cale Bigelow, Ph.D. – Purdue Turf Science Program; Gregg Munshaw, Ph.D. – University of Kentucky; Barry Stewart Ph.D. – Mississippi State University
Attend this seminar to discover how to make the most informed decisions and maximize operational resources related to bermudagrass management. Although bermudagrass has many strengths, it can also come with major limitations. Explore and learn the effects of various management inputs like nutritional programs, mowing, cultivation, and plant growth regulators.

Work Life Balance: How to Spend Less Time at Work
Speakers: Wes Ganobcik – Columbus Clippers and Christo Wallace – Cincinnati Reds
Turfgrass Management is a career path in which certain months require you to live at your facility more than your own home. Several approaches will be discussed which should help improve people’s work/life balance, reduce the amount of time they spend at work, and create an overall more pleasant work environment. This will include staffing, scheduling, and field maintenance techniques.

Baseball Construction – The Science Behind the Builders
Speakers: Steve Bush, CFB, CSFM – Bush Sports Turf; Eric Holland – Precision Turf, LLC; Nolan Thomas – Nolan Thomas and Company, Inc.
The presentation will discuss the science and technology used in the design and construction of baseball fields. It will highlight recent projects and processes, how technology has changed building and maintaining baseball fields, and how to maximize your time with planning and efficiency.

1:30 – 3 pm – Repeat Sessions

Welcome to Our World
Speaker: Nicole Sherry – Baltimore Orioles
In this Q & A/Roundtable discussion, Nicole will provide insight on her past experiences as a major and minor league head groundskeeper. The presentation will cover how she got started in professional baseball groundskeeping, the toughest and most rewarding situations she has encountered, as well as key pieces of advice she has for those entering or trying to move up in the profession.

So You’re Thinking About a Career Move…(Repeated from Tues., Jan. 14, 3:30 – 5 pm)
Speakers: Marcus Dean, CSFM – Advanced Turf Solutions; Jeff Salmond, CSFM – United Turf and Track; Brian Winka, CSFM – Advanced Turf Solutions
Three CSFMs give a presentation based off their experiences of working in various STMA membership categories that have transitioned to the commercial side of the industry. The presentation is designed to answer questions for those who may be thinking about a career move but are not sure what they can expect.

Cost of Ownership, From Turf to Dirt(Repeated from Wed., Jan. 15, 9:30 – 10:45 am)
Speaker: Luke Yoder – DuraEdge Products, Inc.
There are many options when deciding what playing surface makes the most sense for your facility. We will discuss how to avoid buyer’s remorse while preparing to implement best practices moving forward for the long haul. We will discuss all aspects that help determine what the best long-term solution is for your field or complex.

2020 STMA’s 31st Annual Conference & Exhibition

January 13-16, 2020
West Palm Beach, FL

Click here to view the digital 2020 Conference Brochure.
Click here for a PDF of the 2020 Conference Brochure.

Convention Center
Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

  • 2020 – West Palm Beach, Florida
  • 2019 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2018 – Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2017 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2016 – San Diego, California
  • 2015 – Denver, Colorado
  • 2014 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2013 – Daytona Beach, Florida
  • 2012 – Long Beach, California
  • 2011 – Austin, Texas
  • 2010 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2009 – San Jose, California
  • 2008 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2007 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2006 – Orlando, Florida
  • 2005 – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2004 – San Diego, California
  • 2003 – San Antonio, Texas
  • 2002 – Las Vegas, Nevada
  • 2001 – Tampa, Florida
  • 2000 – St. Louis, Missouri
  • 1999 – Mesa, Arizona
  • 1998 – Orlando, Florida
  • 1997 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 1996 – Anaheim, California
  • 1995 – Bradenton, Florida
  • 1993 – Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1992 – Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1991 – San Diego, California
  • 1990 – Houston, Texas
  • 1989 – Vero Beach, Florida
2021 – Palm Springs, CA

January 11-14, 2021

2022 – Savannah, GA

January 17-20, 2022

2023 – Salt Lake City, UT

January 16-19, 2023

2024 – Daytona Beach, FL

Dates TBD

The STMA 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.

Congratulations to all of the teams that competed in the 2020 Student Challenge!  Winning the two-year competition was Mt. San Antonio College – Team 209. Penn State University – Team 211 took second place, and OSU ATI – Team 208 took third place. Winning the four-year competition was Penn State University – Team 403. Iowa State University – Team 405 took second place and Purdue University – Team 418 took third place.

2-year Division Winners – Mt. San Antonio College  – Team 209: Maria Rivas, Jose Gutierrez, Ryan Costello and Daniel Akers.

4-year Division Winners – Penn State University – Team 403: Micah Osenbach, Ian Patterson, Paige Alcorn and John Schupp.

The STMA Student Challenge is presented in partnership with the SAFE Foundation, Founding Partner Hunter Industries, and supporting sponsor Ewing.

Note: STMA Education Manager Kristen Althouse oversees the Student Challenge. She teaches first-year botany students who are in a two-year program at Penn State University. These first year students do not participate in the Student Challenge. She also has signed a binding, non-disclosure agreement. For questions or concerns, please contact STMA CEO, Kim Heck,, ph. 800-323-3875.

STMA Student Challenge Participant Code of Conduct and Eligibility Requirements

Code of Conduct
As a participant in the STMA Student Challenge and a guest of STMA, SAFE, and the sponsors of the event, all participating students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional, courteous and responsible manner while at the STMA Conference and Exhibition.

Participants in the STMA Student Challenge competing on a two-year team may compete in no more than three total Student Challenge events.
Participants in the STMA Student Challenge competing on a four-year team may compete in no more than five total Student Challenge events.
Students who have transferred from a two-year program to a four-year program may compete in up to five total Student Challenge events.
Graduate students may not participate.

Should a student be deemed to be in violation of policies by authorized STMA staff or volunteers, the team/school that the student represents may be disqualified from current and future STMA Student Challenge competitions and will be asked to pay for the Conference registration of all team members and forfeit all awards.  Please contact STMA with any questions regarding these policies at 800.323.3875 or

Previous STMA Student Challenge Winners

2020 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition
– Mt. San Antonio College – Team 209
Four Year Competition
– Penn State University – Team 403

2019 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition
– Penn State University – Team 203
Four Year Competition
– Iowa State University – Team 424

2018 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition
– Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208
Four Year Competition
– Iowa State University – Team 401

2017 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College – Team 207
Four Year Competition 
– Penn State University – Team 422

2016 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College – Team 208
Four Year Competition – 
Penn State University – Team 409

2015 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Penn State University – Team 207
Four Year Competition – University of Maryland – Team 414

2014 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – 
Mt. San Antonio College – Team 202
Four Year Competition – 
University of Maryland – Team 410

2013 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – 
Horry-Georgetown Technical College – Team 202
Four Year Competition – University of Maryland – Team 412

2012 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Kirkwood Community College Team 204
Four Year Competition – 
Purdue University Team 402

2011 Student Challenge Champions

Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 206
Four Year Competition – Purdue University Team 415

2010 Student Challenge Champions 
Two Year Competition – Penn State University Team 207
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 409

2009 Student Challenge Champions 
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 102
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 009

2008 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Penn State University Team 104
Four Year Competition – Penn State University Team 008

2007 Student Challenge Champions
Two Year Competition – Mt. San Antonio College Team 14
Four Year Competition – University of Tennessee Team 24

2006 Student Challenge Champions 
Purdue University Team 9

2005 Student Challenge Champions
Penn State University

Increase your professionalism by taking advantage of the continuing education units (CEUs) being offered at the STMA Conference this year. Earn up to 1.5 CEUs through STMA. In addition to STMA, the following professional organizations have agreed to provide CEUs for attending education sessions at the conference:

American Sports Builders Association (ASBA)
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA)
Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS)
National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)

The following states are providing Pesticide Recertification Credits:

*Pesticide Recertification credits will only be available for Florida. If you are attending from another state and are in need of pesticide recertification credits, you are responsible for contacting your state’s Department of Agriculture for approval.

Click here for a list of sessions that qualify. See the onsite brochure for a detailed listing of education sessions that qualify for CEUs and recertification credits. Be sure to sign in using the appropriate form during the education sessions.

STMA’s 2021 Call for Presentations is now closed.  Notification of selection will be out in early June.

Please direct any questions or concerns to Kristen Althouse, STMA Education Manager –