Sponsorship of NTA Conference Now Available

Sponsorship opportunities for the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association are now available, with most at a reduced cost from last year.

The 74th annual NTA Conference is set for Oct. 11-13 at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, Wash., and Gamble Sands Golf Course in Brewster.

The sponsorship levels that are still available for 2020 include the $3,500 level, which includes three free registrations to the conference, the $2,500 level, which includes two free registrations, the $1,500 level, which includes one free registration, and the $500 level.

Click here for a complete breakdown of sponsorship levels and the long list of opportunities with each level that will help you gain exposure with turfgrass professionals throughout the Northwest.

The NTA is closely monitoring the various coronavirus regulations. If by October, the restriction on shotgun tournaments hasn’t been lifted, or the social distancing guidelines in October make it impossible to have the conference, then the NTA will refund 90 percent of the sponsorship fees. The remaining 10 percent will cover the advertising on the NTA web site (nwturfgrass.net), which will not be impacted by the coronavirus.

More information on the conference and sponsorships is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Click here for the schedule for the three days of the conference. Click here for registration information.


NTA Assists with CTRF Research Grants

With the help of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, along with turf associations throughout Canada, the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation has announced the research and education programs it is supporting in 2020.

The CTRF is dedicating $19,225 (CDN) toward “Understanding and Predicting Pesticide Use on Golf Courses Using Deep Machine Learning,” a two-year study being conducted by Dr. Guillaume Gregoire of Universite Laval in Quebec.

Because of the relationship with the CTRF, NTA members will have access to this study when it is completed.

This project aims to use data from the Quebec Pesticides Management Code to identify key practices resulting in pesticide use reduction on golf courses and to predict pesticide use evolution under different climate change scenarios.  To do so, Dr. Guillaume and his team will develop a deep machine learning algorithm to analyze the data on golf course pesticide use collected by the Quebec Ministry of Environment since 2006 in order to asses pesticide use evolution and its associated risks over the years.  A subset of golf courses with different pesticide use profiles will be randomly selected for a further analysis, including interviews with superintendents to refine the model.  Finally, the model will be used in combination with open-source weather data to predict pesticide use evolution on golf courses for the future.

The CTRF, as did the NTA, also is supporting the fourth edition of the “Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases” with a $1,000 contribution. This is a valuable resource for many in the turfgrass industry, including turfgrass managers, researchers, diagnosticians, educators and students.  Originally written by R.W. Smiley and published in 1983, the first three editions have sold 48,000 copies. The third edition was published in 2005 and has sold more than 8,500 copies in 50 states and 55 countries.

More information on the NTA and the CTRF is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

The NTA is set with its annual conference, Oct. 11-13 at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, Wash., and nearby Gamble Sands Golf Course. Registration is available by clicking here.


Early Registration Opens for NTA Conference

Early bird registration, with a $50 savings, is now open for the 74th annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, set for Oct. 11-13 at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan and Gamble Sands Golf Course.

The early bird rate is $725 per person, based on double occupancy. The early bird rate will be available until Aug. 14, when the double occupancy will increase to $775 per person.

Click here for online registration.

The conference in 2020 will include three nights of lodging (Sunday-Monday-Tuesday) at Campbell’s Resort on the shore of Lake Chelan in downtown Chelan.

Educational sessions will be held Monday and Tuesday mornings, featuring Dr. Joseph Roberts from Clemson University and Dr. Paul Koch from the University of Wisconsin as our featured speakers.

Golf will be played Monday and Tuesday afternoons at Gamble Sands, the highly touted layout designed by David McLay Kidd.

For dinners in the evenings, on Monday night we will be at Rio Vista Winery in Chelan for a wine dinner, and Tuesday night we will be at Campbell’s Resort in Chelan.

Click here for a complete breakdown of the schedule.

Both the NTA and officials at Campbell’s Resort are monitoring the various state and local coronavirus regulations and will make adjustments accordingly as we get closer to the conference.

The NTA will be kicking off its sponsorship campaign in the next few days, but if you want more information on sponsorships, you can click here as well as contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA’s Turfgrass Research Support Nearly $70,000

With nearly $70,000 donated toward turfgrass research studies and educational programs in 2020, the Northwest Turfgrass Association has reached philanthropic levels it has not touched in at least a decade.

More than $61,000 of that is going toward turfgrass research being conducted at Oregon State University under the direction of Dr. Alec Kowalewski.

In all, $67,967 from the NTA is supporting OSU as well as the turfgrass research foundation in Canada, turfgrass disease reference material and $2,500 in scholarships for turfgrass students at Walla Walla Community College.

“On behalf of the Northwest Turfgrass Association Board of Directors, I am proud of the fact that we have been able to increase our donations to turfgrass research through the generosity of our donors and members, said Cory Brown, president of the NTA and the superintendent at Overlake Golf and Country Club in Medina, Wash.

Over the past five years, the NTA has averaged roughly $50,000 a year in various donations, so the jump to more than $68,000 this year represents a considerable leap.

“By funding turfgrass research we will continue to benefit golf course superintendents, turfgrass managers, golfers, and the general public by improving turfgrass management techniques and developing environmentally sustainable programs,” Brown said.

These grants from the NTA are made possible by numerous and generous donations to the NTA from clubs and individuals throughout the Northwest. More information on assisting the NTA in its research efforts is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

Presentations on most of these research projects will be given at the annual conference of the NTA, set for Oct. 11-13 of this year in Chelan, Wash. Click on the following links for more information on registration, schedule, sponsorship.

Here is the breakdown of donations from the NTA in 2020 as voted on by the Board of Directors after recommendations from the Research Committee. Three of the studies by Oregon State are ongoing research and you can click on the link to access the progress reports:

Comparing iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid.
Oregon State University—$11,141.00—Progress report

Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons.
Oregon State University—$9,999.00—Progress report

Effects of winter nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium rates on Microdochium patch.
Oregon State University—$10,020.00—Progress report

Long-term effects of topdressing and cultivation practices on an annual bluegrass putting green.
Oregon State University—$10,020.00

Exploitation of alternative disease suppression using Epichloë endophytes.
Oregon State University—$10,000.00

Enhancing turfgrass carbon sequestration to improve sustainability and market access.
Oregon State University—$10,187.00

Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation—$3,100.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarships
Walla Walla Community College—$2,500.00

Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases, Fourth Edition
The American Phytopathological Society—$1,000.00


Third OSU Microdochium Patch Study

Here is the last update from the three ongoing turfgrass research studies at Oregon State University by Dr. Alec Kowalewski and his team.

This study is looking at Effects of Winter Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium Rates on Microdochium Patch.

Click here for the latest update as the study enters its final year.


Another OSU Update Available

Dr. Alec Kowalewski and his turfgrass research team at Oregon State University have presented another update on their current ongoing study, Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons.

Click here for that latest update as the study, supported by the Northwest Turfgrass Association, enters its final year.


Check Out The Updated NTA Roster

Minimum maintenance practices these days for the Northwest Turfgrass Association includes a revamping and updating of the association’s 341-member roster.

It’s been two years since the last overhaul of the roster, so please check it out to make sure we have the proper phone number and email address for you.

You can view the roster by clicking here, or by viewing it on our website. There, the roster is located under the “About” tab at the top of the home page.

If you have any updates to your entry, or any questions, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


Two New Research Studies Available

Through the Northwest Turfgrass Association’s partnership with the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation, two new research studies are now available for NTA members.

“Testing Lower Risk Fungicides for Activity Against Turfgrass Diseases” is the final report in a research study by Dr. Tom Hsiang of the University of Guelph.

“The Effect of Snow Cover and Anti-Transpirants on the Persistence of Snow Mould Fungicides” is an update on a continuing study by Dr. Paul Koch of the University of Wisconsin.

There are five research studies from last year via the Canadian Turfgrass Research Foundation available on the NTA website, under the Turfgrass Research tab.

More information on the NTA, and its partnership with the CTRF, is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA Conference To Return To Bandon

After the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort was the site of another successful annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association in 2019, the Board of Directors of the NTA has reached an agreement with the resort to return in 2021.

The 75th annual conference of the NTA will be Oct. 27-30, 2021.

It won’t be the traditional days of the week for the conference, with Wednesday, the 27th being the travel day with overnight accommodations that night at Bandon Dunes. Then education, golf and dinner will be held both Thursday and Friday, Oct. 28-29, and then overnight accommodations will conclude Saturday morning, Oct. 30.

“We are pleased to announce that for 2021 the annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association will be returning to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort,” said Cory Brown, the president of the NTA and the superintendent at Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash. “Based on the feedback from our members and our history of well-attended conferences there, we are excited to return to the Oregon coast in 2021.”

For 2020, the 74th annual conference of the NTA will be in Chelan, Wash., at Campbell’s Resort with the golf at Gamble Sands. The conference will run Oct. 11-13, 2020. Registration and sponsorship information will be available this spring.

More information on the NTA and its annual conferences is available by contacting Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


Wrapping Up Bandon Dunes Conference

It’s time to wrap up the 73rd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, which enjoyed three days of great weather at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and one of the largest turnouts in recent history of the conference.

An experiment with the schedule seemed to be well received and the NTA Board of Directors has decided to go forward with the agenda that calls for three nights of lodging for the conference starting on Sunday night, followed by educational sessions-golf-dinner-lodging all day Monday and Tuesday.

That’s the format the NTA will use in 2020 when the conference goes to Campbell’s Resort in Chelan, Wash., and Gamble Sands Golf Course in nearby Brewster on Oct. 11-13.

It will be tough to match the three days of sunshine at Bandon, and the 181 total attendees for the conference.

Adding to the success at Bandon Dunes was the informational and insightful presentations delivered by our speakers—Brian Horgan of Michigan State, Michael Richardson of Arkansas, Alec Kowalewski, Brian McDonald, and Clint Mattox from Oregon State and former USGA agronomist Larry Gilhuly.

There were 20 generous sponsors who also made the conference a success. The NTA Board of Directors would like to thank the following for their support—Turf Star/Western Equipment, Pacific Golf & Turf, Wilbur-Ellis, Barenbrug, Magic Valley Bentgrass, Prime Source, Syngenta, Helena AgriEnterprises, Mountain View Seed, Walrath Sand Products, Washington Rock Golf Sand, Amvac, Bos Sod, DLL Finance, Ewing, Grigg, H.D. Fowler, Horizon/Rain Bird, Ridgetop Golf, and RMT Equipment.

Golf was a fun challenge both days, and while the rain stayed away, the wind certainly made its presence felt. The NTA would like to thank the three groups each day that played the opposite course so our shotgun wasn’t too crowded.

Here are the results from Monday at Old Macdonald.

Here are the results from Tuesday at Bandon Trails.


Cory Brown Elected NTA President

Cory Brown

Cory Brown, the superintendent at Overlake Golf & Country Club in Medina, Wash., has been elected president of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

Brown, who has been the superintendent at Overlake since 2013 after spending seven years as the assistant superintendent there, was elected in a vote of the NTA Board of Directors at the conclusion of the recent annual conference of the NTA at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. Brown has spent the past year as the vice president of the NTA and secretary the year before that.

Michael Bednar, the superintendent at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash., slides from the president’s role into being the Past President.

Geoff Haynes, the superintendent at Galena Ridge Golf Course in Kellogg, Idaho, was elected vice president. He spent the past year as the NTA treasurer.

Dan Salois of Planet Turf was elected secretary for the coming year and Sean Watts of Simplot was elected treasurer.

Salois and Watts were joined by David Fair of Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey, B.C., in being elected to the Board of Directors by NTA members during the annual business meeting of the association, which was held during the conference at Bandon Dunes.

Coming off the NTA Board after numerous years of service are Jacob Close, the superintendent at Sudden Valley G&CC in Bellingham, Wash., who was the past president, and Russell Vandehey, the superintendent at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Ore.


NTA to Award Turfgrass Scholarships

Dwayne Scott, left, receives the Bill Griffith Turf Management scholarship from Michael Bednar, president of the NTA.

As part of the festivities of the 73rd annual conference of the Northwest Turfgrass Association, two scholarships, each worth $1,250, will be awarded to Walla Walla Community College students studying turfgrass management.

The presentations of the Bill Griffith Turf Management scholarships will be made during the annual NTA business meeting, Oct. 29, at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Receiving the scholarships in 2019 will be Carlos Epifanio, a sophomore from Milton-Freewater, Ore., and Dwayne Scott, a freshman from Shoreline.

Epifanio has a 3.6 grade-point average and is currently working for the parks department with the City of Walla Walla. He also completed an internship with the grounds crew at Seattle University.

“Carlos would be an excellent sports turf manager,” wrote Peter Larson, the head of the field maintenance staff at Seattle U. “He is attentive to details and loves to learn. He embraces challenges and is eager to try new things.”

Scott has a 3.84 grade-point average and currently is an assistant superintendent at Inglewood Golf Club. He took up golf at age 21 and quickly fell in love with the sport, and the profession of maintaining golf courses.

“Dwayne’s potential in the profession is very strong,” wrote Greg Matz, the superintendent at Inglewood Golf Club. “He takes pride in not only his day-to-day performance, but in his many years of dedication to Inglewood Golf Club.”


Nate Stacey’s Biosolids Study Available

A study conducted by Nate Stacey at Washington State University concerning land applications of biosolids has been completed and now is available to members of the Northwest Turfgrass Association.

The NTA assisted with financial support for this study.

You can click here to view this study, which was published by Applied Soil Ecology with the official title: “Composted biosolids for golf course turfgrass management: Impacts on the soil microbiome and nutrient cycling.”

More information on the NTA, and the turfgrass research it supports, is available at www.nwturfgrass.net, or from Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA Donations Surpass $1.3 Million

With the $50,327 in donations to worthy turfgrass research and education programs the Northwest Turfgrass Association will be distributing in 2019, the total contributions from the NTA in recent history surpasses $1.3 million.

The modern history of the NTA includes $1,304,975 donated to mostly Northwest entities between 1997 and 2019. That averages out to more than $56,000 a year to support turfgrass research at various universities and turfgrass educational support for various programs as well as numerous scholarships to turfgrass students.

Click here for a breakdown of the financial contributions from 1997 to 2019.

The NTA dates back a lot longer than 1997, but that’s the earliest with available records.

In fact, this year marks the 73rd annual conference of the NTA, which is one of the main fund-raising events throughout the year.

Registration now is open for the annual conference to be held at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, with a special early bird rate available between now and July 31.

The NTA Conference will be Oct. 27-29 with an early bird registration rate of $725 for double occupancy, which includes three nights lodging at the famed resort on the southern Oregon coast.

The NTA conference is growing this year with a third night of lodging and another lunch added compared to past conferences.

Click here for more information on registration. The early bird rate of $725 is available until July 31 and then it converts to the regular double occupancy rate of $775. The single occupancy rate will be $995.

Click here for more information on the schedule. The NTA has secured Dr. Brian Horgan from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Michael Richardson from the University of Arkansas to be headline speakers.

Click here for information on sponsorships for the conference.

If you have any questions or want more details, please contact Paul Ramsdell, the executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


NTA Donates $50,000 Toward Research

The Northwest Turfgrass Association will be donating $50,327 to worthy turfgrass research and education programs in 2019 as it continues to be a leading benefactor for the golf industry in the Northwest. Over the past five years, the NTA has donated almost a quarter of a million dollars to various programs.

There will be three separate research studies at Oregon State University that the NTA will continue to fund, totaling $31,160. All three studies pertain to Microdochium Patch, a consistent disease problem for turfgrass managers in the Northwest.

Reports on the progress made so far on those studies are available below.

The NTA also will be supporting a $10,000 study by Dr. Paul Koch at the University of Wisconsin on snow mold control in higher elevations in the Northwest.

Included in the financial support being distributed by the NTA is $1,700 to both the Inland Empire GCSA and the Western Washington GCSA to help finance the development of a Best Management Practices guidelines for superintendents in the Northwest.

In all for 2019, six different entities in the Northwest will be supported through the grants, which were decided by the NTA Board of Directors after recommendations from the Research Committee.

The grants from the NTA are made possible through the numerous and generous contributions from clubs and individuals throughout the Northwest.

For 2019, after extensive consideration and recommendations from the NTA Research Committee, the Board of Directors awarded the following research and education grants:

Comparing iron sulfate versus chelated iron for the suppression of Microdochium Patch on annual bluegrass putting greens in the absence and presence of phosphorous acid—
Oregon State University—$11,141.00—Progress report

Effects of winter nitrogen, phosphate and potassium rates on Microdochium Patch—
Oregon State University—$10,020.00—Progress report

Quantifying the long-term effects of alternative Microdochium Patch management techniques on sand-based annual bluegrass putting green performance over multiple seasons—
Oregon State University—$9,999.00—Progress report

Snow mold control in higher elevations in the Northwest—
University of Wisconsin—$10,000.00

Turfgrass field lab construction—
Walla Walla Community College—$3,267.00

Bill Griffith Turfgrass Management Scholarship—
Walla Walla Community College—$2,500.00

Northwest BMP funding—
Inland Empire GCSA—$1,700.00

Northwest BMP funding—
Western Washington GCSA—$1,700.00

For more information on how to apply for grants for 2020, or to contribute directly to the NTA, contact Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.


Historic NTA Publications Now Online

Some fantastic historical turfgrass research articles from the archives of the Northwest Turfgrass Association now are available online, thanks to the Turfgrass Information Center at Michigan State University.

More than 1,000 articles pertaining to turfgrass issues in the Northwest and written by the leaders in the industry now can be easily accessed online.

The NTA’s publication from 1959 to 1997, Northwest Turfgrass Topics, is available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgt.

The written proceedings and studies from the annual conference of Northwest Turfgrass Association, starting with the third annual conference back in 1950 at the State College of Washington, are available by following this link: https://d.lib.msu.edu/nwtgc.

These archives, an ongoing cooperative project of the NTA and the Michigan State University Libraries, features public access to both periodicals as they were published and as copies are available.

All turf-related articles from within these materials, more than 1,000 in all, also are indexed and linked from within the Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database: http://tic.msu.edu/tgif.

For a full list of all publicly-available and restricted-access archives hosted by TIC, please see: https://tic.msu.edu/browse.

Any questions about the NTA material can be directed to Paul Ramsdell, executive director of the NTA, at mpsparks90@aol.com or 253-219-8360.

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