The countdown begins

Not to summer! The 2nd annual Snow mold field day is coming up – snow cover is still on all sites and so a decision on location and time has not been made yet – however – keep your eyes peeled both on the twitter and Facebook feeds – as soon as we know – you will know!


As we head towards the end of winter and we get past the annual meetings in San Antonio, the inevitable sentiment of cabin fever begins as everyone wants the snow to melt (maybe not immediately – but soon) and temperatures to warm up. So far winter has had harsh moments and I suspect some poa may suffer from the extreme swings we have seen at times along with wet surfaces that may have occurred prior to the occurrence of cold temperatures.Temperatures and moisture have combined in a favorable manner for the development of snowmold pressure and I would expect to see certainly an impact on roughs. Untreated higher value areas also should expect problems as long as temperatures and moisture prevail. Recovery will require warmth of course and any options available to aid with that should be considered.


Twelve students made the trip to San Antonio and all enjoyed the trip with tours of the USGA, Toro, Jacobsen booths being some of the highlights as well as competing (first time for all students this year) in the annual turf bowl. The contest was won by Auburn and the ATI students represented the program excellently. Finally many of the students were able to network and interact with industry peers and as the start out on their own professional track this is certainly one of the events that they will aim to attend on an annual basis. The turf program would like to sincerely thank all of those who contributed to the fundraising effort this year to help cover costs – you certainly made a difference and are greatly appreciated.

The Ohio State ATI booth at GIS 2018 and the turf students attending the first of their tours at the USGA booth


Its GIS time and we are well and truly back in the swing of things.

On the student education front we have been very busy with 5 new students starting in January and further to that as students are getting ready to make the trip – they need your help! In an attempt to help with the cost of traveling to compete in the national conference and turfgrass competition the club has setup a donation page – if you can support them – have a look!

Further to that the program has been busy – Dr Raudenbush has been in Indianapolis and Dayton speaking while Dr. Nangle was up at the Michigan State turfgrass conference. January started of cool but certainly has warmed up with snow cover pretty much gone. Disease pressure has been limited so far but we may have some problems in the near future based on long term forecast. Temperatures are being talked about in the realm of the ‘polar vortex’ during February – meaning a return to extreme cold and possibly putting Poa annua in a difficult situation. At this stage with now snow available to act as an insulator we may be just watching the problems occur but if snow does fall – use it as much as possible!

For all of the NE Ohio Superintendents traveling to Texas – safe travels! For all of the alumni around the country – visit the booth we will be there and look forward to catching up with you all.

Another OTF in the books and Semester ending

As we hurtle rapidly towards the end of the semester (exams are this upcoming week) we also put to bed another very successful Ohio Turfgrass Conference and Show. This year saw the weather cooperate for the most part with conditions being almost October like and no sign of snow and relatively nice temperatures – it showed – numbers were up! A final tally will be released soon by the Foundation and based on registrations everyone can be happy with an increase.

Speakers were delighted with the reception they received from all with plenty of questions, an excellent finish to the convention center upgrade and a downtown area that is rapidly becoming the most diverse and entertaining in the midwest. Many people took in the NHL game on the Tuesday night while a massive range of accommodations and restaurants now awaits attendees – it really has been an eye opening change.

ATI Students also stood out with scholarship awards for Devin Herman ( R.D. Baker Memorial Scholarship) and Aron Early (Don Sweda Memorial Scholarship and OTF Scholarship) as well as yet again another success for the ATI turf students in the annual turf bowl with a 1-2 result. The OTF Turfbowl Champions for 2017 were some of our second year students  Brett Jones Gregg Briggs, Kyle Gray and Aron Early. Congrats to them and we look forward to defending the trophy next year. Further to that the vocational education centers were competing and once again the team from Knox County pushed through to get the win – congrats to those potential turf managers!

OTF Turfbowl Winners 2017 (L-R) Greg Briggs, Kyle Gray, Jason Straka (OTF President 2017), Brett Jones, Aron Early


OTF Scholarship winners Aron Early (L) and Devin Herman (R) with Dr. Raudenbush at the awards dinner on Monday 12-4-17

As we head toward the holiday season Dr’s Nangle, Raudenbush and Voltz would like to extend their best wishes and hope that everyone has a safe and happy holiday period. Looking forward to catching up next year.

OTF is here again

As we get ready for the final push for the 2017 OTF Turfgrass Conference and show it would be remiss of us to not bring up the list of speakers coming in from all around the country to offer their expertise. Disease, weeds, insects, weather, latest breeding information are all on tap and even more. It promises to be the best show yet – come along and see the great John Street too!


Dr. Paul Koch – University of Wisconsin

Dr. Fred Yelverton – North Carolina State University

Dr. Kevin Kloesel – University of Oklahoma

Dr. Leah Brilman – Oregon State University

Dr. Ben McGraw – Pennsylvania State University


Register today!

We will be there with students too competing in the turfbowl and also hoping to catch up with alumni – come find us at the booth!

Internships internships internships

Believe it or not, in a similar situation to many turfgrass programs across the country – our students have almost all signed up for their internship opportunities already – the early bird catches the worm as they say.

Our students are predominantly going to be based in Ohio but some have also taken a look at out of state opportunities. As I write this I would make a recommendation to anyone who is thinking about an internship program – do it properly or don’t do it at all.

If you are frustrated that you cannot gain interns from various programs, consider the following questions.

Do you provide free/discounted accommodation?

Do you provide uniforms / food discounts of some sort?

Have you a LEGIBLE clearly communicated internship document that indicates tasks expected to be completed and expected training outcomes for the potential candidates?

Have you visited the schools in person?

Do you start the process of looking for interns in September of the previous year or wait until February / March of the actual year?

Are you willing to give them tournament exposure (eg  volunteer at tournament week close by for the AM or PM shift)?

Have you thought about broadening the internship to include landscape experiences?

Have you called the professors at these programs and actually made an effort to sell your program?

There are other things that students are being offered on top of this basic list – its competitive out there!

You may say that these students are being pampered too much if this is what is being offered – I will just say – you’re probably not going to get an intern if that’s your approach. The students have a choice – they are aware of this and who can blame them if they believe that the opportunities being offered to them are the best for their careers? All you can do is get involved and go in with eyes wide open.