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! https://www.gofundme.com/osu-ati-turf-club-fundraiser
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
A summer finish that seemed somewhat timid has not completely let go as we currently stand – temperatures in the mid 80’s mean that there is still a bit of care required to avoid getting into late season trouble. Aeration cores have been flying along with sand topdressing to help summer recovery processes – critical to many golf courses who retain quality putting surfaces through the summer seasons.
Rust abounds and I would expect some issues with dollar spot to still exist, although the drying conditions may limit the severity of the issues. Insect activity and the resulting digging has not started to fire up too intensely but it should arrive at some stage soon. Leaf fall has begun for many as Maple trees start to turn color and create a mess at the same time – it is the time of year for it to happen so surprise should not be one of your expressions in regards to this.
As for ATI students, they have been busy – classes have returned with somewhat higher number – a good thing though we would like more! The students have made a trip to Columbus to visit the OSU golf course facility during the Web.com event week, the Scotts Company in Marysville to see how fertilizer is made and also to the Ohio Turfgrass Foundation Research Field day – where they got to see the latest research at from the OSU Turf program. Following that the students were involved in the Turfgrass Scholarship Fundraiser on September 14th where they carried bags, interacted with alumni who came from all over, and some even managed to get some golf in. The students used the research green as a stop for the longest putt competition which was won by current OTF president Jason Straka who dropped a 40ft bomb with his first putt! The event raised over $17,500 for scholarships and we will look to build on that for next year – we are very grateful for everyones support both on the day and in the run up to the event.
The turf club has elected a new board of officers and students are preparing for trips to both OTF and GIS where they will man the OSU ATI Turfgrass Booth and meet our ever expanding alumni network. Finally Dr. Raudenbush and Dr. Nangle combined to purchase a greens roller for the students to practice on the putting green and make sure they know the intricacies of using such a piece of equipment – no one has crashed it yet!
As always if there are questions or queries dont hesitate to contact us! Enjoy the fall – whenever it arrives – Go Bucks!