Author Archives: Allie Shriver

Be More Involved with Turfgrass Producers International in 2022!

Turfgrass Producers International Committees

If you’ve been looking for a way to get more involved in TPI or TLI now is the time! Complete a Committee Interest Application and join us as we shape the future of TPI and TLI.

What are the Turfgrass Producers International and The Lawn Institute Committees?

Conference & Education Committee
The primary responsibility of this committee is the development and coordination of educational programs for TPI events including pre-conference seminars, panel/board discussions, general education, and breakout sessions, and tours, along with the identification and recruitment of speakers.

Membership Committee
The focus of this group is to identify new programs and strategies that expand TPI’s membership participation worldwide and increase the value of a TPI membership.

Public Relations Committee
The primary goal of this group is to maximize TPI’s effectiveness in developing marketing strategies that serve to educate the general public; convey beneficial information to producers, suppliers, and end-users; address specific environmental advantages or concerns; enhance and expand TPI’s relationships with turfgrass extension specialists, researchers and educators; and develop, review, and revise various support materials specifically designed to achieve the intended objectives.

Leadership and Innovations Committee
The primary goal of this committee is to develop connections with leaders within TPI to develop strategies for reaching new leaders, developing new TPI programs, and utilizing technology to push TPI initiatives forward.

The Lawn Institute Fundraising Committee
The Fundraising Committee is responsible for developing fundraising activities for the Foundation and for helping to secure donations.

The Lawn Institute Research Committee
The Research Committee focuses on reviewing research proposals and making funding recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Research Committee is also responsible for tracking the research being done in the turfgrass field and reporting on that research to the board.

The Lawn Institute Scholarship Committee
The Dr. Henry W. Indyk Scholarship was established to honor a founding father of Turfgrass Producers International while demonstrating TPI’s commitment to education and offering a valuable member benefit. The Scholarship Committee solicits, collects, and reviews Dr. Henry W. Indyk Scholarship applications annually. The committee members use objective criteria to select scholarship winners.

 

Join an open TPI or TLI Committee call in 2022

Add the committees of your choice to your calendar and save the links below to join us for our April Committee Week. All TPI Members are welcome to attend our committees and speak during the open remarks and questions period at the end of each call.

Membership: April 25, 2022 at 11 am EST Zoom Call Link
Research: April 25, 2022 at 2 pm EST Zoom Call Link 
Conference and Education: April 26, 2022 at 11 am EST Zoom Call Link
Fundraising: April 26, 2022 at 2 pm EST  Zoom Call Link 
Scholarship: April 27, 2022 at 11 am EST Zoom Call Link
Leadership, Innovation, and Technology: April 27, 2022 at 2 pm EST Zoom Call Link 
Public Relations: April 28, 2022 at 2 pm EST Zoom Call Link 

TPI 2022 International Education Conference & Field Day Recap

We think we speak for our entire community when we say ­– it felt wonderful to be together! Turfgrass Producers International held its annual Education Conference and Field Day at the beautiful Loews Coronado Bay Resort and Spa in sunny California the week of February 14-17, 2022.

The TPI event was the first time our industry has been able to gather in person from all over the world since the Orlando conference in February 2020. Over 500 attendees networked for a week on the water, in the board rooms, and over tacos! We gathered from 95 farms, 38 states, and 11 countries, including South Africa, Luxembourg, Germany, Turkey, and Argentina.

The week kicked off with an electric Super Bowl game and Half-Time Show for the ages. We gathered in the lobby and on the patio for conversation and football. The weather, the food, and the company were fantastic.    

Monday on the Water

TPI took to the high seas for our yearly conference activity day. This was the perfect time to see the community we were in and reconnect with old friends. Our rather large group split into three and experienced the Pacific Ocean differently.

A group headed to La Jolla for the kayaking experience of a lifetime. We paddled out to the La Jolla caves, where we spent the day learning about the caves, the protected reserve, and the houses on the edge of the sea. We saw plenty of wildlife, including leopard sharks and sea lions.

Another group boarded a large catamaran and ventured across the San Diego Bay. We were treated to an epic airshow from the local military base while on the water. We even cheered for our brave soldiers returning to their aircraft carrier from the water. We enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends and take in the shoreline views.   

The last group spent the morning exploring the USS Midway. The historical naval museum is located at the Navy Pier and boasts an extensive collection of aircraft. After the tour, we cruised the bay to catch some rays and feel the wind in our hair. The views were breathtaking.

The Lawn Institute Casino Night

What a wonderful evening! We enjoyed a night under the stars surrounded by friends and family to benefit The Lawn Institute. With carving stations and casino games spread around the pool deck, attendees celebrated reuniting and The Lawn Institute while attempting to win some fun prizes. Of course, the kids were the real winners, making up most of our evening’s prize winners, including the $1,000 grand prize.

This evening was made possible by Trebro Manufacturing and Donkey Forklifts. Donkey provided The Lawn Institute with their latest Zero Turn Forklift to auction off at the end of the evening. We’re always proud to have raised funds for The Lawn Institute.

Education

After an exciting start to our event, attendees were eager to learn. There were two full days of education relevant to the current trends in the industry.

We started with an informative Keynote Address from Bruce Vincent, a third-generation logger from Libby, Montana. Mr. Vincent stressed the need for industry advocacy from within the industry. He made a point to share that you must each be an advocate for your industry. This could mean reaching out to your current representatives, getting involved in local decisions, and coming together with your competition to advance the industry’s agenda.

Dr. Casey Reynold’s continued the conversation with a brief Proposed Sod Checkoff presentation and opened the floor for questions. Dr. Reynolds facilitated discussions around the proposed sod checkoff and answered many questions. We look forward to hearing the conversation continue in the industry.

Additionally, Dr. Reynolds presented the work TPI has completed in the last year in partnership with the USDA. This included adding sod as an agriculture commodity for several rulings in our favor. This meant we could make strides in transportation legislation and receive CFAP funds.

Dr. Aaron Patton and Dr. Jay McCurdy each presented an agronomic session. Dr. Patton shared information on Sod Strength in Cool Season grass. Dr. McCurdy spoke in Herbicide Resistance, specifically Poa Annua.  

Challenges in labor, specifically in the H2A realm, were a popular topic. We spent some time with Sawn Packer and Lynn Jacquez on the issue, and they opened the floor for a Q&A session that proved to be beneficial all around. We look forward to bringing more labor discussions to our members.

There was no surprise we had a packed house for our final Keynote speaker, Sarah Frey. Mrs. Frey shared her inspirational story and how her family constantly evolves their business and practices as struggles come their way. Her story struck home for many family-owned farms and those who built their organizations from the ground up. TPI Board Member and family-farm owner Diane Mischel had an on-stage, sit-down conversation with Mrs. Frey and dove more into how she handles it all. The Q&A was thought-provoking and engaging. Mrs. Frey gifted 100 lucky attendees with a copy of her book. She stuck around to sign every copy and meet with our excited members.

The show was rounded out by the ever-popular Show and Tell session for five of our new TPI Board Members. We invited our 2021 new board members to take the stage on Tuesday. First, Larry LeMay from A-G Sod Farms and Ron Schiedel from GreenHorizons Group shared their stories with our attendees. Then, they passed the baton on to the 2022 new board members on Thursday. Wade Wilber of Sod Shop, Lindy Murff of Murff Turf, and Albrecht Knigge of Rasenland Pattensener shared the stage and shared their histories with us.

The education was top-notch this year, and we’re thrilled to have brought thought-provoking sessions and conversations to our attendees and members.

TPI Field Day 2022

It is no secret our attendees love Field Day. Thanks to American Sod Farms, we provided yet another wonderful field day for our attendees and supplier members. The weather was beautiful, and the grass was perfect for harvesting demonstrations. The exhibitors were spread throughout the field with several food trucks. Attendees could try any of our five food trucks, snack on popcorn, and enjoy refreshments from our Tap Truck. This year’s Field Day is one we’ll remember for years to come.

Turfgrass Producers International Future Events

We could not have had a better experience in California. TPI is thrilled to be back in person and looks forward to the future events planned. We see you in Nashville for our Winter Conference and Detroit for the Summer Convention & Field Day in 2023!

Just Announced- TPI Future Leaders Fellowship

Building Industry Leaders

Turfgrass Producers International is excited to announce our newest members-only program the TPI Future Leaders Fellowship. We are honored to bring new and current leaders in the natural grass industry together for the learning opportunity of a lifetime.

Throughout our immersive 24-month program, our fellows will become more robust and better leaders with new skills and relationships to become effective advocates for the natural grass industry.

Become An Industry Leader

With a balance of dynamic classroom and virtual presentations, experiential learning opportunities, in-depth leadership text analysis paired with travel, service projects, and teamwork, fellows will learn new skills and enhance existing leadership characteristics to contribute to the long-term success of theirs career and organization.

Program Goals & Objectives

  1. Investing in the natural grass industry by creating new leaders to create change for the future.
  1. Building new relationships and networks within the natural grass industry for idea sharing and increased industry involvement.
  1. Creating influential leaders to help their organizations and communities meet rapidly changing needs.
  1. Developing well-rounded leaders with real-world experiences, global knowledge, and advocacy experience.

Benefits for Fellow and Employer

  • Prepare fellows to assume greater leadership responsibilities in their organizations, industries, and communities.
  • Develop essential tools to enhance leadership skills and strengths, therefore, becoming a leader, not just a manager.
  • Cultivate a network composed of fellows and alumni to develop the natural grass industry and organizational leadership
  • Create strategic relationships within the natural grass industry.
  • Analyze complex issues facing the natural grass industry and local communities.
  • Develop interpersonal and communication skills to better understand people—themselves and fellow citizens to effectively work with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Understand, articulate, and confront different perspectives of an issue or challenge.
  • Understand social, economic, & political systems and how to work within these systems to bring change proactively.
  • Deal effectively, competently, and confidently with complicated issues and challenges that affect the natural grass industry
  • Graduate program with a certificate in Turfgrass Production Leadership and industry title Turfgrass Production Leader (TPL)

 

Why nominate yourself or your employees?

  • Develop leaders for your organization.
  • Develop talent to drive your organization forward.
  • Develop potential successors.
  • Develop key team leaders.

2022 TLI Research Call for Proposals Now Open

The Lawn Institute invites researchers to submit proposals for funding as part of the 2022 TLI Call for Proposals which is now open. Applications are due December 15th, 2021. Please reach out to Dr. Casey Reynolds at creynolds@TurfgrassSod.org or 847-737-1846 with questions.

TLI Research Objectives

The Lawn Institute (TLI) is a charitable foundation that was created in 1955 to assist in and encourage the improvement of lawns and sports turf through research and education. The TLI website www.TheLawnInstitute.org provides homeowners, lawn care professionals, policy-makers, and others with research-based information on the care and importance of natural grass as an essential component of urban and suburban landscapes. Applications for research funds can be requested on any topic, but the TLI Research Committee will place priority on proposals in the following research areas:

  • Cultural Impacts of Natural Grass – Research that includes, but is not limited to societal health and well-being, fitness, athletic field safety, socio-economics, consumer attitudes, etc.
  • Environmental Awareness of Natural Grass – Research that includes but is not limited to, carbon sequestration, heat abatement, pollution entrapment, soil remediation, run-off reduction, etc.
  • Natural Grass Input Reductions – Research that includes, but is not limited to drought tolerance, reduced water use, nutrient requirements, traffic tolerance, integrated pest management, etc.
  • Extending Harvested Shelf-Life of Natural Grass
  • Reducing Production Costs of Natural Grass
  • Natural Grass Research Communication & Education – Information that can be used to develop content on The Lawn Institute website for educating policymakers, homeowners, and the general public on turfgrass science, management, impacts, etc. This can include literature reviews on environmental impacts, turfgrass benefits, regionally specific turfgrass selection and management, weed/insect/disease control, and more.

TPI International Education Conference and Field Day 2022: Featured Keynote Speakers

We are excited to announce our top-notch 2022 Keynote Speakers. Join us for a closer look at advocacy within our industry and an inspirational story of one determined farmer.

Bruce Vincent

Bruce Vincent

Bruce Vincent is a third-generation logger from Libby, Montana. During the past 25 years, he has given motivational speeches throughout the United States and the world has testified on natural resource issues before Congress, and has appeared on several news programs such as “60 Minutes.” Bruce has been named Timberman of the Year in Montana, National Forest Activist of the Year, the Agri-Women’s 2007 Veritas Award Winner, and in 2004, received the inaugural Presidential Preserve America Award from President George W. Bush.

Bruce has been married to his wife Patti Jo for 39 years and has four children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, and eleven grandchildren. His current activities represent a family commitment to responsible environmentalism.

Sarah Frey

Sarah Frey

Sarah Frey is an American farmer and entrepreneur. She is the CEO and owner of Frey Farms, which she founded at age sixteen. Frey Farms, headquartered near Orchardville, is the largest H-2A visa employer in Illinois. In 2016, The New York Times dubbed Sarah Frey “America’s Pumpkin Queen” because her company, Frey Farms, sells more pumpkins than any other producer in the United States. See the Sarah Frey New York Times article at the link that follows.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/12/dining/pumpkin-farmer-sarah-frey-farms.html

Frey’s journey to pumpkin royalty began in her teens with an old pickup truck and produce delivery route. Her story is one of never giving up, negotiating with some of the biggest businesses in the nation, and building a company that serves consumers with fresh, healthy products.

TPI International Education Conference and Feild Day is Back for 2022

Mark your calendars for 2022! Join TPI at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort February 14-17, 2022 for our annual Education Conference and Field Day.

This event is bringing us back together on the west coast for an event to remember. Registration is expected to open in the fall; watch TPI’s website and your inbox for more information!

Turfgrass Producers Hours of Service Glove Box Doc

Hours of Exemption Glove Box Doc

 

In case you’ve missed the positive news – TPI has worked with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to define sod as an agricultural commodity. This ruling makes the claim for exemptions relative to Hours of Service and Electric Logging Devices much easier. This ruling was announced in November and you can read more about the outcome here. TPI will always do our best in putting membership dollars to work on important policies and regulations impacting our industry.

 

Exclusive Turfgrass Producers International Benefit
As a result of this ruling, TPI is proud to introduce our latest member-exclusive benefit – the TPI Hours of Exemption Glove Box Doc. We are happy to set your drivers up for a successful route. If they are pulled over, this document is the information they need to prove sod is included in this latest legislation.

Glove Box Doc

Every TPI member farm received a copy of this new benefit in May along with a letter from Executive Director, Dr. Casey Reynolds. Since the delivery, feedback has been astounding. Our members are thrilled with this latest benefit. While we only sent two copies to each member farm, TPI members can request additional copies from our office.

Sod farmers would be left out of these important programs without TPI advocacy and efforts in regulatory affairs. Please join or renew today to continue to protect important agricultural exemptions!

 

TPI Member Benefits
In addition to the latest membership benefit, TPI offers year-round value to the industry and your business. We provide the latest research and technology findings in our bi-monthly, award-winning, Turf News. We host unparalleled events for the sod production industry for prime networking. We publish the annual Weed, Insect, and Disease Control Guide. These are just a few of the benefits of being a TPI member. Join today or renew today for access to these exclusive benefits.

Turfgrass Producers of Maryland Hosting Dr. Casey Reynolds for Sod Check-off Information Session

The Turfgrass Producers of Maryland (TPM) cordially invites you to join us on June 23, 2021m for a presentation by Dr. Casey Reynolds, TPI Executive Director.

Attend to learn everything you need to know about a National Sod Check-Off program. And to have your biggest questions about a check-off program answered.

New in 2021 – Turfgrass Producers International Committee Restructure

Turfgrass Producers International Committees

Turfgrass Producers International is nothing without its members and the commitment from our members to helping with our mission. As we come off a year that tested each of us in ways we could not imagine, one thing became very clear. Our members are committed more than ever to the growth of our industry, education for professional growth, and networking with other members. For TPI to deliver on these goals, we need the help of our members.

TPI and The Lawn Institute run smoothly under the direction of one committed Board and several committees. Our committees help guide the direction of TPI and TLI initiatives. In 2021, TPI and TLI committees are changing and growing.

New for Turfgrass Producers International Committees

We have a few exciting updates to our participation process and requirements. Committees are now a three-year term commitment. This term includes a minimum of three virtual meetings and one in-person meeting a year at our International Conference and Field Day.

Additionally, we are thrilled to announce Committee Week! Each quarter TPI will dedicate a full week to hosting virtual committee meetings. Committee members will receive this schedule at the beginning of each year. It’s important to note that some committees must meet more frequently to achieve the committee goals.

How to Join a Committee

To join a TPI or TLI committee you will need to complete a Committee Interest Application. Select your top three committee choices and let us know why you’d like to join. While this application will be open year-round, members will be able to join committees in the spring of each year. The 2021 call for committees’ application will be open from February 25 through March 5, 2021 at 5 pm EST.

If you are already on a committee and wish to remain on that committee, please complete an application and our Membership Director will reach out to you to discuss your term dates.

Introducing the Newest Turfgrass Producers International Committee

We are excited to announce the Board has created a new TPI Committee to help steer the direction of TPI! This new committee, Leadership and Innovations, will work to develop strategies for reaching new leaders, developing new TPI programs, and utilizing technology to push TPI initiatives forward.

You can join this committee or any of the six existing committees this year by submitting our new Committee Interest Application.

What are the Turfgrass Producers International and The Lawn Institute Committees?

Conference & Education Committee
The primary responsibility of this committee is the development and coordination of educational programs for TPI events including pre-conference seminars, panel/board discussions, general education and breakout sessions, and tours, along with the identification and recruitment of speakers.

Membership Committee
The focus of this group is to identify new programs and strategies that expand TPI’s membership participation worldwide and increase the value of a TPI membership.

Public Relations Committee
The primary goal of this group is to maximize TPI’s effectiveness in developing marketing strategies that serve to educate the general public; convey beneficial information to producers, suppliers, and end-users; address specific environmental advantages or concerns; enhance and expand TPI’s relationships with turfgrass extension specialists, researchers and educators; and develop, review, and revise various support materials specifically designed to achieve the intended objectives.

Leadership and Innovations Committee
The primary goal of this committee is to develop connections with leaders within TPI to develop strategies for reaching new leaders, developing new TPI programs, and utilizing technology to push TPI initiatives forward.

The Lawn Institute Fundraising Committee
The Fundraising Committee is responsible for developing fundraising activities for the Foundation and for helping to secure donations.

The Lawn Institute Research Committee
The Research Committee focuses on reviewing research proposals and making funding recommendations to the Board of Trustees. The Research Committee is also responsible for tracking the research being done in the turfgrass field and reporting on that research to the board.

The Lawn Institute Scholarship Committee
The Dr. Henry W. Indyk Scholarship was established to honor a founding father of Turfgrass Producers International while demonstrating TPI’s commitment to education and offering a valuable member benefit. The Scholarship Committee solicits, collects, and reviews Dr. Henry W. Indyk Scholarship applications annually. The committee members use objective criteria to select scholarship winners.

Be More Involved with Turfgrass Producers International in 2021!

If you’ve been looking for a way to get more involved in TPI or TLI now is the time! Complete a Committee Interest Application and join us as we shape the future of TPI and TLI.

 

TPI Introduces New Women in Turfgrass Group for Members

Turfgrass ProducHERS International Logo

Turfgrass Producers International is thrilled to announce our newest initiative – Turfgrass ProducHERS International. This community will be dedicated to the networking, education, and empowerment efforts of all TPI women members.

Sparked from a successful happy hour at the 2020 TPI Conference and Field Day, TPI realized our women need more than once a year to meet and greet. We decided to take the group one step further at the 2021 TPI Growing Forward Virtual Series with a full-hour roundtable discussion*. This discussion covered various topics important to our community. We discussed including how everyone was adjusting to working during a pandemic, areas we would like to grow in professionally, how we stay connected to other women, and so much more.

This discussion further solidified our need for a women’s community within TPI and Turfgrass ProducHERS International was created. We’re happy to bring this group a place to speak openly with other women about the challenges and accomplishments they face in the natural grass industry.

How to Get Involved with Turfgrass ProducHERS International

There are several ways you can get involved within this group starting now!

  • Join our Facebook Group dedicated to the women of TPI – Turfgrass ProducHERS International. Here you can ask questions, share experiences, and collaborate with other women in natural grass.
  • You can also register for emails from TPI on Women in Turfgrass topics – sign me up!
  • Join our quarterly conference calls! The links for these will be emailed to you prior to the meeting.
    Mark your calendar for 2021:
    May 13, 11 am EST   August 12, 11 am EST    November 11, am EST
  • Join us at TPI International Conference and Field Day

Ready to Tackle 2021

TPI is ready to see this community take off and bring you the platform to do so. If you have questions, suggestions, or general comments you can reach out to Allie Shriver with TPI at ashriver@turfgrasssod.org.

 

*If you missed this discussion during the Virtual Series, it can be viewed on the platform until mid-March for all attendees.

The New The Lawn Institute

TPI is pleased to announce the new The Lawn Institute website has launched! www.TheLawnInstitute.org has a new look and the same quality resources for consumers.

The Lawn Institute Donations Put to Good Use

The contributions that our members so kindly make to TLI through the annual campaign, auctions, raffles, and vendor donations go towards our foundation, and the TPI Board of Trustees voted in 2018 to devote some of those funds to consumer and professional messaging research to better understand the value that consumers see in our product.

Two of the key messages that came out of this research were the superior safety and health benefits of natural grass for athletic fields, and the environmental benefits of lawns, parks, and other green spaces worldwide.

As you browse the new TLI website, you will see those messages weaved throughout the entire site. The Lawn Care Basics sections are designed to help homeowners with better managing their lawns, getting tips for grass selection, weed control, mowing heights, etc.

The Lawn Institute Truly International

We will continue to update the new TLI website with more environmental facts, and we have plans to develop it further by creating a natural grass locator tool, advertising, and more in an effort to expand the reach of The Lawn Institute and maintain its reputation as a trusted resource for consumers worldwide. I’d like to mention that we also want this website to be truly global. For our international members, we have added downloadable graphics for oxygen production in Canada, Europe, and Australia, and we have had discussions with a few of our international partners about adding Canadian, European, and Australian sections targeting just those audiences

Visit The Lawn Institute Website

Take a moment to check out the new site. Download our graphics for your marketing efforts and to provide your consumers. Be sure to follow us on social media- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news on TLI. And as always, you can make a donation to TLI in your TPI member portal.

the lawn institute logo