Author Archives: Allie Shriver

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.

TPI 2022 International Education Conference and Field Day: Conference Package Inclusions

Join us in 2022

TPI is gearing up for our annual International Education Conference & Field Day for 2022! Join us in sunny California February 14-17, 2022. This is our biggest networking and education event of the year.

Attendees will enjoy new experiences, such as our Food Truck Rodeo at Field Day, and old favorites, including the Show and Tell panels from our newest TPI Board Members. This year’s three-day event is the first time most TPI members will reconnect in person and we’re pulling out all the stops.

2022 CONFERENCE PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • Access to All Educational Sessions including an Opening Workshop, Sod Farm Panel on Labor, and Sod Checkoff Q&A
  • President’s Welcome Reception
  • Tuesday Kickoff Breakfast
  • Tuesday Lunch
  • Taco Tuesday in the Exhibit Hall
  • Tuesday Drink Ticket provided by Magnum
  • Field Day Registration & Transportation provided by Sod Solutions, Lunch sponsored by Brouwer Kesmac
  • Wednesday Women in Turf Reception sponsored by Turf Producers Association, Barenbrug, and Brouwer Kesmac
  • Thursday Inspirational Breakfast with Sarah Frey
  • Sarah Frey Book Signing of The Growing Season
  • Thursday Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

 

2022 CONFERENCE OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Are you and your family arriving in California early? Join TPI on one of our fabulous excursions! Choose between four of San Diego’s most exciting adventures:

  • Explore the USS Midway
  • Kayak in La Jolla Sea Caves
  • Tour the San Diego Zoo
  • Sail the San Diego Bay

The Lawn Institute Fundraising

Join us Monday night, kicking off the week with a night of family-friendly fundraising at The Lawn Institute Casino Night sponsored by Trebro. Your ticket gets you into the party, $500 in fun money, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and a drink ticket. Proceeds go to support The Lawn Institute activities, including public relations, scholarships, and natural grass research grants.

Be sure to look out for the TLI Fundraising committee throughout the week to purchase Surprise Balloons and 50/50 Raffle Tickets to keep the fun(d)-raising going.

Conference registration opens on November 1, 2021.

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

TPI’s Growing Forward Virtual Series Sessions

You asked and we’re answering! Here’s a closer look at our sessions offered during the 2021 Growing Foward Virtual Series. Join us February 16-19 for education and networking right from the comforts of your own office.

Virtual Series Sessions

TPI Government Relations:  TPI works routinely behind the scenes on government affairs impacting sod producers everywhere and has been successful in recent favorable rulings on trucking laws, coronavirus relief, and more. Tune into this session for the latest updates on government policies impacting sod farms.

Shift Happens!  Even before the pandemic, we had entered a new era of constant and continuous change, a time Dr. Withers often refers to as a “permanent whitewater world,” a ‘new normal.’  COVID-19 served as an accelerant to even more disruption, and now many are wondering how to navigate such waters with their operations. The play on words in the title of this session is intentional, so join Bill as he helps us understand more about the human dynamic of adapting to and leading through change like we’re facing in 2021 and beyond.  A portion of our time with Dr. Withers will also include facilitated Q&A, so bring your questions.

Economic Outlook and Marketing Trends in the Green Industry:  A general economic outlook will be provided, with emphasis on relevant indicators to the green industry. The structure and composition of the industry and the major production and marketing trends will be highlighted.

XYZ: Better Understanding the Marketplace of our Youngest Generations:  This is a new era across our workplaces, and many of our operations feature a five-generation workforce or deal with five generation customers. Meanwhile, resumes are arriving from the newest additions to the workforce, Generation Z! Few workshop leaders have worked with all three generations these past two decades like Dr. Bill Withers, who, as BOTH a college professor and student advisor, continues to consult and work with organizations during this critical time in our workforce history. Join Bill as he helps you better understand nuances around the largest segment of the U.S. workforce, generations X, Y, and Z.

Weed Control, CS Grasses:  This presentation will discuss weed control in cool-season turf with a special emphasis on annual weed control during turfgrass establishment. Specifically, annual bluegrass, crabgrass, and yellow nutsedge control will be discussed. For each weed, chemical, cultural, and environmental conditions that influence weed establishment and control will be discussed. The TPI Weed, Insect, and Disease Control for Turfgrass Producers guide will be referenced during the presentation.

U.S Sod Industry Checkoff:  A U.S. Sod Checkoff program is currently under consideration for approval, voting, and implementation. This session will cover all of the details of the program, how it is being developed, what it means for the industry, frequently asked questions, and more. Please join members of the U.S sod production industry as they discuss the need and potential for a U.S. sod checkoff program as well as to learn more about the upcoming referendum.

4 Areas to Focus in Social Media Marketing:  As technologies evolve and become more accessible, turfgrass businesses can use social media to boost sales, build new partnerships, and pursue up- and down-stream integration strategies. In this virtual presentation, Dr. Ariana Torres will interview Kate Gahimer, co-founder of Senler Studio, to tell us the major areas of social media marketing. Speakers will present topics such as how to 1) develop and increase brand awareness, 2) curate content for audience engagement, 3) attract prospective clients through paid media, and 4) discover other helpful tools within digital communication.

Sod-Centric Weed Control for Warm-Season Turfgrass Production:  A “sod-centric” weed control strategy must take into account weed/turf species, harvest time, sod strength, inventory demand, treatment costs, and many other variables. Dr. McCurdy will share research-based solutions and theory to help guide decisions regarding weed control. Attendees will better understand appropriate options for herbicidal and non-herbicidal control of common weeds in warm-season turfgrass production.

TPI Annual Business Meeting:  The 2021 TPI Annual Business Meeting (ABM) will include the latest updates on TPI’s direction, initiatives, budgets and more. The 2021 ABM also includes important TPI business such as officer elections, budget approval, member news, and scholarship presentations. Please join us as we discuss 2020 and make plans for 2021 and beyond.

The Top Social Media Analytics:  As a business owner or manager, you already know that social media can add value to your business by increasing sales, engaging with current and prospective customers, and providing outstanding customer service. Yet, measuring the success of your time and money spent on social media can tricky. In this virtual presentation, Dr. Ariana Torres will talk about scheduling organic and paid social media campaigns. Through a case study, she will also talk about tracking the return of social media strategies, scheduling platforms, and developing monthly reports of the performance of social media analytics.

It isn’t too late! Check out our schedule and register today in your member portal or visit turfgrasssod.org/events.