Many TPI members grow more than just natural grass. Read More below on TPI member and former Board of Trustees member John Coombs from Elmer, New Jersey.
CHASE FIELD GETS NATURAL GRASS OVERLAY FOR CHEEZ-IT BOWL
90,000 sq. ft. of West Coast Turf Bandera Bermuda Sod Put on Top of New Artificial Turf for December 27th Football Game
Phoenix, AZ……The Cheez-It Bowl is ready for the Air Force Falcons vs the Washington State Cougars on December 27th, on a new natural turfgrass field.
Just last week, West Coast Turf installed 90,000 square feet of their 1” thick overseeded Bandera Bermuda sod directly on top of Chase Field’s new artificial turf baseball field. Installation took 2 days, and a layer of polyethylene plastic sheeting was put in between the artificial surface and the natural sod. The sod is thick-cut and weighs approximately 15 lbs. per sq. ft. so that rooting will not be a factor with such a short time frame. The weight will give the sod its stability.
Chase Field’s artificial surface is one that involves concrete curbing so that using artificial turf to cover the baseball skins was not an option for a football field conversion. Sod was the obvious solution. This is not the first time West Coast Turf has been called in to place natural grass over artificial turf. They have done the same process several times at Quest/CenturyLink Field in Seattle. West Coast Turf has also regularly put natural grass “overlay” fields on top of other natural fields when time constraints do not allow for removal between important games.
Following the Cheez-It Bowl, the natural grass will be removed and partially donated to Cartwright Elementary School in Phoenix.
West Coast Turf had been the natural grass supplier to Bank One Ballpark, Chase Field, and the Arizona Diamondbacks since the inception of the team in 1998. They have also supplied the NFL with eight Super Bowl fields from California to Florida, including Super Bowls XXVII, XXIX, XXX, XXXII, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XXXIX, and 50.
West Coast Turf is a full-service sod, stolonization and hydroseeding company with 5 offices throughout California and Arizona, and headquarters in Palm Desert, CA. West Coast Turf grows more than 30 varieties of natural grass. For more information please visit www.westcoastturf.com or www.facebook.com/westcoastturf.
Legislators in New Jersey, USA got a chance to hear concerns from local farmers and TPI members about issues impacting their businesses. Topics such as labor, regulation, worker safety, and increasing costs of production were all part of the discussion on the tour. Click the link below to see the full video from Leah Mishkin and NJTV.
TPI member and past Board of Trustee Randy Jasperson of Jasperson Sod Farm hosted “Breakfast on the Farm” on June 22nd, 2019. This annual event is held at various locations in Wisconsin each year and is designed to educate the public on the value and presence of Wisconsin agriculture. Members of the Wisconsin farming community in Union Grove, WI put on a real show for the public with events including petting zoos, local honey, antique tractors, and even live music, all while eating breakfast. There was also a sod harvesting demonstration which as always really draws in a crowd.
In addition to all of the fun, TPI was there to educate people on the value of natural grass sod and answer any questions on how it’s grown, harvested, and delivered to market. There was also a little more serious discussion with Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) on H.R. 1673, the Agricultural Trucking Relief Act of 2019. Randy Jasperson and I visited with him to discuss the importance of this bill to sod producers in getting their product to market. H.R. 1673 currently has bipartisan support from 23 legislators as well as a companion bill in the U.S. Senate.
Check out some of the pictures below as well as a story from Journal Times. Thanks to Randy Jasperson and his team for hosting this fantastic event!
TPI staff members Karen Cooper and Casey Reynolds, PhD continue to visit with current and potential TPI members at local and regional events. On Sept 11th, 2018 Karen Cooper visited McCurdy Sod Farms for the MidSouth Turfgrass Council Field Day hosted by incoming TPI Board Member Bob McCurdy. This event was an opportunity for local and regional growers to hear discussions on a variety of farm-based research trials where Mr. McCurdy and his staff are experimenting with various products in sod production. It also allowed growers to get hands-on with sod production and interact with their peers while making new connections and re-affirming old ones. The TPI staff and board of directors also visited Willard Wagner at Wagner Sod Farms in Minnesota as part of the 2018 TPI Fall Board meeting and preview of the 2018 TPI Summer Convention and Field Days!
TPI Executive Director Casey Reynolds spoke at the European Turfgrass Producers 2018 Turf Expo in Troia, Comporta, Portugal from October 24th to 26th where ETP members gathered for a trade show, education sessions, and field day. The event began with a golf tournament the morning of October 24th at Troia Golf before lunch and the ETP General Assembly. This was followed by educational seminars from a variety of international speakers covering a wide range of topics on turfgrass management, new technologies, the environment, planting techniques, irrigation, construction, sustainability, and more.
After 2 days of indoor trade shows and seminars, ETP traveled briefly south to Novogreen Sod Farm in Comporta, Portugal to check out the latest in equipment, seed, and more. One of the interesting parts of international organizations like TPI and ETP is getting to visit and build relationships with seed and sod producers as well as industry partners from around the world. Several TPI members from the United States were also there to participate, as well as speak in seminars. Special thanks to ETP for inviting TPI and hosting a great event!
Original article published by Jack Bell, NY Times Online
TPI Members all over the world know what it takes to get the job done each and every day. They are always looking for new opportunities, business ventures, and ways to serve their local communities while also highlighting the value of natural grass. Check out the story below on TPI member Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton, New Jersey who hosts on-farm soccer tournaments drawing as many as 25,000 people to play on locally produced natural grass.
Click the link below for the full story:
Turfgrass Producers International is currently exploring a new supplier membership model designed to further develop relationships with it’s corporate partners. Suppliers and manufacturers are represented in TPI by those companies who are actively involved in providing equipment, manufactured goods, support systems, services, and products or supplies to turfgrass producers.
TPI been working together with supplier members since it’s inception and is examining new options for supplier memberships. Casey Reynolds adds, “We recognize that many of our larger suppliers have many employees throughout the world that may enjoy the benefits that TPI has to offer, particularly at local levels where they interact with turfgrass producers. As a result, we’d like to create a membership model that works more efficiently for large multi-national manufacturers and distributors while still maintaining our current Class B Supplier membership for smaller, family-owned companies.”
In the last two months, TPI staff have been in discussions with Bayer, BASF, Syngenta, and Helena to determine how best to increase interactions and collaboration in a way that is mutually beneficial to them and TPI members. The staff at TPI will present two new supplier membership classes to the Board of Trustees for their approval and then move forward accordingly. “We will continue to reach out to supplier members to see how we can support their businesses while also bringing more resources to producers. We welcome and encourage any current or potential supplier members to contact us with comments or questions, and we will certainly stay in touch as this develops”, Casey Reynolds, PhD and Executive Director of TPI.
TPI continues it’s outreach with new staff members Casey Reynolds, PhD and Karen Cooper. Fresh off from trips to Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Holland, it was time in November and December to visit the deep south with trips to Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas. The 2017 Georgia Urban Ag Council’s Sod & Turfgrass Producers Field Day was held in Perry, GA from Oct 31st – Nov. 1st and included educational sessions along with a field day on a bright, sunny, and windy day at TPI Member Super-Sod’s farm in Fort Valley, GA. Vendors from all over came to exhibit new products, services, and of course to demonstrate the latest equipment.
Some of these vendors then packed up their bags and headed further south for a week at the Deep South Turf Expo in Biloxi, MS. Casey Reynolds was there on behalf of TPI at the Deep South Turf Expo Trade Show, but also was an invited speaker during the educational sessions. His topics include Interpreting Pesticide Labels, Shade & Implications for Turfgrass Health, and Current & Future Issues Affecting Turfgrass Production. For more information on Shade & Implications for Turfgrass Health check out the January/February issue of Turf News!
In addition to the Deep South Turf Expo, TPI also had trade show booths at the 2017 Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Conference & Trade Show from November 13-15 in Myrtle Beach, SC and at the Texas Turfgrass Association Conference & Show from December 5 – 7th in Arlington, TX. While at the Carolinas GCSA conference, Casey Reynolds and TPI Secretary/Treasurer Hank Kerfoot of Modern Turf were able to visit with turfgrass producers from South Carolina during the SC Sod Producers Association business meeting, held at the same convention center. Hank and Casey shared new and ongoing information relative to TPI initiatives, memberships, and the upcoming 2018 TPI International Education Conference & Field Day in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Bert McCarty was also in attendance to discuss updates on Clemson University’s turfgrass program and the ongoing problem of herbicide resistance weeds. TPI would like to extend a special thanks to the SC Sod Producers Association for hosting us and letting us be a part of their event.
Karen Cooper was able to attend the 2017 Texas Turfgrass Association (TTA) where she was able to connect with TPI supplier and producer members in Texas. This was a special year for the Texas Turfgrass Association as they honored 70 years of Past Presidents as well as their long time Executive Director Shirley Duble.
TPI member Thomas Turfgrass’s Emory Thomas is on the Board of Directors for the Texas Turfgrass Association and TPI Executive Director Casey Reynolds is a past advisor to TTA.
Each year the Salem County Board of Agriculture selects an individual who they feel has been of great service to the agriculture industry in their local community. It was in high school that John realized the farm life was for him. After graduating from Penn State with an Agricultural degree, he returned home to join the ranks of the family farm as an 8th generation farmer. He enjoyed many daily farm tasks but seemed to especially like disking the ground ahead of planting as well as planting potatoes. He likes it so much that he often joked he would plant the moon if they would let him, and his family states that he would actually do it if he could figure out a way to get his John Deere Tractor up there.
John has always been involved in the community and has held various positions with the Salem County Board of Agriculture, the NJ State Agricultural Museum, the Upper Pittsgrove Township Land Use Board, the Salem County Utilities Authority, the NJ Cultivated Sod Association, and more. He has always instilled the love of the land and a passion for growing plants in all three of his children, inspiring future generations to carry on the family tradition of growing things from the land. Leading by example, he has taught future generations to not be afraid of getting involved and taking on leadership positions in things they find important to them.
It’s his love of agriculture and his commitment to being involved in his community and agriculture industry that has earned John Coombs, Sr. the Distinguished Service Award.
When my wife Kathy and I were informed months ago that the TPI Board wanted to throw a goodbye/thank you dinner to acknowledge my retirement I was somewhat apprehensive. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the food be good? Would anyone care to sit with us? Would I have to chip-in for our portion of the meal?
Upon arriving at Morton’s Steakhouse promptly at 6:30 as requested, Kathy and I advised the hostess that we were there for the TPI function. She had no idea what we were talking about. We said, “Perhaps it’s under the name Reynolds? (Sandy or Casey),” she said, “No, we don’t have anything under TPI or Reynolds.” We were somewhat concerned that we might be at the wrong Morton’s Steakhouse, there are six in the Chicagoland area and I am noted for often getting lost. Kathy then asked, “Could it be under Turfgrass Producers International?” The hostess responded, “Oh, you mean the turfgrass people!”
We were then led through several dining areas, down a dimly lit hallway, made a few turns and finally arrived at a room filled with many familiar faces. Greetings were exchanged. And after some friendly conversation everyone scampered off to a table for dinner. The meal was delightful and so too was the conversation. After everyone finished eating Sandy Reynolds began what could be described as a poor man’s roast and I was to be the roastee!
Sandy was joined by Geri Hannah in recalling some humorous stories regarding a few of my misadventures over the years at TPI and everyone had a laugh including yours truly.
Sandy had a half dozen blown-up head shots of me, all of which depicted a seemingly troubled soul, and had placed them on ping-pong paddles. She waved each photo and proceeded to describe my expression in each photo; it went something like this: “This is the not so happy Jim. This is the grumpy Jim. This is Jim when he’s in a good mood, I know it’s hard to tell the good mood Jim from the grumpy Jim, but that’s Jim.”
After Sandy and Geri did their tag-team comedy routine, Linda Bradley advised everyone that I visit the old TPI office once a week to check the building and run the water. She then presented me with a few gifts from the board. They included a toilet plunger, a roll of bathroom tissue, a toilet scrub brush, a can of air freshener and a pair of yellow latex gloves. It can’t get much better than that after twelve years of dedicated service.
Following Linda’s presentation, Jimmy Fox got a bit more serious as he kindly acknowledged my contribution to TPI, the board and its members during my career. His thoughtful remarks, the recognition extended to me, and the response from those in attendance was deeply moving. Jimmy also presented me with a personal gift from the Board to show their appreciation for my years of service.
At the close of the evening I shared a few light-hearted and personal stories and expressed my sincere gratitude to everyone for their thoughtfulness and told them how much I appreciated the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone in such a warm setting.
After Kathy and I left the restaurant we sat in the car for a while, we looked at one another and agreed, we’re going to miss working with such wonderful people. It truly was a night to remember.