Summary of Continuing Education Credits (CEC)

CEC credits are included below in the Schedule at a Glance.

Day One - Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Schedule at a Glance
Time Slot Session A Session B Session C

8 a.m.

Registration (Rozanski Hall Lobby)

8:10 a.m.

 

Welcome Address and Opening Remarks

Dr. Sara Stricker | Guelph Turfgrass Institute

8:10  9:10 a.m.

 

Thirty-Five Years of Turf Research

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph, and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: n/a
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

9:15  9:30 a.m.

Coffee Break  

9:30  9:45 a.m.

 

The Risks of Sports Fields Slips, Slides, and Subpoenas

Tracy Eso | Intact Public Entities
Terry Piche | ORFA

Stream: Sports Turf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario (PLCAO) Update

Cheryl Machan | PLCAO


ORFA: n/a
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Diploma in Turfgrass Management Co-operative Education Update: How to Hire a U of G DTM Students

Cam Shaw | University of Guelph 

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: n/a
CGSA: n/a
IPM: 0.75 CEC

9:45  10:45 a.m.

 

Effects of Mowing on Turfgrass and What Happens If You Don’t!

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph,  and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 0.5 CEC
IPM: 0.5 CEC

Real Issues or Fake News: An Overview of Nematodes and Bacterial Pathogens in Turfgrass Systems

Dr. Jim Kerns | North Carolina State University 

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

10:50  11:50 a.m.

 

Lessons In Sports Field Remediation and Renovations

Dave Smith and Steve Mann | DCS Agronomic Services 

Streams: Sports Turf, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Communication Strategies to Build Trust & Improve Client Relations

Cam Shaw | University of Guelph

Stream: Lawn


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Why Do My Fungicide Applications Not Work as Well as they Did Before

Dr. Tom Hsiang | University of Guelph

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

11:50 a.m.  1:15 p.m.

Lunch (not provided)

1:15  2:15 p.m.

 

Growing Demand for Cricket!

Brian Macklin | City of Brampton

Streams: Sports Turf, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Applied Image Analysis for Turf and Ornamentals (Virtual)

Dr. Dana Sullivan | TurfScout

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sport Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

Dollar Spot Management & Alternative Control Measures: Rolling, Dethatching, Fertilizers

Dr. Geunhwa Jung | University of Massachusetts Amherst

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

2:20  3:20 p.m.

 

Go Touch Some Grass! The Importance of Social Science Research to Turfgrass Management and Decision Making (Virtual)

Dr. Michael R. Barnes | University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Reducing Nutrient Runoff and Leaching from Turfgrass Fertilization

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire | Université Laval

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Practical Detection of DMI-Fungicide Resistance in the Field

Edward McNab and Andrea Rether | University of Guelph

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CED

3:25  4:25 p.m.

Maintaining Lawn Bowling Facilities

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph, and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Streams: Sports Turf, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: 0.5 CEC

What We Know About the Allowable List

Dr. Sara Stricker | Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Stream: Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Optimizing Biodiversity on Golf Courses in Southern Ontario

Jenny Andrews | Aboud & Associates

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Day Two - Thursday, February 23, 2023

Schedule at a Glance
Time Slot Session A Session B Session C
7:45  8:45 a.m.

Registration (Rozanski Hall Lobby)

8:45  9 a.m.

STC Update

NSGA Update OTRF Update
10 a.m.

Addressing Aging Infrastructure and Ensuring Safe Play

Frank Cain | University of Guelph

Stream: ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: TBD
IPM: n/a

 

Improving Soil Health with New Technologies

Ian McDonald | OMAFRA

Stream: Sod


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 0.25 CEC

Influence of Climate Change on Turfgrass Diseases and How Tools Such as the Turfgrass Compendium Can Help

Dr. Jim Kerns | North Carolina State University

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports, Turf. Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

10  10:15 a.m.

Coffee Break 

10:15  11:15 a.m.

Distillery Stillage Potential as Turfgrass Fertilizer

Jessica Gaudet | University of Ottawa

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Specs for Success: Sod Installations for Municipalities (Discussion Panel)

Mike Schiedel | Greenhorizons
Chris Spere | City of Kitchener
Gavin Vermeer | City of Waterloo
Dr. Sean Kelly | University of Guelph

Stream: Sod


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Turf Systems Health: Making the Links to Regenerative Agriculture

Randy Booker | Turfevolution

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 0.5 CEC

11:15 a.m.  12:15 p.m.

The Nuts and Bolts of Automated Mower Technology (Virtual)

Kevin Hauschel | Greensight Ag

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

12:15  1:30 p.m.

Lunch (not provided)

1:30  2:30 p.m.

Using Irrigation to Assist with IPM

Gary Taylor | University of Guelph


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

Creating Low Inputs and High Impact Lawns with Alternative Groundcover Species

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire | Université Laval

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 0.75 CEC

Potential and Progress in Endophytic Inoculants to Improve Turf Health

Dr. Manish Raizada | University of Guelph

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 1.0 CEC

2:30  3:30 p.m.

Looking for the Best Turfgrass Cultivar? How to Use the New NTEP Online Search Tool (Virtual)

Kevin Morris | National Turfgrass Evaluation Program

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: TBD
IPM: 0.5 CEC

Thoughts on the Relationship Between Irrigation Water Quality and Turfgrass Management

Dave Smith and Steve Mann | DCS Agronomic Services

Streams: Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: TBD
IPM: n/a

Cultural and Chemical Management Strategies for Control of Anthracnose Basal Rot on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens

Dr. Guenwha Jung | University of Massachusetts Amherst

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: TBD
IPM: 1.0 CEC

3:30  4:30 p.m.

Exeter Minor Baseball: A Journey from Neglected to Highly Playable Ball Diamonds

Brad Gregus | Exeter Minor Baseball

Stream: Sports Turf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: n/a
IPM: n/a

Use of Electromagnetic Induction Sensors to Delineate Soil Drainage Class

Dr. Richard Heck | University of Guelph


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: n/a

Balancing Golf Course Design, Maintenance, and Expectations

George Waters | United States Golf Association

Stream: Golf


ORFA: 1.0 CEC
CGSA: 1.0 CEC
IPM: 0.25 CEC

4:30 p.m. Closing Remarks and Door Prize   

Day One - Session Details


Thirty-Five Years of Turf Research

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph, and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Wednesday, February 22 | 8:10 – 9:10 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

After years of planning, the University of Guelph Senate officially founded the Guelph Turfgrass Institute (GTI) in 1987. The GTI was created to foster collaboration amongst the researchers at the University of Guelph, the turfgrass industry, and the government of Ontario. In the 35 years that have followed, the GTI has fostered leadership in the turfgrass industry with its commitment to research, education, and outreach. This talk will highlight historical and current accomplishments of the GTI and our collaborations.

Back to Day One Schedule

 

The Risks of Sports Fields Slips, Slides, and Subpoenas

Tracy Eso | Intact Public Entities
Terry Piche | ORFA

Wednesday, February 22 | 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. | Sports Turf

Sports field construction is one of the fastest-growing community investments in recreational opportunities. This infrastructure, which was once restricted to a very short operational window in most regions, is expanding based on climate change as well as investments in covering these recreational spaces. The design of structures as well as the different options for play areas present both opportunities and risks. Traditionally, sports fields have been viewed as low or medium operational investments but with increased demand comes more need for operational and management investment.

This session will look back at the history of sports fields risks and liabilities while looking forward to the complexities of operating and managing these unique play environments.

Topics include:

  • Supervised vs. non-supervised sports fields
  • Proper signage that can help deflect liability
  • User contract design that clearly defines roles and responsibilities
  • Users who access the fields before they are open and how to deal with them
  • Foul balls that are no longer an acceptable part of the game
  • The role asset management plays in sports fields and risk mitigation
Tracy Eso

Tracy Eso.Tracy Eso is the risk assessment and solutions manager in the Risk Management Department at Intact Public Entities. She has over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry—with expertise in insurance claims, risk management, and captive insurance. 

Her focus at Intact Public Entities is to research risks that municipalities across Canada are facing, develop ways to mitigate those hazards, and educate municipal clients in best-practice solutions to create resilience in the face of an ever-changing risk landscape.

Tracy is an instructor for the Insurance Institute of Canada and has spoken at various industry conferences on topics ranging from climate change to liability claims. 


Tracy Eso, BFA, CIP, CRM, ACI | Risk Assessment & Solutions Manager, Intact Public Entities | tracy.eso@intactpublicentities.ca  

Terry Piche 

Terry Piche.Terry Piche, CRFP, CIT is the director, training, research and development for the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA). Terry has been in the business of recreation for over 30 years, having experience at all levels of operations and management.

In his role at the ORFA, Terry works with experts in the fields of ice and refrigeration, aquatics, buildings and grounds, and management to help identify, document, and disseminate the latest information on recreation facility-related industry best practices. He develops leading edge education and training sessions, and teaches in several ORFA professional development courses.

Terry has been an invited speaker at many recreation industry events across Canada and the United States. He holds both the Certified Recreation Facilities Professional
and the NHL- recognized Certified Ice Technician designations.


Terry Piche CRFP, CIT | Director, Training, Research and Development, Ontario Recreation Facilities Association (ORFA)| tpiche@orfa.com 

Back to Day One Schedule


Lessons in Sports Field Remediation & Renovations

David C. Smith and Steve Mann | DCS Agronomic Services

Wednesday, February 22 | 10:50 – 11:50 a.m. | Sports Turf, ORFA

This discussion includes a method of evaluating athletic field health and playability including guidelines outlined in the Athletic Field Construction Manual developed by Sports Turf Canada. Thoughts on construction methods based upon end use predictions will be discussed, including cultural management practices such as aeration, topdressing, fertility, inter-seeding, and irrigation practices.

David C. Smith 

Dave C. Smith.David C. Smith is a registered professional agrologist (P.Ag) with over 45 years’ experience with turfgrass management and specialty horticulture. He is a qualified plantsman, and Ontario-certified horticulturist, and maintains pesticide application certification. Dave was a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) for over 25 years and is a graduate of The Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, with an Ontario Diploma in Horticulture. He is a registered qualified agronomist and consultant with the Amplify Network of Agronomic Consultants and Brookside Laboratories Inc.

In 1996, Dave established DCS & Associates, an independent consulting company that provides analytical services and consultation for turfgrass establishment and maintenance as the primary scope of practice. DCS & Associates serves clients throughout Eastern Canada—including Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. DCS has developed nutritional and cultural management recommendations for over 100 golf courses, 3500 acres of sod production and approximately 500 athletic fields, equestrian facilities, park land and horticultural projects.

Additionally, David has provided construction and grow-in recommendations for numerous golf courses and athletic field projects. David is past president of the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation and has been active in several golf superintendent associations. He was a Sports Turf Canada committee member during development of the Athletic Field Construction Manual and has been a speaker at several provincial and national conferences presenting to golf course superintendents, athletic field turf managers, arborists, and general landscapers. David has authored articles for industry publications such as Green Master Magazine and speaks on subjects such as: Specialty Growing Medium Design, Holistic Approach to Turf Grass Management, IPM, Trends in Golf Course Management, Product Inputs for Turf Management, Basic Soils, Green and Athletic Field Site Evaluations, and Soil Management for Trees.

Before establishing DCS & Associates, David gained over 20 years of experience in the golf and sports turf industry. In that time, he acted as a golf course superintendent throughout Ontario including four years as coordinator of Outdoor Sports Facilities with the City of Hamilton.


Dave Smith | Principal Consultant, DCS Agronomic Services | dave@dcsturf.com 

Steve Mann 

Steve Mann.Steve Mann of SJM Consulting and DCS Agronomic Services, is an I.S.A. board certified master arborist with extensive experience in evaluating the specific health, safety, and environmental importance of individual as well as more significant stands of trees in both urban and rural settings.

He specializes in large-scale tree inventory, evaluation, management, research, & impact studies. He has managed hundreds of projects related to the identification of important natural features and the significance and/or sensitivity of these features to development. Steve has developed numerous master plans, arboricultural management plans, and replanting plans related to golf course properties.

Steve’s extensive industry involvement, of over 20 years, has enabled him to interact with numerous provincial as well as municipal officials on matters regarding tree conservation and large-scale planning applications. Since the beginning his career, Steve has developed a keen interest in turf management and has become well known within the golf and sports turf industry here in Ontario. Steve recently purchased DCS Agronomic Services and looks forward to providing the quality analytical services, client education and non-biased consultation that DCS has become known for.


Steve Mann | President and Consulting Partner, DCS Agronomic Services | steve@dcsturf.com

Back to Day One Schedule


Growing Demand for Cricket!

Brian Macklin | City of Brampton

Wednesday, February 22 | 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. | Sports Turf, ORFA

Across our country, the demand for cricket pitches is growing. Most don’t even understand how the game is played and the user requirements for the game. Are new cricket fields possible or is converting a field necessary? Those with cricket field experience are coming together to share how they established their fields, their challenges, successes, and top tips. The long-term maintenance of cricket fields has been a big concern and we are hoping to share some strategies to help. Our sports are changing all the time and we are finding the adaptability needed to change our direction can be quite challenging. Pair that with the growing demands of user groups and we have a very difficult project to manage. Need some resources for cricket reference? We are here to help!

Brian Macklin

Brian MacklinBrian Macklin is the west supervisor of Parks Maintenance for the City of Brampton. In his role he has been involved with the maintenance of sports fields and project management for sports field construction.

A graduate of the University of Guelph with a Diploma in Horticulture, Brian has over 20 years' experience in the turfgrass industry. He also completed the Turf Managers' Short Course at the University of Guelph.

Prior to working with Brampton, Brian worked at Downsview Park and in various positions in the golf industry. He has extensive experience in golf courses and sports fields, specializing in turfgrass management. He has been involved in many construction projects throughout his career. His work includes the renovation and restoration of golf courses, sand-based soccer field construction, synthetic field construction, baseball field construction, construction of new park facilities, and most recently, cricket pitches.


Brian Macklin | West Supervisor, Parks Maintenance, City of Brampton | brian.macklin@brampton.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule


Go Touch Some Grass! The Importance of Social Science Research to Turfgrass Management and Decision Making (Virtual)

Dr. Michael R. Barnes | University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Wednesday, February 22 | 2:20 – 3:20 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

This session focuses on understanding the contribution of social science research as it relates to decision making and management of turfgrass. This will be illustrated through two recent research projects: the first involving perceptions of artificial turf vs. natural turfgrass, and second through resident perceptions of watering restrictions. Both examples have significant implications for policy-makers, managers, and industry.

Dr. Michael R. Barnes 

Michael BarnesDr. Michael R. Barnes is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. His work specializes in utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to understand complex social-ecological-technological systems, primarily involving urban lawns and sits at the intersection of social science, sustainability, and health. 


Dr. Michael R. Barnes | Researcher, University of Minnesota Twin Cities | mrbarnes@umn.edu 

Back to Day One Schedule


Maintaining Lawn Bowling Facilities

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph, and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Wednesday, February 22 | 3:25 – 4:25 p.m. | Sports Turf, ORFA

The sport of lawn bowling has a long history in Ontario and across Canada. Outdoor activities, such as lawn bowling, that are accessible to a wide audience are growing in popularity, so proper maintenance of facilities is crucial to maintain community involvement. Recently, the GTI collaborated with Bowls Canada to update their maintenance manual for lawn bowls.

This talk will highlight the best management practices for lawn bowling facilities, with a focus on proper fertilization, mowing, and integrated pest management. The talk will highlight the manual as a tool to engage and educate local lawn bowling clubs.

Dr. Eric Lyons

Eric LyonsDr. Eric Lyons is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture and director of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Lyons specializes in nutrient management, stress physiology and plant competition in sports field, golf course and landscape turf. In addition, Dr. Lyons oversees extensive testing of new emerging products for turfgrass managers and focusses on outreach and education to further the turfgrass industry.


Dr. Eric Lyons | Associate Professor, University of Guelph, and Director, Guelph Turfgrass Institute | elyons@uoguelph.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule

Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario (PLCAO) Update

Cheryl Machan | PLCAO

A Professional Lawn Care Association of Ontario update from Cheryl Machan.

Back to Day One Schedule


Effects of Mowing on Turfgrass and What Happens If You Don’t!

Dr. Eric Lyons | University of Guelph,  and Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Wednesday, February 22 | 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Recent campaigns have urged homeowners to alter their lawn maintenance practices to encourage native insect populations. However, these practices may have detrimental effects on the turf, and thus decrease the functionality of our green spaces.

This talk will describe the logic behind some of these campaigns (i.e. No Mow May, and Leave the Leaves), including their origins and potential benefits. In addition, the talk will cover the consequences these actions may have on the lawn health and utility, with a focus on weed management using integrated pest management based on agronomy best practices. The talk will help turfgrass managers cut through the hype, make good decisions, and educate their community.

Dr. Eric Lyons 

Eric LyonsDr. Eric Lyons is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture and director of the Guelph Turfgrass Institute at the University of Guelph.

Dr. Lyons specializes in nutrient management, stress physiology and plant competition in sports field, golf course and landscape turf. In addition, Dr. Lyons oversees extensive testing of new emerging products for turfgrass managers and focusses on outreach and education to further the turfgrass industry.


Dr. Eric Lyons | Associate Professor, University of Guelph and Director, Guelph Turfgrass Institute | elyons@uoguelph.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule


Communication Strategies to Build Trust & Improve Client Relations

Cam Shaw | University of Guelph

Wednesday, February 22 | 10:50 – 11:50 a.m. | Lawn

This session is geared toward motivating and inspiring lawn care operators to leverage their expertise and communication skills to build stronger business relationships with their clients. More specifically, the session will offer suggestions on how lawn care operators and their staff can educate and support clients in the areas of maintenance practices, environmental assessment, plant health, species selection, cultural practices, and scouting to reduce biotic pests and abiotic stressors.

Moreover, a discussion will be offered on methods to help homeowners manage their expectations in challenging summers with regard to heat, drought, pest pressure etc. Specific tools, training initiatives, and support will be discussed to improve communication and client/staff understanding of integrated pest management practices to foster deeper trust and credibility between client and service provider.

Cam Shaw 

Cam ShawCam Shaw has over 25 years’ experience working with people and turfgrass. He has built his career on being an effective communicator, educator, industry leader and passionate lover of grass and the environment. Having worked in multiple towns, provinces and countries, Cam has developed an intricate understanding of the various challenges our industry faces when it comes to legislation, public perception, and stakeholder communications.

In his former role as communications and outreach coordinator at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, Cam had the opportunity to speak with many homeowners and clients of the lawn care industry, which helped to generate the inspiration for this presentation.

Now manager of the Diploma in Turfgrass Management program at the University of Guelph, Cam spends his days planning, instructing and preparing the next generation of Canadian turfgrass managers.


Cameron Shaw | University of Guelph | cshaw12@uoguelph.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule


Applied Image Analysis for Turf and Ornamentals (Virtual)

Dr. Dana Sullivan | TurfScout

Wednesday, February 22 | 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

TurfScout and AgSpect has served the turfgrass and agricultural industry since 2007. By combining our expertise in remote sensing, geographic information systems and data analysis, we help leaders in the turfgrass industry fast track research and development through a more precise understanding of environmental factors, treatments, and integrated pest management strategies. Image analytics as well as ground data are used to provide insights into plant inventories, weed pressure, disease, senescence and overall plant status. Commercially, athletic fields and golf courses could apply this digital platform to better inform turfgrass management decisions for improved resource management, turf quality, and the end-user experience.

Dr. Dana Sullivan 

Dana SullivanDr. Dana Sullivan earned an M.Sc. in soil science from Auburn University in 1999. In 2003, she completed a PhD in Auburn as a NASA space grant fellow where her research focused on the use of remotely sensed imagery for precision agriculture and natural resource management.

She worked as a remote sensing scientist at the USDA ARS Southeast Watershed Laboratory from 2003- 2008 developing image analytics for water resource management in a southeastern Coastal Plain watershed.

Currently, Dana owns and operates TurfScout, LLC, an online image analysis toolkit for turfgrass and agriculture.


Dr. Dana Sullivan | Owner, TurfScout, LLC | danasullivan@turfscout.com

Back to Day One Schedule


Reducing Nutrient Runoff and Leaching from Turfgrass Fertilization

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire | Université Laval

Wednesday, February 22 | 2:20 – 3:20 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Fertilization is a regular maintenance practice on turfgrass stands and is an integral part of most IPM programs. While several benefits are associated with this practice, there are also some risks for the environment, particularly for water quality.

This session will present results from several research projects conducted at Université Laval in the last few years where we evaluated nutrient losses through runoff and leaching from different fertilization practices.

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire 

Guillaume GregoireDr. Guillaume Grégoire has a degree in agronomy from Université Laval, a masters degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in plant biology from Université Laval.

His experience includes more than 20 years of research focused on turfgrass management on golf courses and home lawns. Guillaume is currently an assistant professor at Université Laval where he holds a teaching chair on living green infrastructures.


Dr. Guillaume Grégoire | Assistant Professor, Université Laval | guillaume.gregoire@fsaa.ulaval.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule


What We Know about the Allowable List

Dr. Sara Stricker | Guelph Turfgrass Institute

Wednesday, February 22 | 3:25 – 4:25 p.m. | Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Pesticides previously used under Ontario's cosmetic ban (i.e., Class 11) were eliminated in 2020 and a single list of pesticides called the "Allowable List" was put in place. At the time this amendment was made, the active ingredients listed as Class 11 were transferred to the Allowable List.

Moving forward, how can lawncare providers and homeowners interpret the products listed? What do we know about the efficacy of the items currently listed? How do we add items to the Allowable List?

This session explores all of these questions and more to better understand legislations under Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticide Ban.

Dr. Sara Stricker 

Sara StrickerDr. Sara Stricker specializes in plant pathology and science communication. She is the junior board member of the Canadian Phytopathological Society and the chair of the American Phytopathological Society Turfgrass Pathology Committee.

Dr. Stricker has a passion for science education and has taught high school science and volunteered extensively with Let’s Talk Science and the Canadian Association for Girls in Science.


Dr. Sara Stricker | Communications and Outreach Coordinator, Guelph Turfgrass Institute | gti@uoguelph.ca 

Back to Day One Schedule

Diploma in Turfgrass Management Co-operative Education Update: How to Hire a U of G DTM Students

Cam Shaw | University of Guelph

Wednesday, February 22 | 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Cam Shaw has over 25 years’ experience working with people and turfgrass. He has built his career on being an effective communicator, educator, industry leader and passionate lover of grass and the environment. Having worked in multiple towns, provinces and countries, Cam has developed an intricate understanding of the various challenges our industry faces when it comes to legislation, public perception, and stakeholder communications.

In his former role as communications and outreach coordinator at the Guelph Turfgrass Institute, Cam had the opportunity to speak with many homeowners and clients of the lawn care industry, which helped to generate the inspiration for this presentation.

Now manager of the Diploma in Turfgrass Management program at the University of Guelph, Cam spends his days planning, instructing and preparing the next generation of Canadian turfgrass managers.

Back to Day One Schedule


Real Issues or Fake News: An Overview of Nematodes and Bacterial Pathogens in Turfgrass Systems

Dr. Jim Kerns | North Carolina State University

Wednesday, February 22 | 9:45 – 10:45 a.m. | Golf

Our program has been involved in many different research projects over the years. Two interesting areas of research has been investigating the important populations of nematodes that affect turfgrass health and how bacterial pathogens influence turf quality.

Nematodes are the most abundant animals on the planet and are necessary for many ecosystem services; however,  there is a small percentage of nematodes that parasitize plants. Within the group of plant parasitic nematodes there many different genera and species that can feed on turfgrasses and their relative aggressiveness and biology remain unclear for many of these pests.

The first portion of the talk will cover our research on characterizing what nematode pests are prevalent in turfgrass systems in the SE US, and how we approach integrated pest management for pests such as sting and root-knot nematodes. I will finish this portion of the talk with a few thoughts on how this could be related to turfgrass management in Canada.

The final half of the talk will focus on bacterial etiolation and present the facts of this particular phenomenon. Including an overview of the pathogens that are associated with turfgrass systems, that etiolation can occur without the influence of a bacterial pathogen and tips for managing this issue.

Dr. Jim Kerns 

Jim KernsDr. Jim Kerns focuses on etiology, epidemiology and management of diseases of both warm- and cool-season grasses. His research program focuses on understanding the biology of ultradwarf bermudagrass diseases, large patch of zoysiagrass, plant parasitic nematodes in turf and diseases of creeping bentgrass. The mission of the program is to provide efficacious and cost-effective management strategies to turfgrass managers in NC and beyond. His program also houses the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab, which is managed by Lee Butler.


Dr. Jim Kerns | Professor and Extension Specialist, NC State University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology | jpkerns@ncsu.edu 

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Why Do My Fungicide Applications Not Work as Well as They Did Before?

Dr. Tom Hsiang  | University of Guelph

Wednesday, February 22 | 10:50 – 11:50 a.m. | Golf

Dr. Tom Hsiang will speak on the fundamentals of fungicide resistance, how it occurs, and what you would observe when it starts.

Then he will give a summary of the 30-year research on dollar spot resistance to DMI fungicides and how to deal with the evolution of resistance using integrated pest management.

Dr. Tom Hsiang 

Tom HsiangDr. Tom Hsiang is a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada specializing in fungal diseases of plants.

Before arriving in Guelph, he worked on tree and landscape plant diseases in Washington State, USA, where he obtained his PhD (University of Washington) and conducted post-doctoral studies (Washington State University).

He is from Vancouver, BC, Canada, and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Forest Biology & Pathology at the University of British Columbia.

His current teaching and research involve diseases of trees and turfgrasses, particularly biology and genomics of fungal pathogens as well as disease management. He has done extensive work with snow molds of grasses and on fungicide resistance.


Dr. Tom Hsiang | Professor, University of Guelph | thsiang@uoguelph.ca 

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Dollar Spot Management & Alternative Control Measures: Rolling, Dethatching, Fertilizers

Dr. Geunhwa Jung | University of Massachusetts Amherst

Wednesday, February 22 | 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Dollar spot is one of the most important diseases impacting golf course turf in the northern areas of North America. Developing the up-to-date effective disease IPM management strategies (rolling, dethatching, alternative control methods) is increasingly important for saving practitioners valuable time and resources.

The objective of this talk is to provide an update of the recent developments in dollar spot research that translate to real-world practices that help cost-effectively and environmentally friendly manage dollar spot while preventing the development of fungicide resistance.

Dr. Geunhwa Jung 

Dr. Geunhwa Jung.Dr. Geunhwa Jung is a professor in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Jung received a M.Sc. and PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995. Jung has conducted a research/extension program on diseases of turfgrasses at UMass since 2006 and was assistant professor in the plant pathology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000-2006).

His research interests include genomics and molecular understanding of fungicide resistance mechanisms, fungicide resistance management, sustainable management of turf diseases, and product evaluation for control of turf diseases. Jung has been a member of APS since 2000 and NED-APS since 2006. For the Northeast Division of APS, he served as president. 


Dr. Geunhwa Jung | Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst | gjung@umass.edu

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Practical Detection of DMI-Fungicide Resistance in the Field

Edward McNab and Andrea Rether | University of Guelph

Wednesday, February 22 | 2:20 – 3:20 p.m. | Golf

Since the registration of the first DMI for use against turfgrass diseases in Canada in 1994, there has been detectable decline in sensitivity of populations of the dollar spot pathogen to DMI fungicides at some locations from both anecdotal reports and scientific investigations. Previous research from the Hsiang lab has identified isolates of the dollar spot fungus up to 100x less sensitive to propiconazole than isolates collected before the registration of DMIs for used on turfgrass in 1994. A key step in managing resistance development is the rapid identification and the adaption of integrated pest management strategies. Currently, identification of resistant isolates requires the assistance of trained professionals and lab equipment, which can be a lengthy and costly process. A field kit to assess the sensitivity of C. jacksonii isolates onsite by end users would be invaluable for both turf managers and institutions.

In this presentation we will present how we developed a field kit that can be used by turf managers to rapidly assess turfgrass leaf blades for the presence of DMI-resistant isolates of the dollar spot fungus. Preliminary testing was done in a lab setting and was followed by field trials conducted at the GTI.

In the summer of 2022, we visited over 20 sites across southern Ontario and had turf managers assess symptomatic leaves with the field kit. The kit was 93% successful in identifying DMI-resistant isolates from the turfgrass leaves from the sampled locations. We intend to make a final version of the field kit available to turf managers across Ontario for the summer of 2023.

Ed McNab

Ed McNabEd McNab is a M.Sc. student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph with an honours bachelor of science degree in biochemistry.

Ed grew up in Acton Ontario, where he worked as an assistant turf manager at Acton Golf Club. Ed’s research project is to develop a field assay for turf managers to assess the sensitivity of the dollar spot fungus to DMI fungicides. The project began in 2020 and is being supervised by Dr. Tom Hsiang. Research for this project was conducted at the GTI from 2020-2022 and at participating golf courses across southern Ontario.

In addition to the field kit, Ed has also worked on microbiome analysis of creeping bentgrass, investigated alternative fungicide-sensitivity assays, and the genetics linked to DMI resistance in the dollar spot fungus.


Ed McNab | M.Sc. Student, University of Guelph | emcnab@uoguelph.ca 

Andrea Rether

Andrea RetherAndrea Rether is a graduate student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, specializing in dollar spot disease of turfgrass.

Andrea is from Clinton, Ontario and completed her bachelor of science degree at the University of Guelph in 2022, majoring in microbiology.


Andrea Rether | Graduate Student, University of Guelph | arether@uoguelph.ca

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Optimizing Biodiversity on Golf Courses in Southern Ontario

Jenny Andrews | Aboud & Associates

Wednesday, February 22 | 3:25 – 4:25 p.m. | Golf

Land cover change is the most significant driver of terrestrial biodiversity loss globally. Southern Ontario has experienced high rates of land cover change compared to global averages due to extensive deforestation for agriculture and urbanization to accommodate Canada’s highest population density. Ontario contains the highest density of golf courses in Canada, and 35% of the country’s total. Research has shown that golf courses have the potential to support substantial species richness compared to other urban and semi-urban greenspaces. Additionally, evidence has been found that they provide habitat connectivity and corridors in intensely human-modified landscapes, as well as serve as refuges for birds, bats, frogs, and reptiles if designed and managed with ecological intent.

In my master’s thesis, I synthesize multi-scale ecological and golf course research to identify opportunities and constraints for conserving species richness on golf courses. The findings informed the creation of detailed design guidelines and maintenance suggestions for the optimization of species richness in southern Ontario golf courses.

Jenny Andrews 

Jenny AndrewsJenny Andrews holds a bachelor of science in environmental science with a minor in biology and a master of landscape architecture.

She has several years of experience as a field biologist conducting bird, amphibian, bat, plant, and pollinator surveys, as well as experience as a landscape technician maintaining and planting ornamental gardens.

Her expertise lies in bird ecology, but she is well versed in general wildlife ecology and ecological design. She is most passionate about intersecting landscape design and conservation biology and believe that restoring native habitats, wherever possible, is vital to the survival of our planet and wellbeing of our species.

She has volunteered with RARE Charitable Research Reserve and Bird Safe Guelph conducting bird surveys and increasing awareness of the issue of bird-window collisions. She dedicates most of her time to collecting citizen science data with eBird and iNaturalist. She is currently working as a consulting ecologist and landscape designer with Aboud & Associates. 


Jenny Andrews | Terrestrial Ecologist, Aboud & Associates | jenny.andrews.33@gmail.com 

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Day Two - Session Details

Addressing Aging Infrastructure and Ensuring Safe Play

Frank Cain | University of Guelph

Thursday, February 23 | 9 – 10 a.m. | ORFA

Managing aging infrastructure comes with risk. Aging infrastructure is not uncommon but maintaining, repairing and replacing assets should be part of the lifecycle planning process to ensure playability and safety. Facility management is asset management and ensuring we have the right tools in place to manage our inventory is imperative in our current environments. Regular inspections, seasonal planning, financial planning, and controlling use are all tools of parks and recreation, golf course, cemetery or sports field professionals. Often, we must manage aging infrastructure with limited resources, and with playability and safety being the driving factors, tough decisions must be made to limit our risks and liability.

Frank Cain

Frank CainFrank Cain has worked for the University Guelph Athletics Department as the manager of facilities and business development for the past 15 years. He has been involved in the construction, operation and capital repair and replacement of the department’s facility assets. Frank also serves on the technical advisory committees for the ORFA and is an instructor for their Ground Management and Operations programs. Frank joined the University after a long private sector career in facility design, construction and operations that took him across Canada and internationally to work with the largest parastatal company in China. 


Frank Cain | Manager, Facilities and Business Development, University of Guelph | fcain@uoguelph.ca

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Distillery Stillage Potential as Turfgrass Fertilizer 

Jessica Gaudet | University of Ottawa

Thursday, February 23 | 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Research from the University of Ottawa and their industrial partner, Dairy Distillery, investigating the possibility of turning distillery waste, high in potassium and phosphorus, into a fertilizer for turfgrass. 

Jessica Gaudet 

Jessica GaudetJessica Gaudet completed her master’s degree with the  University of Ottawa. Her master’s project, in collaboration with Dairy Distillery, looked into the transformation of distillery stillage into fertilizer.

Previously, she has helped the company with its initial project of turning a dairy waste product into vodka.


Jessica Gaudet | Masters Student, University of Ottawa | jgaud022@uottawa.ca 

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The Nuts and Bolts of Automated Mower Technology (Virtual)

Kevin Hauschel | Greensight Ag

Thursday, February 23 | 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

With fuel prices spiking, it's more important than ever to look to new technologies for turf management. Automated mowers can save on labour costs, fuel, and time.

This session covers the ups and downs of autonomous mower technology and will give recommendations on how to choose the right robot for the right situation. It's like a Roomba for grass!

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Using Irrigation to Assist with IPM

Gary Taylor | University of Guelph

Thursday, February 23 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Irrigation is integral to maintaining turf health, which in turn is a major proponent to sustainable integrated pest management. The moisture content in the soil can benefit or deter the health of the turf and the environment for pests. Efficient irrigation practices will promote turf health and provide assistance with your IPM strategy.

This session discusses efficient irrigation practices, including sprinkler selection and scheduling based on soil infiltration rates and their corresponding water-holding capacity. Available tools that monitor soil moisture and minimize water usage is also discussed.

Gary Taylor 

Gary TaylorGary Taylor has been involved in the irrigation industry since 1982, starting with the operation and maintenance of a 54-hole golf irrigation system.

Upon graduating with a bachelor of commerce degree in 1985, Gary began a career in irrigation sales, service and design at two different irrigation distributors.

In 2013, he started up GT Irrigation Services to provide third party independent irrigation consulting services specializing in golf courses and sports fields. Gary has been the irrigation instructor for the Diploma in Turfgrass Management program and The Turf Managers Short Course since 2015.


Gary Taylor | Owner, GT Irrigation Services | gtirrigationservices@gmail.com 

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Looking for the Best Turfgrass Cultivar? How to Use the New NTEP Online Search Tool (Virtual)

Kevin Morris | National Turfgrass Evaluation Program

Thursday, February 23 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Planting a pest-resistant, resilient turfgrass cultivar is the first step in developing an integrated pest management (IPM) program; however, finding information and identifying that cultivar is not as easy as it should be. The National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP) has recently unveiled the Turfgrass Trial Explorer (TTE), an online search tool that help users access 40 years of turfgrass cultivar data to select the best turfgrass for their needs. The TTE is completely free, user-friendly, and simplifies the task of identifying the best cultivar for the user’s situation.

This presentation demonstrates the use of TTE and how it can enhance your IPM strategy, as well as conserve precious time!

Kevin Morris 

Kevin Morris.Kevin Morris  received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1981. Upon receiving his degree, he was employed by the Maryland Environmental Service for one year and then started with the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, Beltsville, MD in 1982 as technical coordinator.

Morris was national program coordinator before being named executive director of the NTEP in July 1998. His duties include leadership, administration, and coordination of national tests for seventeen grass species at approximately seventy test sites across the United States and Canada. Also, as president of the National Turfgrass Federation, Inc., Morris interacts with Congress and the federal government, representing the turfgrass industry.

Currently, Morris is heavily involved in promoting the turf industry via Grass Roots, an outdoor turfgrass exhibit at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. He is the Crop Science Society of America 2018 winner of the Fred V. Grau Turfgrass Science Award. He has provided consultation to turfgrass managers at facilities such as Laurel and Pimlico Race Courses and he also has eight years’ experience as co-owner of a lawn service company.


Kevin Morris | Executive Director, National Turfgrass Evaluation Program | kmorris@ntep.org

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Exeter Minor Baseball: A Journey from Neglected to Highly Playable Ball Diamonds

Brad Gregus | Exeter Minor Baseball

Thursday, February 23 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Sports Turf

Session details and speaker bio TBD.

Sports field results are directly related to the investment put into them; we all know that. What often occurs, though, is lack of quality maintenance and improvements to our fields, which result in neglected fields and a reduced interest in play.

Brad Gregus set a mission to improve the Exeter, Ontario ball diamonds to ones that would attract top tier competition and tournaments. What resulted is a ball diamond sought after for games and tournaments with municipal staff, volunteers and industry suppliers all working together for the best interest of its athletes of all ages.

As a field architect/builder, Greg is dedicated to the best fields for optimal playability. He will share his process in creating a new field in Exeter, Ontario and its challenges and successes, and his tips for similar projects. There has been a huge improvement to the quality of the fields he’s been involved in. This is an opportunity to gather key insights and knowledge. Brad will tell you there can never be enough emphasis on the importance of healthier, safer sports turf.

Brad Gregus

Brad Gregus played baseball in Stratford, Ontario in the 70s. His expertise is in baseball field construction and performance.

He is a huge supporter of the industry, working with local service clubs, his municipality, and industry experts. Brad is willing to learn something new and look at options for sports field success. He often reaches out to others to gain knowledge, such as reaching local agronomists with turf seed expertise.

Brad worked for EllisDon Construction, and later for Mar-Co Clay products, which expanded his knowledge of turfgrass.

Now that he’s retired, Brad spends his time taking care of the fields in Exeter along with fellow retiree Doug Fairbairn. Their focus is on field maintenance, which delivers the ultimate playability.


Brad Gregus | Exeter Minor Baseball | bradgregus1955@gmail.com 

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Improving Soil Health with New Technologies

Ian McDonald | OMAFRA

Thursday, February 23 | 9 – 10 a.m. | Sod

When producing sod, the turf grower's primary concern is to enhance root and rhizome development and stolon growth; however, sod production is especially prone to compaction due to the use of heavy equipment during harvesting and the intense management operations. Compaction creates poor soil aeration, and restricts water and fertilizer movement through the soil, and can result in declined root and shoot growth in the turf. Poor soil conditions can lead to stresses such as lack of oxygen for rooting, an increase in weeds and disease, and, therefore, poorer quality sod. To maximize the health of the crop, Central Tire Inflation Systems and new tire technology can be used to relieve compaction and improve water infiltration. Taking advantage of future autonomous implements will improve efficiency, so you can spend more time and energy on the management practices which are key to integrated pest management.

This session covers research from field crops that can be applied in the turf industry.

Ian McDonald 

Ian MacDonaldIan McDonald has been the applied research coordinator for the Field Crops Unit of OMAFRA since 2000 and crops innovations specialist since 2016. Before that, he spent 15 years in the ag industry as a researcher on new pesticides with Hoechst and Dupont. Through research, demonstration, networking, and other means, Ian works to find tools and build knowledge to share with producers and agri-business that enhance farm profitability and reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint.

His areas of focus include agrobotics, precision agriculture, soil compaction, and cropping systems integration.


Ian MacDonald | Crop Innovation Specialist, OMAFRA | ian.mcdonald@ontario.ca 

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Specs for Success: Sod Installations for Municipalites (Discussion Panel)

Mike Schiedel | Greenhorizons
Chris Spere | City of Kitchener
Gavin Vermeer | City of Waterloo
Dr. Sean Kelly | University of Guelph

Thursday, February 23 | 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Sod

The specifications for construction projects are written by each municipality and these official documents outline the requirements for supplying, placing, and maintaining sod. However, a disconnect between the written contracts and the agronomic principals of turf management can lead to a failure of the turf within the first two years of establishment. This leads to frustration on behalf of the contractors, municipalities, and the sod supply chain.

In 2021, the City of Waterloo rewrote the specifications for topsoil, fertilizer, construction, and maintenance of sodding projects. Following suit, the City of Kitchener has been re-evaluating construction specifications and developing resources to educate homeowners on turf care. 

This panel will discuss sod failures, frustrations, and learning opportunities based on real world experience and will include recommendations for sod installation to ensure success in commercial and municipal projects.

Mike Schiedel

Mike SchiedelMike Schiedel is from Greenhorizons Group of Farms and is a bred Sod Farmer from Cambridge, Ontario. He has a passion for the greenspace industry as a whole, and most specifically Sod.

Spending his whole life in the industry, it has encompassed his craft, his business, his hobby, and his life. He is always looking for ways to improve upon the long-term practices of the company, as well as looking to improve as an industry.


Mike Schiedel | Vice President, Greenhorizons Group of Farms | Mike@greenhorizonssod.com 

Chris Spere

Chris Spere has over 30 years of relevant experience in the civil engineering field—including design, contract administration, and construction inspection of both vertical and linear infrastructure. Having worked in both the private and public sectors, he is currently overseeing the City of Kitchener’s capital construction program as part of a team that includes project managers and construction inspectors. Kitchener typically tenders about $30M of road reconstruction and rehabilitation projects per year, and this program will include the completion about 10 full road reconstruction projects all including sod restoration.


Chris Spere, E.I.T., C.E.T. | Manager, Construction Engineering, City of Kitchener | chris.spere@kitchener.ca 

Gavin Vermeer

Gavin VermeerGavin Vermeer is a graduate of the civil engineering program at McMaster University, with 15 years’ experience in engineering. He has been a senior project engineer with the City of Waterloo’s Design and Construction team for the last five years, and worked in private consulting for 10 years prior to that.

Typical projects managed at the city include road reconstructions, stormwater management pond cleanouts/retrofits, drainage improvements, and creek rehabilitation. Many of the projects, especially road reconstructions, require the restoration of turfed areas using sod. Success of sod using the City’s previous construction specifications resulted in frequent failure of the sod to survive the first couple years, leading to much property owner frustration.

Over the last several years, Gavin has been involved in a process to learn more about the method of establishing new turf and working to improve construction specifications.


Gavin Vermeer | Senior Project Engineer, City of Waterloo | gavin.vermeer@waterlo.ca 

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Creating Low Inputs and High Impact Lawns with Alternative Groundcover Species

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire | Université Laval

Thursday, February 23 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

In Québec and Ontario, lawns are routinely established from sod containing only Kentucky bluegrass. In the last few years, we investigated the possibility of including alternative species, both monocots and dicots, into sod and established lawns as a method of integrated pest management under minimal inputs. The impact of these alternative species on fertilizer needs, insect damages and pollinator attraction were evaluated. Results from these projects show that lawn biodiversification has several positive impacts and highlights new possibilities for sod growers and land care companies

Dr. Guillaume Grégoire 

Guillaume GregoireDr. Guillaume Grégoire has a degree in agronomy from Université Laval, a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in plant biology from Université Laval.

His experience includes more than 20 years of research focused on turfgrass management on golf courses and home lawns.

Guillaume is currently an assistant professor at Université Laval where he holds a teaching chair on living green infrastructures.


Dr. Guillaume Grégoire Assistant Professor,  Université Laval | guillaume.gregoire@fsaa.ulaval.ca 

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Thoughts on the Relationship Between Irrigation Water Quality and Turfgrass Management

Dave Smith and Steve Mann | DCS Agronomic Services 

Thursday, February 23 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Discussion includes how to read an irrigation water analysis report for agronomic purposes with an emphasis on turfgrass establishment and maintenance. Water use, delivery methods, and cultural management practices to enhance the use of water—both good quality water and water of questionable quality—is included in the discussion. Thoughts on optimizing water use and minimizing the environmental impact of water use will also be discussed.

Dave Smith 

Dave C. Smith.David C. Smith is a registered professional agrologist (P.Ag) with over 45 years’ experience with turfgrass management and specialty horticulture. He is a qualified plantsman, and Ontario-certified horticulturist, and maintains pesticide application certification. Dave was a certified golf course superintendent (CGCS) for over 25 years and is a graduate of The Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, with an Ontario Diploma in Horticulture. He is a registered qualified agronomist and consultant with the Amplify Network of Agronomic Consultants and Brookside Laboratories Inc.

In 1996, Dave established DCS & Associates, an independent consulting company that provides analytical services and consultation for turfgrass establishment and maintenance as the primary scope of practice. DCS & Associates serves clients throughout Eastern Canada—including Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. DCS has developed nutritional and cultural management recommendations for over 100 golf courses, 3500 acres of sod production and approximately 500 athletic fields, equestrian facilities, park land and horticultural projects.

Additionally, Dave has provided construction and grow-in recommendations for numerous golf courses and athletic field projects. David is past president of the Ontario Turfgrass Research Foundation and has been active in several golf superintendent associations. He was a Sports Turf Canada committee member during development of the Athletic Field Construction Manual and has been a speaker at several provincial and national conferences presenting to golf course superintendents, athletic field turf managers, arborists, and general landscapers. Dave has authored articles for industry publications such as Green Master Magazine and speaks on subjects such as: Specialty Growing Medium Design, Holistic Approach to Turf Grass Management, IPM, Trends in Golf Course Management, Product Inputs for Turf Management, Basic Soils, Green and Athletic Field Site Evaluations, and Soil Management for Trees.

Before establishing DCS & Associates, Dave gained over 20 years of experience in the golf and sports turf industry. In that time, he acted as a golf course superintendent throughout Ontario including four years as coordinator of Outdoor Sports Facilities with the City of Hamilton.


Dave Smith | Principal Consultant, DCS Agronomic Services | dave@dcsturf.com 

Steve Mann 
Steve Mann.Steve Mann of SJM Consulting and DCS Agronomic Services, is an I.S.A. board certified master arborist with extensive experience in evaluating the specific health, safety, and environmental importance of individual as well as more significant stands of trees in both urban and rural settings.

He specializes in large-scale tree inventory, evaluation, management, research, & impact studies. He has managed hundreds of projects related to the identification of important natural features and the significance and/or sensitivity of these features to development. Steve has developed numerous master plans, arboricultural management plans, and replanting plans related to golf course properties.

Steve’s extensive industry involvement, of over 20 years, has enabled him to interact with numerous provincial as well as municipal officials on matters regarding tree conservation and large-scale planning applications. Since the beginning his career, Steve has developed a keen interest in turf management and has become well known within the golf and sports turf industry here in Ontario. Steve recently purchased DCS Agronomic Services and looks forward to providing the quality analytical services, client education and non-biased consultation that DCS has become known for.


Steve Mann | President and Consulting Partner, DCS Agronomic Services | steve@dcsturf.com 

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Use of Electromagnetic Induction Sensors to Delineate Soil Drainage Class

Dr. Richard Heck | University of Guelph

Thursday, February 23 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Precision land management requires adequate understanding of soil variability; in Ontario, one of the more important attributes is soil drainage class. Restricted soil drainage is typically determined by the presence of red-orange iron oxide mottles and/or ‘gleyed’ greyish tones, indicating prolonged saturation and anaerobic (chemically reducing) conditions. Denitrification and greenhouse gas production often occurs in very poorly to imperfectly drained soils. Many plants are not able to tolerate prolonged periods of waterlogging. The conventional technique for determining soil drainage class is by examining small diameter auger samples for indications of mottling and gleying—this, however, is not practical for detailed area surveys.

Increasingly, field surveys of electrical conductivity (EC) are conducted, using electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensors, which (in Ontario) primarily reflects soil moisture content. As soil moisture content can be dynamic, and EC is not directly influenced by mottling or gleying, the drainage interpretation of such EMI surveys may be confounded. Measurements of soil magnetic susceptibility (MS) reflect the amount and nature of mottling and gleying in the profile. Soils rich in iron oxides exhibit a greater MS. In poorly drained soils, the chemical reduction of iron, indicated by gleying, decreases its MS. While EC measurements may provide information only about moisture content, measurements of MS can reveal direct information about indicators of soil drainage class. Repeated EMI surveys of EC and MS, can further reveal information about the seasonal dynamics of soil drainage conditions.

Dr. Richard Heck 

Richard HeckDr. Richard Heck, P.Ag., is a professor (soils and landscape processes) in the School of Environmental Sciences, at the University of Guelph. He obtained his undergraduate agronomy and graduate soil science degrees from the University of Saskatchewan.

Richard assumed his current position in 2000, following several years as a visiting professor in Brazil. His research focuses mostly on the characterization of soil structure dynamics, using x-ray computed tomography, as a function of land management practices. He also conducts research related to delineating soil drainage in agricultural landscapes using electromagnetic induction sensors.

Over the past 30 years, Richard has taught various courses on land evaluation, soil chemistry, remote sensing, as well as various field courses on soil variability.


Dr. Richard J. Heck, P.Ag. | Professor (Soils and Landscape Processes), University of Guelph | rheck@uoguelph.ca 

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Influence of Climate Change on Turfgrass Diseases and How Tools Such as the Turfgrass Compendium Can Help

Jim Kerns | North Carolina State University

Thursday, February 23 | 9 – 10 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

As the climate continues to change, plant disease incidence and severity is increasing, especially in subtropical and temperate areas. Turfgrasses are not immune from these changes.

This presentation covers observations that we have made at the NC State Turfgrass Diagnostics Lab over the past 15 years in terms of the diseases that are diagnosed.

The talk also covers key diseases that will likely increase in incidence and severity in areas where they were usually not problematic.

The session finishes with current integrated pest management recommendations for these diseases, and how to successfully combat them in the future, followed by a discussion of tools to help turfgrass managers such as the Compendium for Turfgrass Diseases.

Jim Kerns 

Jim KernsDr. Jim Kerns focuses on etiology, epidemiology and management of diseases of both warm- and cool-season grasses. His research program focuses on understanding the biology of ultradwarf bermudagrass diseases, large patch of zoysiagrass, plant parasitic nematodes in turf, and diseases of creeping bentgrass. The mission of the program is to provide efficacious and cost-effective management strategies to turfgrass managers in NC and beyond. His program also houses the Turfgrass Diagnostic Lab, which is managed by Lee Butler.


Dr. Jim Kerns | Professor and Extension Specialist, NC State University Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology | jpkerns@ncsu.edu 

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Turf Systems Health: Making the Links to Regenerative Agriculture

Randy Booker | Turfevolution

Thursday, February 23 | 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Nature has been perfecting her processes for millions of years, she is self-regulating and self-healing. Natural systems have all the tools we as turf/landscape managers need to be successful. We simply need to better understand them, work along with them rather than fight them.

I will lay out the basis for the adoption of regenerative principles and practices that Agricultural systems worldwide have been implementing for years with great success. The secret to turf health lies in the living breathing soil and its interconnection to every living thing on this planet. By connecting the dots between soil health and plant health, I will explain how you can be a changemaker in your operation through understanding and applying soil health practices in your IPM strategies.

The focus is the soil system as a whole, plant succession, weeds as indicators, soil biology, soil health, and the symbiosis of the plant within the system.

Randy Booker 

Randy BookerRandy Booker is currently the director of operations at Otter Creek Golf Club in Otterville Ontario, Canada. He is a past president of the Ontario Golf Superintendents Association and a 25-year member of both Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and OGSA. He has been a golf course superintendent for nearly 30 years, the first 20 following the industrial chemical methods and the past 10 years in a regenerative manner focusing on natures ways and biomimicry.

In 2019, Randy travelled to Australia to spend a week learning about the connection between soil health, plant health and human health with Graeme Sait, of Nutri-tech Solutions.

He most recently completed the inaugural CREATE program with Nicole Masters of Integrity Soils where the focus was on a systems approach, paradigm shift, and a dive into the plant/microbiome relationship.

Randy is also the president/owner of Turfevolution Inc., a regenerative coaching/teaching business focusing on Turfgrass and the need to “Transform the ground we play on."


Randy Booker | Owner, Turfevolution Inc. | turfevolution.ca@gmail.com

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Potential and Progress in Endophytic Inoculants to Improve Turf Health

Dr. Manish Raizada | University of Guelph

Thursday, February 23 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | Golf, Sod, Sports Turf, Lawn, ORFA

Probiotic microbes (biologicals) for turf represent potential technologies to reduce the use of fungicides as well as synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and water on golf courses, sod farms, and residential lawns. Probiotics can be coated onto seeds or sprayed in the field.

In this session, I will discuss our progress in probiotics to reduce turf fungal diseases as a method of integrated pest management, focusing on Dollar Spot, as well as our progress to screen probiotics that allow turf to grow under low nitrogen and water-stress conditions. The challenge with probiotics remains their inconsistency under field conditions compared to chemicals, because microbes are alive and respond to their environment.

I will propose that the inoculant industry should take advantage of the ability of microbes to be evolved in order to create second-generation inoculants that are adapted (bred) to local soils and environments—ultimately to treat microbes like seed varieties, not like chemicals.

I will discuss our strategies and progress in breeding microbes. Our ultimate goal is to make turfgrass more resilient to climate, less dependent on inputs, less polluting, and more healthy to combat pests and disease, and thus ultimately become more profitable for the various sectors that rely on healthy turfgrass.

Dr. Manish Raizada 

Manish Raizada.Dr. Manish N. Raizada is a professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. Dr. Raizada holds a PhD in plant molecular genetics from Stanford University and conducted post-doctoral research in microbial directed evolution at Caltech with Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold.

The Raizada lab focuses on the discovery of probiotic microbes to combat crop disease and improve crop nutrition, and has worked on turfgrass for nearly 10 years. In its outreach activities, the lab also empowers the world’s small scale farmers by developing low-cost Sustainable Agriculture Kits (SAKs), which have thus far impacted an estimated 272,000 rural peoples.

Dr. Raizada has authored 98 scientific publications and has been invited on several occasions by the U.N. Food & Agricultural Organization to discuss how microbes can reduce the need for fertilizers and prevent malnutrition.

He is Founder of The Encyclopedia for Small Scale Farmers (Farmpedia.org) as well as The Picture Book of Best Practices for Subsistence Farmers (SAKBooks.com).


Dr. Manish Raizada | Professor, Dept. of Agriculture, University of Guelph | raizada@uoguelph.ca 

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Cultural and Chemical Management Strategies for Control of Anthracnose Basal Rot on Annual Bluegrass Putting Greens

Dr. Geunhwa Jung | University of Massachusetts Amherst

Thursday, February 23 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. | Golf

Anthracnose is one of the most destructive diseases (caused by the fungus Colletotrichum cereale) on golf course putting greens of cool-season turfgrass, particularly annual bluegrass (Poa annua). The disease can be very destructive on stressed turf but can be managed by implementing many years’ University research recommendations on cultural practices, focusing on a healthy turf such as topdressing, light-rate of frequent N fertilization as well as fungicide applications. Due to the high risk of resistance development (benzimidazole, QoI, less with DMI) in C. cereale, integrated pest management strategies recommended by the Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) should be carefully considered for the control of the pathogen.

Dr. Geunhwa Jung 

Dr. Geunhwa Jung.Dr. Geunhwa Jung is a professor in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Jung received a M.Sc. and PhD in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995. Jung has conducted a research/extension program on diseases of turfgrasses at UMass since 2006 and was assistant professor in the plant pathology department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000-2006).

His research interests include genomics and molecular understanding of fungicide resistance mechanisms, fungicide resistance management, sustainable management of turf diseases, and product evaluation for control of turf diseases. Jung has been a member of APS since 2000 and NED-APS since 2006. For the Northeast Division of APS, he served as president. 


Dr. Geunhwa Jung | Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst | gjung@umass.edu 

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Balancing Golf Course Design, Maintenance, and Expectations

George Waters | USGA

Thursday, February 23 | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Golf

Finding balance between golf course design, maintenance, and golfer expectations is essential for the economic and environmental sustainability of golf courses today and into the future. With many golf courses facing rising costs and increased scarcity for critical inputs like water and labor, realistic goals and expectations are more important than ever. In many cases, finding ways to reduce inputs or improve efficiency is essential for a course to thrive. However, optimizing the golf experience is a key factor that can’t be overlooked as courses work to become more efficient. Thoughtful golf course renovations can put a course in good position for future sustainability, but it’s not always easy to balance priorities.

This session covers strategies for planning and executing golf course renovations that meet golfer needs while also addressing some of the key challenges facing courses.

We also look at how maintenance practices can be adjusted to deliver the best possible playing conditions (and turf health) without unnecessary expense, effort, or resource consumption. Golfer education also plays a key role in financial and environmental sustainability. Golfers must be made aware of the challenges courses face and the environmental and economic impact of their expectations. Without golfer support, making meaningful improvements can be difficult or impossible.

George Waters

George WatersGeorge Waters is the manager of USGA Green Section Education. He has an extensive background in golf course maintenance, design, construction and sustainability.

George worked on the golf course maintenance teams at Royal Dornoch, Merion, and the California Golf Club—among others. While working for renowned golf course architects like Tom Doak and Coore & Crenshaw, George contributed to the restoration of classic courses like Pasatiempo and Pinehurst Number 2, and the construction of highly regarded new designs like Sebonack and Barnbougle Dunes.

George has also published an award-winning book titled, 'Sand and Golf: How Terrain Shapes the Game'. George is an associate editor of the USGA Green Section Record and regularly contributes articles related to golf course maintenance, design, and sustainability for USGA publications.


George Waters | Manager of USGA Green Section Education, United States Golf Association | gwaters@usga.org

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