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  • 15 Feb 2023 8:35 PM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    Ohio PLANT Green Advocacy Day

    Ohio Green Advocacy Day sponsored by Ohio PLANT is slated this year for Wednesday, February 22 in downtown Columbus. The day consists of a morning of speakers from the legislature and the Department of Agriculture and the afternoon will consist of appointments with your elected state representative and state senator’s office. These relationships, coupled with the work of Ohio PLANT and OTF’s lobbying team, helped push HB 507 into law. The bill created preemption of the ban of pesticide use on private property. This measure will prevent local municipalities from creating their own rules regarding pesticide use on private property.

    The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF) is once again a sponsor of this event which includes 7 complimentary registrations. We want to have a strong presence at the event from the turfgrass industry. If you are able to attend, please contact Lori at lori@bennett-management-llc.com as soon as possible so appointments can be made with your elected officials.

  • 15 Feb 2023 8:31 PM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show attendance up by 69% over 2022

    Seminar seat numbers highest since 2008

    February 13, 2023 GCMStaff

    Filed to: GCSAA Conference and Trade ShowNews Release 2023

    2023 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show

    Attendance for the GCSAA Conference and Trade Show, the largest annual event in the turfgrass management industry, was up 69% over the 2022 event in San Diego. Total attendance was 11,000 vs. 6,500 in-person attendance in 2022 and comparable with the 11,700 who attended the last pre-pandemic event held in Orlando in 2020. A total of 6,300 seminar seats were filled, which was up 70% over 2022, and was the highest number since 2008. In addition to education for superintendents, the event also included specialized education for assistant superintendents, equipment managers, students and more. 

    The trade show covered nearly 250,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Orange County Convention Center and hosted nearly 450 exhibitors. 

    The week began with the GCSAA Golf Championships presented by Toro. The event was sold-out and featured the launch of the Toro Par-3 shoot-out along with formats offering golfers an opportunity to have fun, meet new people, renew old friendships, and play in various flighted competitions. Dylan Foster, assistant superintendent at Verandah Golf Club in Fort Myers, Fla., was the winner of the 2023 GCSAA National Championship

    Among the highlights, the conference began Monday with the launch of the GCSAA Interactive Facility Tours and ended with a Welcome Reception, presented in partnership with Syngenta, at Aquatica Beach with food, fun and comradery. Tuesday featured a continuation of education in the classroom and on the golf course as part of the GCSAA Interactive Facility Learning Tours, with the day capping off with the announcement of an MOU between GCSAA and The Warrior Alliance. 

    On Wednesday, the Sunrise Celebration, presented in partnership with Syngenta, saw John Newton, CGCS Retired, receive GCSAA’s Col. John Morley Award to begin the day. Then, attendees experienced the launch of the Interactive Grass Learning Stage built through a collaboration of the GCBAA, GCSAA, USGA and ASGCA at the trade show.

    Wednesday also featured the 2023 GCSAA Turf Bowl, presented in partnership with John Deere. Team No. 11 from Penn State University won the 2023 Turf Bowl. 

    Thursday saw the launch of GCSAA Auction $Bucks, enabling attendees to earn points used to bid on items in a live auction at the GCSAA Send-Off Celebration, presented in partnership with John Deere. The highlight of the Send-Off Celebration was the presentation of the GCSAA Old Tom Morris Award to Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops. 

    The GCSAA Conference and Trade Show is produced by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) along with its presenting partners the Golf Course Builders Association of America (GCBAA), United States Golf Association (USGA) and the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) .

    GCSAA will continue to offer conference learning with a two-day virtual event of new education offerings for everyone at the golf facility March 14 and 16, 2023. Details and registration information can be found at www.GCSAAConference.com.

    The 2024 GCSAA Conference and Trade Show will head to Phoenix Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 2024, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

    Filed to: GCSAA Conference 

  • 02 Feb 2023 10:54 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    February 28, 2023

    Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center
    2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus Ohio 43210


    The Ohio Turfgrass Foundation (OTF) is hosting an in-person education seminar on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at the Ohio 4-H Center with tracks in Golf, Sports Turf and Lawn Care, plus the BEST certification program. Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance at the end of the day. Please note the registration time for the BEST program begins before the tracks. Registration is available online at www.OhioTurfgrass.org. OTF has applied for ODA continuing education credits.

  • 18 Jan 2023 2:19 PM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    Bill Includes OTF Provision Preempting Local Governments from Regulating and Banning Pesticides

    Last month concluded the two-year legislative term of the Ohio Legislature. Final work was completed mid-December, known as “lame-duck.” Priority pieces of legislation from both the House, Senate and Governor’s office were passed in these final days. The legislature tackled a wide-range of items, from distributing ARPA funding and voting law reform, to drilling gas on public lands. Any legislation that did not get passed and signed by the Governor is now dead and must be re-introduced this year to start the committee process back up again.

    We are pleased to report we found success in lame-duck with one of your top priorities, preemption of the ban of pesticide use on private property. As you are well aware, an out of state group called Beyond Pesticide has been advocating to local governments to ban the use of pesticides. They have a model municipal resolution on their website that advocates local governments adopt a ban for the use of pesticide on local government property, such as metro park ball fields for example. A plan was put together to stop this movement.

    Working with your organization, we established a legislative advocacy plan to ask for an amendment to be accepted that would preempt local governments from regulating or banning the sale, purchase, storage, distribution, use, or application of a registered pesticide on private property and private property open to the public (golf courses). This would give all authority to future proposals beyond pesticide proposed to be done at the state level through the legislature, and not individual local governments.

    We proposed the amendment and met with several key legislators in both the Ohio House and Senate to identify if such an amendment was possible. Throughout talks in the Spring, Summer and into Fall we had many positive conversations and garnered widespread support within the Republican Statehouse. During the final days of lame-duck, our efforts paid off! Representative Kyle Koehler (Springfield) was the sponsor of House Bill 507, which had several clean up items to Ohio’s agricultural law. Rep. Koehler supported putting our amendment into his bill. Chairman Tim Schaffer (Licking) of the Senate Agricultural committee spearheaded getting the amendment included in HB 507 before passing the bill out of committee. Eventually the full Senate and House both voted on and passed the bill with the amendment included. The last step was Governor DeWine signing the legislation into law.

    Because of other changes included in HB 507, most notably provisions to allow drilling on public lands, environmental groups were putting a lot of pressure on the Governor to veto the bill entirely. We want to work providing the Governor’s team on why this bill and our language were vital to the lawncare industry and your business. We were pleased the Governor finally signed HB 507 into law in early January. This new law will go into effect in early Spring.

    It was a great overall team effort from members within your organization to the outside lobbying groups working on your behalf and we look forward to working on many other important issues with you this coming year.


    Special Thanks to our Lobby Team!

  • 18 Jan 2023 9:09 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    Ohio Room information at the  Conference in Orlando 

    Wednesday, February 8th
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    Miller's Ale House
    8963 International Drive
    Orlando, Florida

    Gather with your peers from Ohio during the GCSAA Conference in Orlando. Drink tickets and appetizers will be provided to attendees.

  • 10 Jan 2023 8:36 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    February 6-9, 2023
    Orange County Convention Center

  • 14 Dec 2022 8:38 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    GCSAA provides well-defined career paths for those seeking to be recognized at the highest level of their profession. Whether you are a superintendent, assistant, or equipment manager GCSAA has certificate and certification programs designed for you. These programs have been developed by members, academia and industry with guidance from professional psychometricians. Start your journey today.https://www.gcsaa.org/education/certifications-exams

  • 13 Jul 2022 10:57 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    OTF & Ohio State Turfgrass Science Team Summer Field Day is Tuesday, August 2!

    Get the latest information from OSU’s Turf Team for managing healthy turfgrass and test out new tools and technology to make your program more efficient. Choose from the Golf Track or High Cut Turf Track.

    9:00 am – 9:30 am
    Opening Remarks from the Dean, OTF President, HCS Chair

    9:30 am - 10:00 am
    ABW Update
    Dr. Dave Shetlar, OSU

    An update on new populations in ABW in Central Ohio.  Also, we will discuss a review of preventative options and curative control.
    ODA Category 8

    10:00 am -10:30 am
    Turfgrass Weed Management Issues 2022
    Dr. Dave Gardner, OSU

    The most important weed issues in turfgrass (grassy and broadleaf) encountered in 2022 will be discussed, including recommendations for control.  New and upcoming herbicides as well as strategies for use of existing products will be discussed along with suggestions for optimal application timing.
    ODA Category 8

    10:30 am – 10:40 am
    Find your station location.


    High cut

    10:40 am - 10:55 am
    Dr. Doug Karcher – Wetting agents

    11:00 am - 11:15 am
    Dr. Ed Nangle
     – Biostimulants

    11:20 am - 11:35 am
    Dr. Nicholas 
    Narog - DCD Amended Urea/Nitrogen

    11:40 am - 11:55 am
    Dr. Dominic 
    Petrella – Rolling and Fungicides

    10:40 am - 10:55 am
    Dr. Dominic Petrella – Shade and fine fescues

    11:00 am - 11:15 am
    Sherratt – Grass ID

    11:20 am - 11:35 am
    Dr. Dave Gardner – Herbicide Plot Update

    11:40 am - 11:55 am
    Dr. Karl Danneberger – Certificate Programs

    12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
    Disease Research and Product Update
    Todd Hicks, OSU

    This talk will provide an update on turf disease research our program is conducting for the 2022 field season combined with a product update on new or recently released chemistry.
    ODA Category 8

    12.30 pm – 1:15 pm
    Vendor Showcase with Lunch

    1:15 pm – 1:45 pm
    Landscape Insect and Mite Update
    Dr. Dave Shetlar, OSU

    Spring-saturated soils followed by drought can be really stressful for landscape plants and borers often take advantage of this stress. We’ll cover some of the most important borers as well as the warm-season mite issues with suggestions for using preventive and curative control products.
    ODA Category 6a

    1:45 pm – 2:15 pm
    Controlling Weeds in Landscape Beds
    Dr. Dave Gardner, OSU

    In order to successfully combat weeds in landscape beds, it is important to be able to identify the weeds and know their life cycle. Based on this information, you can then determine if herbicidal control options are practical, including selection of the proper herbicide and the most appropriate application timing. Proper cultural practices and their contribution to weed control in landscape beds will also be discussed.
    ODA Category 6c

  • 04 May 2022 6:48 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    May 03, 2022 | Angela Hartmann


    National program has raised nearly $2.5 million since 2012

    Rounds 4 Research logo

    Lawrence, Kan. (May 3, 2022) -- The 2022 Rounds 4 Research fundraising program to support turfgrass studies, administered by the GCSAA Foundation sold 1,361 rounds of golf and yielded more than $482,000 in its April 25-May 1 online auction, making it the most successful in the program’s history and an increase of $129,000 over 2021. The GCSAA Foundation is the philanthropic organization of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).

    The top bid was $10,100 for the Dormie Network one-year membership to six private clubs.

    "Thanks to generous donors and bidders who care about supporting the game they love and for making this year’s Rounds 4 Research auction our most successful yet," said Rhett Evans, GCSAA chief executive officer. "Golf is more popular than ever, and it is wonderful to see golfers and the industry come together to ensure its future.”

    The national campaign is presented in partnership with the The Toro Co. Several multi-course operators have also joined the effort to support research, including ClubCorp, Dormie Network, Founders Group International, GreatLIFE KC, KemperSports, Marriott Golf, the PGA Tour TPC network of courses and Troon Golf.

    “We are proud to join other management companies and individual courses in being a part of this important effort for the good of the game,” said David Nicholls, senior vice president of science and agronomy for Troon Golf. “Rounds 4 Research benefits everyone who cares about golf because it is making sure that the game will be here for many years to come.”  

    The program has raised nearly $2.5 million since launching in 2012. For more information about Rounds 4 Research, visit rounds4research.com.

  • 14 Jan 2022 11:55 AM | Tony Dierkers (Administrator)

    U.S. Supreme Court allows CMS vaccine mandate to go into effect, but blocks OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate

    Consistent with predictions following the oral argument (see below), the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 opinion allowed the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services vaccine mandate for health care workers to go into effect, but blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate by a 6-3 vote. The court’s decisions mean that health care workers at facilities and at suppliers covered by the CMS regulation must be fully vaccinated or receive an approved medical or religious exemption by Feb. 28, 2022.

    Court relies on congressional authority to protect patient health and safety to uphold the CMS mandate

    In its opinion allowing the CMS vaccine mandate to go into effect, the court noted that CMS has broad powers to condition facilities’ participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs on “requirements as [CMS] finds necessary in the interest of the health and safety of individuals who are furnished services in the institution.” The court held that CMS reasonably concluded that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate was necessary to protect patient health and safety because “COVID-19 is a highly contagious, dangerous — and especially for Medicare and Medicaid patients — deadly disease.”

    The court rejected the challengers’ arguments that the statute “authorizes [CMS] to impose no more than a list of bureaucratic rules regarding the technical administration of Medicare and Medicaid.” The court cited with approval CMS’ “longstanding practice” of using its statutory authority to regulate “the safe and effective provision of healthcare, not simply sound accounting.” For example, CMS regulations govern how long after admission a patient must be examined, and by whom; the procurement and transplant of solid organs; tasks that can be delegated by a physician to an advanced-practice provider; and the control of infectious diseases within a facility. Not only that, but CMS routinely regulates the qualifications and duties of health care professionals, justifying these regulations by its power to protect patient safety. Requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for health care workers, the court held, is ultimately no different.

    The court recognized that the CMS vaccine mandate “goes further than what [CMS] has done in the past to implement infection control” but also that CMS “has never had to address an infection problem of this scale and scope before.” And the court noted that vaccine requirements are common in the health care setting and that “healthcare workers and public-health organizations overwhelmingly support” the CMS mandate, which “suggests that a vaccination requirement under these circumstances is a straightforward and predictable example of the ‘health and safety’ regulations that Congress has authorized [CMS] to impose.”

    Finally, the court rejected the challengers’ claims that the CMS mandate was unlawfully issued without public participation and did not adequately consider alternatives or the available evidence. As for public participation, the court held that the impending winter flu season was sufficient good cause to dispense with advance notice and comment. And as for alternatives and evidence, the court held that CMS’ decisions were “within a zone of reasonableness” and should not be second-guessed by the courts. The court therefore stayed the preliminary injunctions imposed by the Missouri and Louisiana district courts blocking the CMS mandate.

    The court’s decision confirms what we saw coming out of oral argument. First, the median justices made the difference. The court’s unsigned majority opinion was joined by Justice Breyer, Justice Sotomayor and Justice Kagan — and two of the three median justices Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh. Second, the court saw the CMS regulation as tailored to the threat COVID poses in the health care setting, whereas the OSHA rule was too indiscriminate in regulating all workplaces with 100+ employees. Third, the court understood that the long history of CMS infection-control regulations made the vaccine mandate an incremental step, not a sweeping new assertion of authority. And finally, the court cited the health care community’s strong support for vaccinating health care workers, making it clear CMS was properly exercising its powers to protect patients.

    Court relies on major-questions doctrine to block OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate

    As we also predicted from oral argument, however, the court saw the OSHA mandate as going too far. The court’s unsigned majority opinion was joined by all three median justices as well as Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch.

    Invoking the major-questions doctrine, the court stated that it “expect[s] Congress to speak clearly when authorizing an agency to exercise powers of vast economic and political significance.” And it held that OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate was a major question because it is “a significant encroachment into the lives—and the health—of a vast number of employees.” The Court further emphasized that this kind of OSHA mandate was unprecedented: “It is telling that OSHA, in its half century of existence, has never before adopted a broad public health regulation of this kind—addressing a threat that is untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace. This lack of historical precedent, coupled with the breadth of authority that the Secretary now claims, is a telling indication that the mandate extends beyond the agency’s legitimate reach.”

    The court then considered whether the Occupational Safety and Health Act “plainly authorizes” OSHA’s vaccine-or-test mandate, and held that it does not. The court viewed the Act as limited to “workplace safety standards, not broad public health measures.” To the court, although COVID-19 as a risk in many workplaces, it is not an “occupational hazard in most.” Allowing OSHA to regulate that “universal” risk of COVID, the court believed, “would significantly expand OSHA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”

    The court did emphasize, however, that a more-limited vaccine-or-test mandate might pass muster. It stated that where COVID-19 “poses a special danger because of the particular features of an employee’s job or workplace, target regulations are plainly permissible.” OSHA, for instance, can “regulate risks associated with working in particularly crowded or cramped environments.” What OSHA cannot regulate, the court held, is “the everyday risk of contracting COVID-19 that all face.” The court therefore reimposed a nationwide stay blocking the OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate.

    What’s next?

    Technically, all the court did today was decide whether the mandates will go into effect while the courts of appeals consider the challenges to them. But at this point, the writing is on the wall: The court has five votes to uphold a CMS vaccine mandate and six votes to vacate an economy-wide OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate. So while the cases return to the courts of appeals for further proceedings, it is very unlikely that the courts of appeals will reach a conclusion different than the Supreme Court’s on the stay applications.

    In fact, shortly after the Court released its decision, the White House issued a statement saying:

    As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated. The Court has ruled that my administration cannot use the authority granted to it by Congress to require this measure, but that does not stop me from using my voice as President to advocate for employers to do the right thing to protect Americans’ health and economy. I call on business leaders to immediately join those who have already stepped up – including one third of Fortune 100 companies – and institute vaccination requirements to protect their workers, customers, and communities.

    Given the Supreme Court’s rulings today and that statement, expect CMS to finalize the vaccine mandate in essentially the same form as the interim final rule. But any attempt to finalize an OSHA vaccine-or-test mandate similar to the emergency temporary standard enjoined today seems likely to be blocked, as the White House seems to have recognized.

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