BASF’s announcement that it will move its education program for turf & ornamental professionals closer to the North American headquarters of its agricultural products business unit means changes for the company’s customer outreach focus and for its involvement with FarmLinks.
The new Pinehurst educational and recreational program will allow for visits to nearby BASF research and development facilities in Research Triangle Park and Holly Springs, N.C., and will also give the company more undivided attention and face time with about 350 end users annually.
According to Tom Hill of BASF, the move will allow customers – mainly from the golf market – to receive training and see demonstrations at Pinehurst and to check out research in progress at the company’s Holly Springs testing grounds. “The people at Pinehurst have been great to work with so far and we’re very excited to start scheduling visits in the new year,” Hill said. “We’ll also be able to show customers products in development at Holly Springs that are in the stages between lab and greenhouse testing and actual trials at universities and golf courses.”
The new approach will signal the end to the company’s foundation partnership at FarmLinks, the research and demonstration course. “We were exposed to more than 5,000 end-use customers over five years at FarmLinks and it’s been a great experience, but our goals have been changing and we wanted to leverage some of the local options we have and get more of the customer’s one-on-one attention,” Hill said. “Instead of being one of several partners, we can sort of monopolize their time and focus.”
Brian Thompson of BASF will move from FarmLinks to Pinehurst to continue his role in leading onsite turf education for the company.