The three-day OTF show and conference had a lot going on. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important stuff you may have missed.
- Belinda Jones, who lobbies on behalf of many Ohio turfgrass organizations, discussed some of the most pressing legislative issues on the horizon:
o House Bill 5 would simplify the administration of municipal income tax codes, making it easier for small businesses working across many cities to manage their tax burden.
o Jones and others are working to question the legality of a Cuyahoga County ban on pesticide use on country property. She argues that it violates the state’s preemption law.
o Senate Bill 150 would set up a new requirements for fertilizer applications. At the moment, the proposed bill only applies to farms of 50 acres or more, but it could come down to the golf and LCO level in the future.
- Stuart Cohen, president of Environmental and Turf Sciences, gave a talk on water quality at golf courses.
o He recommended visiting www.epa.gov/surf to view your facility’s specific watershed. The site could reveal data and regulations you didn’t know about.
o More and more municipalities are enacting nutrient management laws. Florida, for example, has more than 60 different ordinances for the application of fertilizer.
o One of the best indicators of the health of a water system is the presence of benthic macroinvertebrates – mayflies and stoneflies. “If you see these ... you've got an ecologically healthy system,” Cohen said.
o When analyzing your course’s water, remember to look at how and where water flows through the property. Where does runoff actually go?
- OTF gave out its annual best-of-show awards during the conference.
o The OTF Environmental Stewardship Award went to Dr. Mike Hurdzan for his work to develop and promote the environmental value of golf courses.
o Professional Excellence Awards went to Jeff Bisker, Your Lawn and OTF, and Paul Latshaw, superintendent at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
o The Professional of the Year Award went to Joe Rimelsbach and Todd Hicks, from the turfgrass pathology program at Ohio State University.
- The OTF board gave out $18,000 in scholarships to Midwest turf students. Winners were:
o Geoffrey Barber, Ohio State ATI
o Peter Braun, Ohio State
o Ross Clady, Owens Community College
o Jason Cox, Rutgers University
o Kyle Danneberger, Ohio State
o Amy Day, Cincinnati State
o John Difranco, Ohio State
o Gregory Myers, Ohio State ATI
o Andrew Northeim, Ohio State
o Reese Overly, Ohio State ATI
o Jordan Schmidt, Ohio State
o Max Szturm, Clark State
o Tyler Turner, Ohio State
o Rebecca Wicker, Ohio State ATI
- During the show, the Ohio Lawn Care Association held its annual meeting, where it announced its applicator of the year: Grant Birchfield, technician at Ziehler Lawn Care, Centerville.
- OCLA also announced its own scholarship winners: Jeff Fox, Clark State Community College, and Andrew Northeim, Ohio State.