The theme of the turf and irrigation tradeshow, which also included 35 seminars, was "March Turf Madness."
Photo One: Attendees had an opportunity to compete against their friends and colleagues at the “Reinders Turf Madness Double Shootout.” Money was also raised for the MACC Fund.
Photo Two: More than 80 vendors exhibited their latest products, equipment and services, including Bob Burdick of Echo Equipment.
March madness was not only in the NCAA college basketball tournament but was also evident at the 20th Reinders Turf & Irrigation Conference March 9-10. The show’s theme of “March Turf Madness” applied to both the tradeshow and the weather. Rain was in the forecast for the first day but many people were surprised to wake up and find several inches of heavy wet snow on their travels to the Waukesha Expo Center in suburban Milwaukee. Mother Nature provided cloudy skies for an easy commute the second day of the show.
This year Reinders partnered with Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (the MACC Fund) to help raise money for funding cancer and related blood disorder research. Jon McGlocklin, MACC Fund president and Milwaukee Bucks television announcer welcomed the crowd to the show via a video presentation each morning.
Reinders had a “Turf Madness Double Shootout” basketball game for everyone’s entertainment. Attendees had the opportunity to make a donation to the MACC Fund and compete side by side with their friends and colleagues to see who could score the most baskets in a minute. Everyone who participated had their name entered into a drawing for the basketball game. Jon Cole of Kohler Landscape Co., Kohler, Wis, was the lucky winner.
Over 35 seminars covered topics for everyone in the green industry. Six different educational tracts ran simultaneously to meet the needs of landscape contractors, lawn care operators, golf course superintendents, sports turf managers, equipment mechanics and irrigation contractors. Dr. Fred Yelverton of North Carolina State University informed lawn maintenance professionals about new and innovative weed control technology as he reviewed a variety of products.
Keeping watergardens in balance was discussed by Scott Rhodes of Aquascape. He pointed out that understanding the ecosystem of a pond is the first step in keeping them looking their best. Learning to be proactive with a natural water treatment regime and solving periodic problems that may arise are also key, he said.
“Maintenance Made Easy for Spreaders & Spreaders” was the topic by a panel of manufacturer representatives. They showed simple steps that can be taken to maintain and repair walk behind spreaders, handheld, backpack and skid mount spraying equipment.
Dr. Joe Vargas of Michigan State University, a guest speaker at every Reinders show, spoke about the lessons that were learned in 2010 about trying to manage the survival of annual bluegrass.
The new trend of using LED technology for landscape lighting was explored by Darin Ayers of FX Luminaire. He helped separate fact from fiction in his seminar as he answered questions about lighting color quality, lighting intensity and the future of the industry.
In his seminar, “The ABC’s of ECB’s (Erosion Control Blankets), John Merthan of American Excelsior, explained how to select the right erosion control product for specific applications and job sites.
In the sports field business, the field is one’s stage. Larry DiVito, head groundskeeper for the Minnesota Twins showed the practices and processes he used to get the field in championship condition for the new Target Field in Minneapolis. He shared a variety of tips he has used over the course of his career taking care of professional ball diamonds.
Jerry Kienast and Brian Hedges of Reinders provided a variety of insights for mechanics. They explained the proper types of oils to use for protecting one’s investment in equipment. Troubleshooting issues with diesel engines was also covered.
Attendees had the chance to win an Apple iPad. They visited exhibitor booths to find the answers to questions they had to correctly identify to qualify for the grand prize drawing. Neil Radatz of Hawks Landing Golf Club, Verona, Wis., was the lucky winner.
Reinders has hosted this conference and tradeshow every other year since 1973. It brings together nationally known speakers, enlightening seminars and a variety of industry manufacturers all in one place. The next show will be held March 13-14, 2013.