The Pandemic year of 2020 was extremely challenging for everyone, and much to our dismay we had to cancel the 2020 DSTE Expo. The Board looked at various formats to host at least a portion of the Expo, but because of the general shut-down, we were unable to plan a viable event. It was very frustrating, but as we return to a semblance of normality, we are re-committed to making this the best Expo in our seven-year history!
To further that aim we have an unsurpassed education program for 2021! Attendees will have outstanding breakouts and the general session will inspire all those in the turf industry who want to continue to learn and grow in their profession! Our education committee (Drs. Beth Guertal, Dave Han, Jay McCurdy and Bryan Unruh) achieved a broad-spectrum approach to topics. The general session speakers are highlighted below.
Brad Jakubowski with Penn State University has been involved with the Green Industry for over 30 years, working within the residential/commercial, golf course and sport field areas. He is an Instructor of Plant Sciences and PhD candidate at Penn State University. Brad currently teaches a variety of irrigation and turfgrass management courses. In Weather Apps and Weather Decisions, Let’s Make the Most of Both!, he discusses the best in weather apps and web-based information and how to use this information to make the best management, game-time and event management decisions possible! Bring your phones!
Dr. Jim Brosnan is ready to talk weeds in “Why Do They Keep Talking About Resistance?”. Professor in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of Tennessee (UT) and Director of the UT Weed Diagnostics Center, his research focuses on controlling unique and problematic turfgrass weeds, particularly those with resistance to herbicides. Dr. Brosnan has consulted at multiple venues on the PGA Tour (including several major championship host sites,) in addition to National Football League franchises.
Dr. Chase Straw earned his B.S. degree from the University of Kentucky in Turfgrass Science. He will speak on Technologies for Turfgrass Management: Current Trends and Future Applications. As an undergraduate, he gained experience managing sports fields at the collegiate (University of Kentucky) and professional (Boston RedSox and Cincinnati Bengals) levels. He went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Turfgrass Science from the University of Georgia. He spent two years as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Minnesota before becoming Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Management and Physiology at Texas A&M University in February 2020. Chase’s research focuses on spatial and temporal variability within turfgrass systems to develop practical strategies for reducing management inputs and improving the overall user experience.
This year we added a break-out on career management. For anyone wishing to advance in their profession (and who doesn’t!) don’t miss Armen Suny’s presentation, “Job Search 101.” Mr. Suny is a search and consulting executive with Kopplin Kuebler & Wallace. He provides executive searches for general managers, golf course superintendents, golf professionals, assistant general managers, and clubhouse managers. He graduated from the famed turfgrass management program at Penn State. Suny has held the positions of golf course superintendent, general manager, vice president of agronomy, PGA tournament director, golf course designer and golf development project workout manager.
While beefing up our program with these amazing keynote speakers, the Deep South Turf Expo is committed to providing entertainment and social networking that can be quite as valuable as formal education programs. The Deep South Four Ball Tournament will be reprised and held on Monday at The Preserve and on Tuesday at Fallen Oak. While teams are battling it out over the Four Ball tournament at Fallen Oak on Tuesday, the Preserve Golf Club will host our Scramble Tournament.
Following the Scramble at The Preserve, whether you golf or not, everyone is invited to come out in the late afternoon to attend a Tail Gate Picnic that is being planned by our sponsors. This event was amazingly well received in 2019 -- despite the heat and we are talking about both high temperatures and some of the food options that “kicked it up a notch!”
Lest we forget, in addition to the golf there will be the Skeet and Trap Tournament on Tuesday as well, and the Sports Field Tour. The tour will end as usual at Shuckers Stadium in time for everyone to take part in the Tail Gate at The Preserve.
We are really excited about our program this year! We feel there is pent up demand that will make this one of the best attended Expo’s ever. Registration for exhibitors and attendees is open on-line at DeepSouthTurfExpo.org. Make plans now to attend. Getting together with friends and colleagues in Biloxi in the Fall is always a special time for our industry, and made even more so by our absence last year!