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2023 Michigan Turfgrass Conference 
January 10 -12, 2023
Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort


2022 Michigan Turfgrass Conference Recap

2022 Michigan Turfgrass Conference
January 4th - 6th, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort

There was a new venue this year as the Michigan Turfgrass Conference, hosted by the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation, was held at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort Conference Center.   Over 350 registrants gathered in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan for an educational and networking event dedicated to the turfgrass industry.  

Day One

Day one started with a half day session of presentations.  Classes were structured in three different sessions; Golf Sessions, Lawns, Athletic Fields and Grounds Sessions and an Equipment Technicians Session.

Winter Turf Research Update - Dr. Kevin Frank, MSU

Golf Course Architecture and the Golf Course Superintendent - Andy Johnson, The Fried Egg

Annual Meeting


  • Treasurers Report, Presidents Report, Executive Directors Report
  • MTF Funded Research - Craig Moore, Research Chairman
  • Pete Cookingham retired after decades of service to the turf industry worldwide. 
  • Dr. David Smitley has announced his retirement.
  • Finance items of interest
    • Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology, notable donations, membership, nominating scholarships, events
  • MTF Board of Directors Election Results
    • Curt Boak (Lawn Tech) - Representing Turfgrass Services
    • Eric Davey (Prestwick Village Country Club) Representing - Greater Detroit District of MiGCSA
    • Christian Koval (Lakelands Golf and Country Club) Representing - Mid-Michigan District of MiGCSA
    • Paul Kuhna (Lansing Lugnuts) Representing Sport or Institutional Turf
  • Events - 2021 Virtual Conference, Tee Times 4 Turf, LaFontaine Golf Outing, Field Day
  • MTF Founders Society - Brad Lazroff - Chair Founders Society
    • Founders Society purchases front load tractor for Hancock Turfgrass Research Center
    • Tissue Homogenizer for Dr. Emily Merewitz-Holm

Founders Society Reception

The Founders Society is an endowment established by charter members with the goal of using funds donated to purchase specialized research and support equipment for the turf program at MSU.  At this year's reception, the announcement was made that the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation would be pledging $1 million to launch a $5 million campaign to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology.  Follow the link to read more about the MTF's commitment to funding the future of turfgrass research at Michigan State University: 

The Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology

Meritorious Award Winner

During the reception, the MTF was proud to present Dawn & Bruce Johnson / Kris Early and the Spartan Family with the Meritorious Award.  This award is presented annually by the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation to an individual or company for their dedication and support of the turfgrass industry.  Spartan Distributors were instrumental in the formation of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation in the 1950's and have remained strong supporters of the golf and sports field industry for their entire history.

Read More about The Spartan Family

The MTF Board presents $1 million check to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology.

The Spartan Family accepts MTF Meritorious Award at the 2022 Founders Reception

Day 2

Day two was a full day of education.  Four sessions were offered and included Golf, Equipment Technicians, Lawns and Grounds and Athletic Fields.  

Full Speaker List

Keeping your Cutting Edge - Mike Rollins, SIP Grinders

Non-Chemical Water Conditioners - Dr. Bernd Leinauer

Scholarship Awards

The 2021-2022 Turfgrass Science Scholarship Awards were held after the day's sessions had finished.  Dr. Trey Rogers hosted the awards and described the opportunity each year as "his favorite day of the year."

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation Awards
Norman W. Kramer Outstanding Student Award: Spencer Cole
Kenyon T. Payne Outstanding Student Award: David Parker
Robert Hancock Award: Payton Perkinson
MTF Merit Scholars: Dennis Sullivan, Adam Nadeau, Ryan Wiggins

Follow the link for the complete list of award winners including Michigan State University Awards, State Section Awards and National Awards.

2021-2022 Scholarship Winners

Board Member and MTF Scholarship Chair Dan Lucas with MTF Award Winners

Dr. Rogers with Samuel I. Russell Foundation Award Winners Anthony Kiser and Seth Jenkins

The 2021-2022 Scholarship Winners

Halftime Show

Day two wrapped up with the halftime show, where vendors from across the industry shared their products and knowledge with the conference attendees. This year's show was well attended and provided a terrific opportunity to network with fellow industry colleagues.  The show also included the Dr. Paul Rieke Graduate Assistantship Silent Auction, benefiting graduate assistantship for ongoing graduate student positions at MSU.

Vendor Halftime Show

Dr. Paul Rieke Graduate Assistantship Silent Auction

Day 3

The final day wrapped up with a half day of Golf Sessions and Lawns and Grounds presentations.  The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation would like to thank everyone for attending the Conference and your continued support of turfgrass research at Michigan State University.  We hope you enjoyed the event, the new location and the chance to be back in person again.  The Planning committee is already gearing up for next years event and we look forward to your feedback and suggestions for the future. Thank you for attending the 2022 Michigan Turfgrass Conference!

Thank you to our 2022 Michigan Turfgrass Sponsors!

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 27156, Lansing, MI 48909

The Michigan Turfgrass Foundation exists to promote safe, healthy turf surfaces for all Michigan residents.

Call or E mail Us

Office: +1 517 392 5003

E Mail miturfgrass@gmail.com


PO BOX 27156


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