The Central Florida Chapter of the Sports Turf Manager’s Association (CFSTMA) held its summer chapter meeting at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University June 21, 2019. Leslie Whitmer, Director of intramural and Recreational sports and Susan Rannie, the Sports Turf and Grounds Manager at ERAU were wonderful hosts to 50+ attendees representing turf professional from the Cities of Debary, St. Cloud, Ocala, as well as the Counties of Orange and Volusia, along with Orange County Public Schools, and representatives from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Commercial members and sponsors of CFSTMA from Beard Equipment Company, NuFarm, Harrells, Rain Bird, Wesco Turf and Yara where in attendance and given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their companies to the group.
Paul Mitola, Environmental Specialist with the Florida’s Environmental Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) conducted a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) discussing “Pesticide Safety and Spill Control”. He emphasized the “Golden Rule” for pesticide spills – Never Leave a Spill Unattended and the three “C’s” – Control, Contain, and Clean-up in an entertaining and example filled presentation.
Being at Embry-Riddle, it was appropriate to have a presentation regarding unmanned aircraft – drones. Dr. John Robertson provided an interesting presentation on the various types of drones and their applications, from mapping, to delivery, to recreational and the various other creative uses with this new technology. Drones are creating a new industry, especially when combined with GPS and photographic capabilities. The “rules” for the use of drones are changing everyday as new capabilities of this technology expands.
Joseph Petersen, Director of Horticulture and Water Resources with Florida Gateway College dropped in to let the group know of the opportunities for internships, scholarships and online learning for high school students in turf management as a Certified Horticulture Professional. Their degrees have an emphasis in business and personnel management in their curriculum. Florida Gateway College is one of two education institutions in the State of Florida offering turf management degrees. The other is the University of Florida.
Immediately after a ziti and lasagna lunch, attendees where treated to a tour of the baseball, softball and soccer fields with Susan Rannie, the Sports Turf and Grounds Manager at ERAU.
Meeting concluded at 1:30 p.m. What a great way to bring in the first day of Summer!