CFSTMA Chapter Meeting December 5, 2019 @ BOOMBA Soldiers Creek

Fifty registered attendees participated in CFSTMA’s winter Chapter Meeting at BOOMBAH Soldiers Creek Park in Seminole County.  The CFSTMA Board want to first and foremost thank our gracious host Jeff Caldwell, Seminole County Division Manager, Mike Baker, Site Supervisor, and William Washington, assistant Site Supervisor for providing a wonderful setting for our meeting.  They were supportive in everyway helping the event to be well received by all who attended.

Mike Baker provided an overview to the group to start the day and how Seminole County and specifically BOOMBAH Soldiers Creek work to host out of town visitors while at the same time providing residence with quality programming such as adult kickball above and beyond the softball play from youth to collegiate. Will Washington lead the site tour explaining the maintenance program that supports the sporting activities for the facility.

Sixteen attendees registered for CEU’s which was conducted by Dr. Mary Lusk who is a faculty member in the Soil and Water Sciences Department at the University of Florida-Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Sarasota County.  Her talk focused on sources of excess nutrients in water bodies and how they can lead to water quality deterioration.  She discussed the various nutrient sources, the science of how the different sources are tracked, identified and managed.

The group was treated to an overview of the synthetic turf construction considerations and how the industry has changed over the years to provide improved sports playing surfaces.  This session was presented by Todd Penley.

After a Sonny’s BBQ lunch, a drawing was conducted for a chance for a professional member of the CFSTMA to win a FREE STMA National Conference and Exhibit Show registration with hotel stay valued at $1,400. Professional members where asked to submit an essay describing how their CFSTMA membership has benefited them professionally.  We also had drawings for 3rd place for a FREE STMA annual membership valued at $130.00 and 2nd place for a FREE Conference registration valued at $ 375.00.

The STMA National Conference and Exhibit Show is being held in West Palm Beach, Florida January 13 – 16, 2020.  To learn more about this conference click HERE.

Here are excerpts from their essays:

CFSTMA has instilled in me that I am not in this alone! But there are others in our industry who

have been there and can offer advice and have experienced the same problems and concerns.

A network of experts who I (we) can lean upon, build relationships and offer solutions to add to

our tool box. There are industry vendors which can supply relief through services and or

equipment they offer.


Overall, the CFSTMA has helped me with my best management practices, safety

awareness and networking. This local chapter is involved and cares about it’s

community. I will continue to be involved and hope to one day to give the

knowledge to others in our field as the CFSTMA has shared with me.


I have been able to build a network of resources who simply know the answers, share their

expertise and best practices in every situation I have presented or asked about. Friends and colleagues

who have been taking care of turf help us to see an annual calendar through conversations. By sharing

knowledge we all benefit in so many different ways.


I know as I go forward and keep going as a registered CFSTMA, I will

be able to add to my resume and keep my quality as a worker at a high level. I will keep

on the cutting edge of technology to stay more efficient.


When I moved to Florida, I immediately connected with CFSTMA and began to make connections here in

Florida and eventually becoming a CFSTMA Board member.  As you know, it takes time and a

commitment to make connections in this industry.  I have put myself out there to do just that for both

my own professional career and also for the betterment of the sports turf industry.

Winners where:

3rd Pace – Free STMA Membership valued @ $130.00 – Clay Paulk of Orange County

2nd Place – Free Conference Registration valued @ $375.00 – Chris Lessig of Volusia County

Grand Prize Winner – Free Conference Registration and Hotel Stay valued @ $1,400.00 – Richard Stephan of Orange County

CFSTMA Chapter Meeting August 22, 2019 @ CoolToday Park – Venice/North Port

CoolToday Park spring training home of the Atlanta Braves, hosted 40+ Central Florida Sports Turf Managers.  The attendees where treated to an informative tour by Matt Taylor, Heads Grouds Keeper. Our CEU Session was conducted by Dr. Jason Kruse, the Assistant Professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida who introduced us to shade and wear tolerant Bermuda Grass cultivars. Fifteen attendees received 1.0 CEUs, in the areas of Ornamental & Turf Pest Control, Commercial Lawn & Ornamental, Private Applicator Ag Pest Control, Limited Certification Lawn & Ornamental,and Limited Certification Commercial Landscape Maintenance.

Attendees took advantage of this opportunity to share approaches to common turf management challenges, learn and ask questions of a research professional and meet commercial vendors who market their services and products directly to the sports turf industry.

Matt discussing facility management
Inspecting fields…


Matt discussing turf management
Dr. Kruse CEU Session
Shade tollerant grasses??
CoolToday Braves Stadium

CFSTMA June 21, 2019 Chapter Meeting @ Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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!

To professional development…This way!
CEU Session “Pesticide Safety Spill Control” with Paul Mitola
Site Tour at ERAU
Attendees sharing ideas!




CFSTMA 7th Annual Field Day @ Lake Jem Farms March 21, 2019

The Central Florida Sports Turf Managers Association (CFSTMA) partnered with host site Lake Jem Farms, CEU speaker sponsor Sod Solutions and lunch sponsor Everglades Equipment to conduct our 7th Annual Field Day March 21, 2019.

More than 75 attendees from the Central Florida area had the opportunity to receive 1 CEU credit toward maintenance of their sprayer applicators licensing with a talk from Jerad Minnick, Entrepreneur Consultant for natural grass sport surfaces. He discussed the evolution of Bermudagrass varieties, explored the evolution in its maintenance and how new varieties of Bermudagrass are creating new possibilities for high-use natural grass surfaces.

Prior to the CEU session, attendees visited 12 table top vendors (listed below) and after the CEU session, 12 equipment vendors (listed below) were afforded the opportunity to demonstrate their equipment in action – live in a parade format.

TABLETOPS VENDORS – Site One Landscape Supply, Pioneer Athletics, Beard Equipment, FMC, Nufarm, Yara North America, The Turfgrass Group, Scotts ProVista, Rain Bird, Harrell’s, Terra Feed, and Sod Solutions

EQUIPMENT VENDORS – St. John’s Turf Care, Helena Agri Enterprises, Beard Equipment, Wesco Turf, Global Turf Equipment, Crystal Tractor, Turf Tank, STEC Equipment, World Sports, Aerification Plus, Power Turf, Everglades Equipment

A lunch of BBQ ribs, potato salad, corn on the cobb was prepared on site by Everglades Equipment sales personal who double as expert BBQ Chefs. The meal was especially good eating enhanced by being outdoors under a tent on a beautiful Florida spring day.


Early start to CFSTMA Field Day at Lake Jem Farms


Registration CFSTMA Field Day


Tabltop Vendors


Tabletop Vendors


CEU Session underway


Attendees in CEU session


Attendees in CEU session


Jerad Minnick speaker evolution of Bermudagrass


Speaker Jerad Minnick conducting CEU session


Vendor equipment demonstration parade


Attendees at vendor equipment demonstration parade


Attendees at vendor demonstration equipment parade


Attendees taking a closer look


Vendor equipment in demonstration parade


Equipment demo


Equipment demo


Vendor equipment at their plots


Attendees at equipment demo




There were varied organization represented at this Field Day….In no particular order they were:  City of Maitland, Orange County Parks & Recreation, Mountverde Academy, Volusia County Parks & Recreation, Orange County Public Schools, Plant City, West Oaks Academy, City of St. Cloud, City of Ocala, City of Orlando, Citrus County School Board, Town of Belleair, Polk County BOCC, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, City of Debary, City of Tavares,

The CFSTMA Board in remarks at the conclusion of the event expressed their appreciation and a “Thank You” to the event sponsors;  Lake Jem Farms for hosting the event, Sod Solutions for sponsoring Jerad Minnick our CEU speaker and Everglades Equipment for providing a wonderful lunch. Specifically we recognized:

  • Jim Granger with Lake Jem Farms
  • Christian Broucqsault with Sod Solutions
  • Rafael Lara with Everglades Equipment

Everyone, vendors and attendees enjoyed the education session and the equipment demo!  Event concluded around 2:00 p.m. with Lake Jem’s demo of sod harvesting and install equipment.

It was a wonderful spring day at Lake Jem Farms for CFSTMA professional, & commercial members and our first-time guests!


CFSTMA Business & Chapter Meeting @ Orlando City Soccer Stadium

The Central Florida Sports Turf Managers Association want to thank Matt Bruderek, the Sports Turf Manager with Orlando City for hosting CFSTMA’s bi-annual election of officers and its Chapter Meeting.  The meeting was held at the Orlando City Soccer Stadium Thursday, December 6th. Dave Nowakowski, CSFM of Harrell’s presented a CEU accredited Fertilizer Analysis Comparison session to over 85 attendees.  This was an enjoyable and well attended sessions at a first rate professional facility.

If you missed this presentation or want to review it again, visit CFSTMA’s Knowledge Base on the website.

Orlando City Soccer Stadium
CFSTMA Members Check-in at Orlando City Soccer Stadium Chapter Meeting
Attendees Listening to CEU Certified Fertilizer Analysis Session
CFSTMA Attendees on the Orlando City Soccer Pitch


Attendees Learn about the use of a new type of Dethatching Machine
Attendees Learn about artificial lighting for low natural light areas of a field


Close up of artificial lighting to grow turfgrass
Matt Brudeker discussing his field maintenance program with CFSTMA Attendees


CFSTMA at Raymond James Stadium

The Central Florida Sports Turf Managers Association sixty plus members and guests conducted a spray calibration CEU training at its August 1, 20018 Chapter Meeting at Raymond James Stadium (RJS). Dave Nowakowski, of Harrell’s and CFSTMA Board member of Education conducted the training. CFSTMA Board and its members want to thank our host, Wayne Ward sports turf manager at RJS for giving the association a “back of the scene” closeup view of the facilities and its operation. It was a real treat to get a group photo on the Buccaneer ship!  Check out the scenes below from the event….

Raymond James Stadium (RJS) Tampa, Florida
CFSTMA President, Dale Croft and Wade Ward,  site host welcome to Ray Jay StadiumMoving sprayer to field for CEU TrainingDavid Nowakowski presents – Sprayer Calibration CEU Training
Members participate in “Hands-on” sprayer Calibration training…
Member & Guest Volunteers assist with collecting sprayer water measurements…
Cleaning nozzles for water volume measurement…                                                    Review of sprayer calibration for product application…
Backstage tour of RJS








Tour of RJS
Mezzanine…North end zone








CFSTMA Members & guests aboard….The Buccaneers Pirate Ship!


Again, thanks to Wayne Ward and his support staff for making this day a memorable Chapter Meeting for CFSTMA!  Remember, CFSTMA members can login to access the knowledge base for this spray calibration and other turf application application formulas.

Hope to see everyone, at CFSTMA’s December 6, 2018 Chapter & Business Meeting at Orlando City Soccer Stadium in Orlando.

So, save the date, login and Register now.

CFSTMA Chapter Meeting hosted by City of Tampa Parks & Rec

We had 30 plus members attend an informative presentation from Dr. Phil Harmon Extension Specialist from the University of Florida IFAS Department of Plant Pathology, Gainesville speaking on turfgrass diseases, mostly on fungi identification and  remediation.

Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park was the host site provided by the City of Tampa’s Parks & Recreation
Marlin Hall’s Introduction and Welcome from the City of Tampa Parks & Recreation
DR. Harmon’s presentation to the CFSTMA group…
CFSTMA members at CEU session with Dr. Phil Harmon – U of F IFAS
Marlin’s tour of facilities… CFSTMA members review of newly constructed soccer field.
CFSTMA members inspecting new variety of Tif-Tuf Bermuda sod

CFSTMA members and the Board want to thank Marlin and the City of Tampa Parks & Recreation for providing us with a great venue for our Chapter Meeting and sharing your insight into its re-development.  You where a gracious host.

Certified Sports Field Managers

CFSTMA wanted to recognize those sports turf managers in the State of Florida who hold Sports Turf Managers Association CSFM designation.  Combining years of practical experience with continued education, they sat for an exam covering four major areas of turf management:  Administration, Agronomic, Pest Management and Sports Specific.  This is a 300 question exam requiring 80% to pass in each of the four areas. Those listed below successfully met these requirement in obtaining their CSFM designation:

Name                                                                                                                                          City

* Dale Croft, CSFM Orlando FL
* Stephen Wood, CSFM Ocala FL
* Joe Gasparini, CSFM Orlando FL
Kyle Staton, CSFM Tallahassee FL
Lance Tibbetts, CSFM Miami FL
* Jim Stamps, CSFM Lutz FL
Clive Williams, CSFM Boca Raton FL
Nicholas Pappas,CSFM Sunrise FL
* Daniel Thomas, CSFM Sarasota FL
Timothy Legare, CSFM Callaway FL
Chris Desnon, CSFM Royal Palm Beach FL
* David Nowakowski, CSFM Palm Bay FL
* Paul Lopez, CSFM Melbourne FL
Kevin Hardy, CSFM Miami FL
* Anthony Defeo, CSFM Sarasota FL

*Denotes Central Florida STMA Chapter Members

Congratulations to those listed here for challenging themselves as turf managers and demonstrating their desire to enhance the sports turf industry’s professionalism  locally, statewide and nationally.   These turf managers along with some 250 nationally are leading the way to inspire others in this industry to take up this challenge as well.  If you are interested in learning what is required to becoming a CSFM, visit  

The Central Florida Chapter (CFSTMA) is providing financial reimbursement up to $350.00 for any Central Florida member “in good standing” who self-pays and successfully obtains the STMA’s Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) designation.  Contact any of the board members to make an application for reimbursement.


CFSTMA 6th Annual Field Day @ Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports

It was a beautiful spring day for more than 150 sports turf professional and commercial attendees at Central Florida Sports Turf Managers Association 6th Annual Field Day.

Before recapping the event, the Board wants to thank Tim Flowers, a CFSTMA member, the turf manager at Disney for hosting this event.  We can’t say enough how easy Tim and his Disney team were to work with.  They exceeded our expectation.  We held our CEU sessions inside the All Star Café.

The professionals had the opportunity to meet with the vendors prior to and just before lunch, with CEU sessions on water Quality and Foliar Absorption presented by Lynn Griffin, tropical plant and soil expert with a  session by Dr. Jason Kruse, Assistant Professor Turf Grass Specialist who discussed history of BMP’s (Best Management Practices) and the need to be aware of potential industry restrictions effecting turf grass managers.

Simultaneously,  Toro Company Bruce Funnell held a field demonstration trouble shooting, tracking wire with open conversation of Central Control Irrigation systems.

We ended the training session with a tour of Disney’s sports facilities after a lunch provided to the attendees by our sponsor, Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply.  Thanks to Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply for lunch.



CFSTMA Winter Meeting – U of F Research Center @ Citra Florida

CFSTMA held our winter chapter meeting Thursday December 7, 2017 at the University of Florida Plant Research Center in Citra, Florida.  On the unseasonably cool day thirty-four attendees were treated to a field tour with the opportunity to learn from a dedicated group of University of Florida professors.

The attendees were treated  to lunch from Jeff Heulsman, Melissa Barron & Kevin Wasilewski of Syngenta USA.  Moe’s catered lunch which was enjoyed by all.

CFSTMA Board and Membership want to thank our wonderful host Mark Kann, Manager of the research center.  Helpful facility managers such as Mark aids greatly, with our participating sponsors, to offer invaluable programs such as these to sports turf professionals who otherwise may not have the opportunity to learn and share with others turf grass managers.    Thank You!

9:30 am – 10:00 am Field Tour # 1 – Kevin Kenworthy – status of turf verities
10:00 am – 10:30 am Field Tour # 2 – Phil Harmon – Top dressing mixes for turf re-grow
10:30 am- 11:00 am Field Tour # 3 – Billy Crow – Nematode resistant topdressing
11:00 am – 11:30 am Field Tour # 4  – Natasha Restuccia – fungus management
11:30 am – 12:30 pm      Lunch sponsored by Syngenta from Moe’s
12:30 pm- 1:30 pm Guest Speaker – Jason Smith UAA – Day to Day U of F Athletic turf